Vashti Bunyan

Vashti Bunyan is an English singer–songwriter who released two mid-sixties singles and the 1970 Philips album Just Another Diamond Day. Amid the 2000s acid-folk resurgence, vaulted Vashti sixties recordings surfaced on the archival double-disc Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind.


Early Life, Singles

She was born Jennifer Vashti Bunyan on March 2, 1945, in Newcastle upon Tyne; the youngest of three children borne to to John Bunyan and Helen (née Webber). They middle-named her Vashti after John’s boat and Helen’s nickname; taken from the Persian queen Vashti, the first wife of king Ahasuerus in the Book of Esther.

Jennifer studied at Oxford’s Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art and traveled at eighteen to New York, where the city’s folk scene inspired her musical path. In London, she met Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham, who produced her May 1965 Decca single “Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind” (b/w “I Want to Be Alone”), released under the mononym Vashti.

A. “Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind” (2:18) is a Jagger–Richards song first recorded as a February 1965 b-side by the American duo Dick & Dee Dee, an opening act on the Stones’ 1964 Californian tour.
B. “I Want to Be Alone” (2:51)

Vashti teamed with producer Peter Snell for her May 1966 second single “Train Song” (b/w “Love Song”) released on Columbia.

A. “Train Song” (2:15) is a Vashti co-write with British author Alasdair Clayre, whose translation of Jacques Brel’s (“The Dove”) inspired covers by Judy Collins and Joan Baez.
B .”Love Song” (1:59)

Also in 1966, Vashti cut an acetate of the original “Winter Is Blue,” which she later recut for the 1967 docu-film Tonite Lets All Make Love in London, a chronicle of ‘swinging London’ with a corresponding soundtrack that also features songs by Chris Farlowe, Pink Floyd, and Loog Oldham’s latest client Twice as Much, a folk-pop harmony duo signed to the manager’s new label Immediate Records. Vashti sings on the duo’s 1968 song “The Coldest Night of the Year” from their second album That’s All.

Winter Is Blue” (2:55)


Just Another Diamond Day

Vashti Bunyan released Just Another Diamond Day on December 20, 1970, on Philips. It features fourteen originals, including co-writes with organist John James (“Where I Like to Stand”) and boyfriend Robert Lewis (“Window Over the Bay,” “Hebridean Sun,” “Trawlerman’s Song”).

1. “Diamond Day” (1:47)
2. “Glow Worms” (2:16)
3. “Lily Pond” (1:24)
4. “Timothy Grub” (3:15)
5. “Where I Like to Stand” (2:21)
6. “Swallow Song” (2:16)
7. “Window Over the Bay” (1:47)

8. “Rose Hip November” (2:27)
9. “Come Wind Come Rain” (2:07)
10. “Hebridean Sun” (1:13)
11. “Rainbow River” (3:22)
12. “Trawlerman’s Song” (1:56)
13. “Jog Along Bess” (3:36)
14. “Iris’s Song for Us” (1:33) Bunyan, Wally Dix, Iris Macfarlane 

Recorded November–December 1969
Studio Sound Techniques, London
Joe Boyd – producer, liner notes
Jerry Boys – engineer

Vashti Bunyan – vocals, acoustic guitar, recorder (4)
Christopher Sykes – piano (4, 13), organ (8)
John James – dulcitone (3, 8), organ (5)
Robin Williamson – fiddle, whistle, Irish harp (3, 8, 13)
Dave Swarbrick – fiddle, mandolin (5, 9, 14)
Simon Nicol – banjo (5, 9)
Mike Crowther – guitar (17)
Robert Kirby – string and recorder arrangements (1, 6, 11), trumpet (7)
John James – cover art


Discography:

  • “Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind” / “I Want to Be Alone” (1965 • Vashti)
  • “Train Song” / “Love Song” (1966 • Vashti)
  • Just Another Diamond Day (1970)
  • Some Things Just Stick in Your Mind – Singles and Demos 1964 to 1967 (2007)

Sources:

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