Joy of a Toy is the debut solo album of Kevin Ayers, a founding member of Soft Machine. Its whimsical and unique vision is a clear indication of how Soft Machine might have progressed under Ayers' tenure. He is accompanied on the LP by his Soft Machine colleagues Robert Wyatt, Mike Ratledge and Hugh Hopper.
After a Soft Machine tour of the USA with the Jimi Hendrix Experience, Ayers had decided to retire from the music business. Hendrix however, presented Ayers with an acoustic Gibson J-200 guitar on the promise that he continue his songwriting. Ayers repaired to a small London flat where he composed and arranged a whole LP which was then presented to Malcolm Jones' fledgling Harvest label where it was recorded by Peter Jenner for the then exorbitant sum of £4000.
Joy Of A Toy features many of Ayers' most enduring songs from 'The Lady Rachel' to 'Girl On A Swing', the latter still, regularly covered by artists to this day like Candie Payne and The Ladybug Transistor. It was on Joy Of A Toy that Ayers developed his sonorous vocal delivery, an avant-garde song construction and an affection for bizarre instrumentation that would have a deep influence far into the 1970s and indeed the present day.
1. Joy of a Toy Continued 2:54
2. Town Feeling 4:54
3. The Clarietta Rag 3:20
4. Girl on a Swing 2:49
5. Song for Insane Times 4:00
6. Stop This Train (Again Doing It) 6:05
7. Eleanor's Cake (Which Ate Her) 2:53
8. The Lady Rachel 5:17
9. Oleh Oleh Bandu Bandong 5:35
10. All This Crazy Gift of Time 3:57
Bonus material on 2003 reissue:
11. Religious Experience 4:46
12. The Lady Rachael 6:42
13. Soon Soon Soon 3:23
14. Religious Experience 2:50
15. The Lady Rachael Single Version 4:51
16. Singing a Song in the Morning 2:52