Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Song(s) of the Day # 1,032 Nino Ferrer

Nino Ferrer was vaguely associated with the French Ye Ye movement in the sixties, when he started making records although already in his thirties, something of a poor man's Jacques Dutronc. Then he became something of a maverick. He quit the music scene in 1967 to move to Italy only to return a few years later having undergone something of a metamorphosis. This comes from his 'back to the land' 1972 album Nino & Radiah. A great record though I'm not at all sure about the wisdom of its album sleeve.

Still it's well worth unearthing. Much better known in its native France I imagine where Ferrer maintained his star status until his suicide in 1998, it's a proper pastoral curiosity, beautifully arranged and delivered.

Largely sung in English though this doesn't detract from its charms, in fact adding a layer of strangeness to proceedings. Supported throughout by Afro-American singer Radiah Frye and backed by the Lafayette Afro Rock Band who add considerable punch and muscle to proceedings. The royalties Ferrer earned from it allowed him to purchase a 15th century in the Quercy region and listening to this, you have to say it was well deserved.

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