Sunday, June 13, 2021

Kevin Coyne - I Want My Crown Anthology (1973-80 uk, prog blues folk rock, 2010 four disc box set)

Many singer/songwriters have been more heralded, but fewproduced more good work or did so for longer than Kevin Coyne. While virtuallyunknown in America, Coyne released dozens of records, most of them very good,that dealt primarily with outsiders: men, women, and children arbitrarilyshunted to the fringes of society, or worse, locked away and left alone. Hissongs could be extraordinarily compassionate and, in the blink of an eye,angry, anguished, and accusatory. Perhaps the most durable and telling image ofKevin Coyne is the cover photo of his album In Living Black & White. On thefront, Coyne is smiling and politely bowing to an unseen audience; the back ofthe album jacket is the same photo taken from the rear, with Coyne clutching anopen straight razor.
Born in Derby, England, in 1944, Coyne, like many rock &roll performers who came of age in early postwar Britain, was an art schoolstudent who fell in love with American R&B. Living a bohemian life inlate-'60s London, Coyne was employed for a while as a socio-therapist foralcoholics and the emotionally disturbed, jobs that would profoundly affect hisapproach to music. In 1969 his first band, Siren, signed to influential BBC DJJohn Peel's specialty label, Dandelion. Two years and two excellent recordslater, Peel dissolved his label and Coyne embarked on a solo career. Marriedwith two children, Coyne supported both his family and musical career byreturning to social work. In many ways, his solo debut, Case History, set thetone for his career. Based on his social work experiences, it was a rivetingexamination of the desperate search for love by those forcibly exiled to thefringes of society. With his bluesy voice wailing almost inconsolably, CaseHistory is a naked examination of people (Coyne included) whose lives are inconstant turmoil: betrayed, institutionalized, unwanted, and mostly unloved.The characters in these songs cry out for attention, and Coyne, never one tobuy into England's bureaucratic social work system, howls right along withthem.
Case History was very nearly Coyne's swan song, but after aself-imposed exile from music, an opportunity to continue recording as a soloact with almost complete artistic freedom proved too powerful an incentive. In1973, Coyne began a relationship with the then-fledgling Virgin Records label,which seemed willing to embrace the decidedly noncommercial, difficultperformer. For the next eight years, he recorded some of his best music and,somewhat surprisingly, attained a modicum of commercial success, albeit inEurope only. These were mostly edgy folk-rock records tinged with anavant-garde feel for performance art (Coyne was a published poet, too), clearlynot easy listening by any stretch of the imagination; neither were theserecords overly pretentious nor unapproachable.
By the early '80s, Coyne was recording for independentlabels, making frustrating, semi-successful records that were erraticallyreleased and difficult to find. Exacerbating this bad situation were hisworsening mental and physical states: chronic depression culminating in anervous breakdown and alcoholism that, along with ending his marriage, nearlyended his life. In 1985 me moved to Nuremberg, Germany and began to pick up thepieces, improving his health and forming the Paradise Band. The move alsore-sparked his passion for painting and writing, resulting in a handful ofpublished books along with well-received exhibitions of his visual work in thecities of Berlin, Amsterdam, and Zurich. By the time the '90s rolled around,Coyne had reestablished himself as a true underground force, releasing acontinuous stream of albums of dizzying variety (and availability). In 2002 hewas diagnosed with pulmonary fibrosis. He died at his home on December 2, 2004.
