Listen: Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes / Kevin Ayers
Although never quite as excited when older songs would re-grace a 7″ based on reissue packages, this was an exception. Not as common these days, but in the 70′s, several bands found a stronger footing a bit down the career road. At the time, the periods between original and repackage felt like generations, but in hindsight they were only a few short years.
In the case of Kevin Ayers & The Whole World, the band’s third single, ‘Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes’ / ‘Star’ was originally released as Harvest 5042 in early ’71. Fast forward five years and ‘Stranger In Blue Suede Shoes’, a featured track on ODD DITTIES, a hitless greatest hits type compilation loosely celebrating his return to the Harvest label after a few singles and albums for Island, graces the market to promote the project.
By now the label copy was only crediting Kevin Ayers, and his credibility high via associations with John Cale and Nico. Thread in The Velvet Underground and all the punks immediately respect you. Boom. Plan.
Thing was, the appreciation was more than justified. He and his band made four nearly flawless albums for Harvest initially. And so his return to the label and promise of greatness to come was plenty of reason to tell the world of brand new ears all about his catalog highlights. I couldn’t get my hands on this 7″ fast enough.
Listen: Fake Mexican Tourist Blues / Kevin Ayers
In those days, you often knew only of a UK single’s existence and one would anxiously await the post to turn up with that special ordered copy, or a local import shop may stock a few. They usually catered to albums as opposed to 7′s though. And no one but me was buying a Kevin Ayers single, hence the special order process necessity.
Well I was thrilled when this one arrived. The real charge being being the B side ‘Fake Mexican Tourist Blues’. Known amongst his rabid followers, like me, as a must hear unreleased track from his WHATEVERSHEBRINGSWESING album sessions, you could say the five year wait was worth it. Lyrically hysterical, almost faux reggae. Expect the unexpected from Kevin Ayers every time and you won’t be let down.
Into the double sider hall of fame this one went forever.