Bill Fay

What's it called?: 
Life is people.
What does it sound like?: 
I cant believe what I have just heard. I read the reviews of this album that raved about it and thought I would give it ago fully expecting it not to live up to the hype. I was so wrong. From start to finish this album is beautiful, uplifting, sad beyond words, elegiac, life affirming. Put in any adjective and it doesnt do it justice. 41 years since his last album if he has laboured on this for that long the time wasn't in vain. Symphonic pieces give way to just his wonderful voice and piano and the final song The coast no man can tell really is heartbreaking and I mean heartbreaking. I cant remember when I last heard an album this good. It should sell by the truckload but it wont - I can imagine many of the songs on this album helping a lot of people through troubled times. How good to be remembered like that.
What does it all *mean*?: 
I am not religious but Bill Fay obviously has a deep faith that is both convincing and heartwarming.
Goes well with …: 
life. This is a chronicle of a life - all of our lives in fact. This music needs to be heard. anyone who has lost family or lost in love even will be uplifted and that is a promise.
Might suit people who like …: 
music. Nearest comparison if comparisons have to be made would be Blue Nile or Mickey Newbury. However it is deeply original and deeply impressive. Album of the year by some distance.

Comments

The first two albums are essential; the fact that he's put out another after all this time is grounds for rejoicing. Duly ordered from U No Where.

Love the first two and the Tomorrow Tomorrow and Tomorrow album. My vinyl copy of the new 'un is on its way.

Can I also put in a word for this fantastic cover version by Jim O'Rourke - free download

http://www.sonicyouth.com/prmp3/pictures_of_adolf.mp3

this album got reviewed in my paper a couple of weeks ago, and I thought it might be worth checking out(Andy Gill is usually fairly reliable), so since it's just appeared in Emusic, I shall be getting this.

http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/music/reviews/album-bill-fay-life-is-people-dead-oceans-8026771.html

this might sway you - its the last song on the album and it moves me to tears- so sad (the rest of the album is more uplifting):-

his voice is a bit 'lived-in' isn't it? that sounds like something I'll like. reminds me of the sadder Tom Waits songs.

At £5.99 on iTunes at present.

... didn't even know Jeff Tweedy was on it - and "Jesus, Etc" is covered. Played it once - hasn't grabbed me yet - but I'll try again tonight.

... great.

what a fabulous record. The OP nails the mood of it exactly, a wonderful mix of melancholic resignation and uplifting hope

Spiritualized minus the drugs and feedback

What's left?

Bit of heartbreak, I suppose. Glad of the drugs and feedback though.

Haven't heard the Bill Fay album. Didn't much take to his old stuff I must confess. Bit po faced, I always thought

Got it on vinyl the other day.
Has a lovely autumnal feel to it.

Many years ago, after the first Mojo article on Bill Fay, I bought the outtakes and demos collection "From the Bottom of an old Grandfather Clock". I found it a wonderfully moving record - really beautiful.

So the next thing I did was buy the reissued debut, "Bill Fay". The songs were still great, but I wasn't so keen on the big production job. It seemed unnecessarily fussy.

Still, undaunted, I bought the reissued second album, "Time of the Last Persecution". I don't know why, but I never got into it. It seemed an agonisingly grim, heavy record. And I'm a person who likes Joy Division and Leonard Cohen albums.

A couple of years ago, a 2CD collection of Fay's home demos came out, called "Still Some Light". I was pleased he was in the public eye again, but I thought the songs were simply disappointing.

So, when "Life is People" came out a few weeks ago, I thought I'd give it a miss. But this thread, plus a couple of rave reviews in the press, has led me to take the plunge and buy it. It arrived from that nice Mr Amazon today. Looking forward to putting it on later!

.

... but my, Big Painter is magnificent.