 by John Dougan
Disc 1
1. Marjory Razorblade - 1:45
2. Marlene - 2:44  
3. Talking To No One - 2:31  
4. Eastbourn Ladies (American Edit) - 4:38  
5. I Want My Crown (Traditional) - 4:19  
6. House On The Hill - 4:52  
7. Lovesick Fool - 2:20   
8. Keep Your Lamp Trimmed And Burning (Studio Version) (Traditional) - 4:06   
9. River Of Sin - 3:22  
10.Sign Of The Times - 5:22  
11.I Believe In Love (Rough Mix) - 3:33   
12.Blame It On The Night - 4:18  
13.Poor Swine (Alt. Version) - 3:41 
14.Dance Of The Bourgeoisie - 3:26  
15.Saviour - 5:33  
16.Lonely Lovers - 4:19  
17.Sunday Morning Sunrise - 5:33  
18.Rock 'N' Roll Hymn - 3:38  
19.Turpentine -  3:33 
20.Let's Have A Party (Jessie Mae Robinson) - 2:31  
21.Lorna - 2:45
All songs by Kevin Coyne unless as else stated
Disc 2
1. Which Way Can I Go - 3:33
2. A Life Divine - 4:41  
3. I Love My Mother (Kevin Coyne, Andy Summers) - 4:39  
4. Shangri LA - 5:30  
5. America - 4:09  
6. Big White Bird - 2:05   
7. Daddy - 4:16  
8. Case History No 2 (Live) - 6:03  
9. Fat Girl (Live) - 4:05  
10.Roses In Your Room - 4:19  
11.Mona Where's My Trousers -  2:56 
12.Rainbow Curve - 3:30  
13.River Of Blood - 3:14  
14.Dynamite Days - 2:44 
15.Brothers Of Mine - 4:09  
16.I Really Live Round Here (False Friends) - 3:56  
17.I Am (John Clare, Kevin Coyne) -  2:22 
18.I Only Want To See You Smile - 2:31  
19.Juliet And Mark - 4:47 
20.Older Woman - 4:12
All tracks by Kevin Coyne except where noted
Disc 3
1. Having A Party - 4:23
2. I'm Just A Man - 3:38  
3. Pretty Park - 5:39  
4. Marigold - 3:16  
5. Don't Blame Mandy - 2:59  
6. World Is Full Of Fools - 3:13  
7. Burning Head Suite (Live At Rockpalast 1979) - 6:17  
8. Are You Deceiving Me - 2:54  
9. Lonely Man (Studio Version) - 3:20   
10.I Confess - 3:24  
11.It's My Mind (Studio Version) - 3:38 
12.Happy Homes - 1:38  
13.Children's Crusade - 3:53  
14.Learn To Swim Learn To Drown - 4:59 
15.Dark Dance Hall - 2:31  
16.Day To Day - 2:33  
17.The Old Fashioned Love Song - 3:46  
18.New Motorway - 2:59  
19.The Loving Hand - 3:08  
20.Wonderful Wilderness - 7:48 
21.You Can't Kill Us - 2:02
Music and Lyrics by Kevin Coyne
Disc 4
1. Chicken Wing -  4:17 
2. Marjory Razorblade Suite (Kevin Coyne, Gordon Smith) - 6:29
3. Blame It On The Night - 4:07  
4. River Of Sin - 4:19 
5. Poor Swine - 3:50
6. Fat Girl - 5:18
7. Mad Boy - 2:30
8. Mummy - 6:23
9. Marjory Razorblade Suite (Kevin Coyne, Gordon Smith) - 8:17
10.Let's Have A Party (Jessie Mae Robinson) - 3:16
11.Poor Swine - 4:54
12.Need Somebody - 5:31
13.Chicken Wing - 4:26
14.Boogie Chillun (Johnny Lee Hooker) - 6:36
All songs written by Kevin Coyne except where indicated
Tracks 1-6  BBC In Concert, Golders Green Hippodrome 1974, tracks 7-14 Live In Hyde Park

*Kevin Coyne - Guitar, Vocals
*Andy Summers - Guitar
*Zoot Money - Keyboards
*Peter Wolf - Drums
*Steve Thompson - Bass
*Gordon Smith - Guitar, Harmonica
*Tony Cousins - Bass
*Eddie Sparrow - Drums
*Rick Dodd - Sax
*Terry Slade - Drums