23 June 2021

Reupload - John Bryant - Tell Me What You See/ Poor Unfortunate Me


Rough and ready fuzz guitar ridden folk-rock 

Label: Fontana
Year of Release: 1965

We've touched on the work of John Bryant on this blog before, examining the ultra-obscure (£162 to you, squire) single "A Million Miles Away/ It's Dark", which was handed down to me from my parent's record collection. 

That particular single is a likeable and folky piece of work, with (as one reader pointed out to me) a flip that's very reminiscent of Cat Stevens. This single, however, was Bryant's Fontana debut and is an entirely different affair, being a distorted, snarling piece of folk-rock with distinctly Dylan leanings. Taking a very basic garage riff and piling surrealist lyrics on top ("clouds that move beneath the sea/ preachers dressed in leather") it's so beatnik it hurts - and is actually quite forward thinking for a British solo artist in 1965. Donovan might already have been around doing his best Bobby impressions, but he was seldom as rough and ready as this.

This may have been his (flop) debut single, but John Bryant actually enjoyed a long career in music after this, issuing further 45s for MCA, Polydor and Private Stock (the MCA single "I Bring The Sun" is a favourite of many collectors) only really ceasing recorded activities in 1978. He also wrote "Dear Old Mrs Bell" for The Shadows in 1968, and Cliff Richard recorded his track "She's a Gypsy".
These days he owns Abbeywood Films and the graphic design, animation and soundtrack firm Bryant Whittle, from where he's still penning music for commercial use.

If the preview below isn't working properly, please go straight to the source


Pete said...

You are doing an incredible job here! Thanks and keep it up.
Would like to ask, why so many re-uploads?

23 Daves said...

I try to keep the reuploads down to about one a fortnight, and it's usually to give a bit of an added bump to something I don't think enough people saw or listened to first time around, and also keeps the blog active with new entries at points where I don't really have new material to offer.

The older entries are also cursed with old codes or old links which either don't work anymore, or don't work well.

Pete said...

I see. Thanks for explaining!