This folk singer was discovered by
Andrew Loog Oldham in the mid-sixties. In 1965 he gave her a
Jagger/Richard composition to record, Some Things Just Stick In Your Mind, but neither this, or the follow-up - both recorded under the name
Vashti - made any impact.
She made further recordings, but, as with many major labels at the time most of them were shelved. One of her own compositions I'd Like To Walk Around In Your Mind, recorded with Mike Hurst for Andrew Oldham in '67 did subsequently resurface on Circus Days, Vol. 1 and was later covered in 1996 by Lush, as a 'B' side to their 500 single.
Vashti's album was recorded in 1969 and produced by Joe Boyd. Something of a period piece, it told the story of a two year horse-drawn journey from London to the Hebrides, which Vashti made with the initial intention of meeting
Donovan off the Isle of Skye... a journey which nowadays might seem absurd, but one can't help but admire the sheer audacity of the venture - living on the road with no money except what she earn't from painting farms, digging gardens and in the bad times getting an emergency fiver from Joe Boyd, all the time writing and singing songs in defiance of it all.
She was assisted on the album by some top folk figures - Simon Nicol,
David Swarbrick and
Robin Williamson, and it is now ultra-rare and very sought-after...
"Diamond Day" – 1:47 (++++)
"Glow Worms" – 2:16
"Lily Pond" – 1:24
"Timothy Grub" – 3:15
"Where I Like to Stand" (Bunyan / John James) – 2:21 (++)
"Swallow Song" – 2:16 (++++)
"Window Over the Bay" (Bunyan / Robert Lewis) – 1:47
"Rose Hip November" – 2:27 (+)
"Come Wind Come Rain" – 2:07 (++)
"Hebridean Sun" (Bunyan / Lewis) – 1:13
"Rainbow River" – 3:22 (++++)
"Trawlerman's Song" (Bunyan / Lewis) – 1:56
"Jog Along Bess" – 3:36 (+)
"Iris's Song for Us" (Bunyan / Wally Dix / Iris Macfarlane) – 1:33 (++)
"Love Song" – 1:58 (B-side to 1966 single "Train Song" produced by Peter Snell)
"I'd Like to Walk Around in Your Mind" – 2:15 (an unreleased 1967 Immediate Records acetate produced by Mike Hurst)
"Winter Is Blue" – 1:48 (an unreleased acetate from 1966, different from Tonite Let's All Make Love in London version) (+++)
"Iris's Song Version Two" (Bunyan / Wally Dix / Iris Macfarlane) – 2:31 (a 1969 alternative version from John Bunyan's tape)
All songs written by Vashti Bunyan, except where noted.
Vashti Bunyan: vocals, acoustic guitar.
Christopher Sykes: piano, organ.
John James: dulcitone.
Robin Williamson: fiddle, whistle, Irish Harp. +
Dave Swarbrick: fiddle, mandolin. ++
Simon Nicol: banjo. ++
Mike Crowther: guitar. +++
String and recorder arrangements by Robert Kirby. ++++