18/4/17 – Kevin Ayers featuring Nico – The Confessions Of Doctor Dream A) Irreversible Neural Damage – 1974

Released in May 1974, this was Ayers first album for Island records after four albums for Harvest. He only stayed at Island for one more album before returning to Harvest for another three and then, well, the eighties came.

Thought of as one of his most accessible records (they all sound accessible to me) and featuring the introduction of the amazing Ollie Halsall (ex Patto) who became faithful to Ayers for the next 20 years. There’s so much to write about Ayers, Halsall and all his collaborators including John Cale, Mike Oldfield and on the album,  Rupert Hine, Michael Giles, Mike Ratledge, Lol Coxhill, Steve Nye, John Gustafson (ex Big Three, Merseybeats, Roxy, Hard Stuff, Ian Gillan Band etc), oh my God the bassist on this album has three volumes of history by himself.

But the recent posts have been about duets and side 2 of this album opens with The Confessions Of Doctor Dream A) Irreversible Neural Damage. Excuse the abrupt ending on the YouTube audio but on the album it flows into the next part, that would be Part B! The whole album is posted below but if you listen to it on Spotify it has no gap. In fact just go and buy the record.

The track is that wonderful thing, accessibly weird. From the opening guitar spiral repeating echo of Ollie Halsall to the introduction of an approaching keyboard and reverse effects weirding out the vocals of first Ayers then Nico. Taking it in turns and then singing together this is some of my favourite music.

If you want to know what Julian Cope thought of this album go here: