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Kevin Ayers Bananamour1

Kevin Ayers ‘Bananamour’ Harvest 1973, LP version

‘Bananamour’ is the fourth studio album by Kevin Ayers and it features some of his most accessible recordings, including ‘Shouting in a Bucket Blues’ (featuring Steve Hillage on guitar) and his charming tribute to Syd Barrett, ‘Oh! Wot A Dream’. After ‘Whatevershebringswesing’ (1972), Kevin assembled a new band anchored by drummer Eddie Sparrow and Glaswegian bassist Archibald “Archie” Leggett. Archie played with all of “The Greats” during his career, being the bass player of choice for top American R&B artists touring the UK. The inner sleeve features Kevin and Archie, suave in their tuxedos, playing an unusual game of chess in the presence of two elder gentlemen!

Kevin Ayers Bananamour inner gatefold

Kevin Ayers ‘Bananamour’ 1973, inner gatefold

The album ‘Bananamour’ evolved from Kevin  and Archie’s live ‘Banana Follies’ revue. Soft Machine ex-colleague Mike Ratledge contributes keyboards to the track ‘Interview’ and David Bedford arranged ‘Beware Of The Dog’. Additional vocals by top female singers Liza Strike, Doris Troy and Barry St.John add sensual drama to the album especially on the song ‘When Your Parents Go To Sleep’, while Kevin generously hands over lead vocal duties to Archie.

The centrepiece of the album is ‘Decadence’, inspired by Kevin’s fascination with the German chanteuse Nico, who had found fame with Andy Warhol’s ‘Velvet Underground’ during the 1960s. This track is a swirling kaleidoscopic feast of musical sounds and pure poetry:

“Watch her out there on display / Dancing in her sleepy way / While all her visions start to play / On the icicles of our decay / And all along the desert shore / She wanders further evermore / The only thing that’s left to try / She says to live I have to die.”

The album ‘Bananamour’ marked the end of Kevin’s first Harvest Records contract. He moved to Island Records for his next album, ‘The Confessions of Doctor Dream and Other Stories’.

Original release track listing:

Side 1

Don’t Let It Get You Down (For Rachel)
Shouting in a Bucket Blues
When Your Parents Go to Sleep
Internotional Anthem

Side 2

Oh! Wot A Dream
Beware of the Dog

2003 CD Re-issue track listing:

Don’t Let It Get You Down (4:04)
Shouting In A Bucket Blues (3:45)
When Your Parents Go To Sleep (5:47)
Interview (4:43)
Internotional Anthem (0:43)
Decadence (8:05)
Oh! Wot A Dream (2:48)
Hymn (4:35)
Beware Of The Dog (1:27)
Connie On A Rubber Band (2:56)
Decadence (Early Mix) (6:57)
Take Me To Tahiti (3:37)
Caribbean Moon (3:02)


Kevin Ayers / Guitar, Vocals
Archie Legget / Bass, harmony vocals, lead vocal on track 3
Eddie Sparrow / Drums
Steve Hillage / Lead Guitar on track 2
Mike Ratledge / Organ on track 4
Robert Wyatt / Harmony Vocal on track 8
David Bedford / Orchestral Arrangement on track 9
Howie Casey / Tenor Saxophone
Dave Caswell / Trumpet
Tristan Fry / Cymbal
Lyle Jenkins / Baritone Saxophone
Ronnie Price / Piano
Barry St. John /Vocals
Liza Strike / Vocals
Doris Troy /Vocals

Additional information sourced from Wikipedia.

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