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Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 1997 | Fantasy Records

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
A strange man, John Fahey, with an unusual set of guitar styles. This album, originally released on Riverboat Records and later reissued by Fahey's own Takoma label, has a lot of rough edges in terms of the recording but a tremendous amount of power when it comes to the music. Fahey was at the top of his game, alternately playful and dark, so there's never a dull moment. There is always something new to be heard on each playing. ~ Steven McDonald
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Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 1996 | Fantasy Records

The saga of Blind Joe Death is an extremely confusing one, for those listeners who haven't been following Fahey's career from the beginning. In short: Fahey originally recorded Blind Joe Death in 1959, in an extremely rare, self-released edition of less than 100 copies. Though few heard it, his debut album was a groundbreaker on the acoustic folk scene in its unusually experimental approach to blues and folk styles, though its innovations sound relatively tame when compared to the best of Fahey's subsequent work. Fahey reissued the album in 1964 on Takoma, re-recording some of the cuts, and dropping one selection ("West Coast Blues"). In 1967, when the album was issued for the stereo market, Fahey re-recorded the entire album from scratch, resulting in performances of the exact same new material, but with improved fidelity and technique. This reissue does us all a mammoth favor by combining the 1964 and 1967 editions of the album (which, to make matters more confusing, bore the exact same catalog number, Takoma 1002) onto one 75-minute disc. A previously unreleased 1964 version of "West Coast Blues," a song which had been on the 1959 edition of Blind Joe Death but was left off subsequent configurations, is added as a bonus cut. Completists should note that this is not the final word in the Blind Joe Death saga. Several of the versions originally presented on the 1959 album that were re-recorded for both the 1964 and 1967 remakes are still absent, for space reasons and because the compilers themselves feel that the later renditions are notably superior. Still, it's a near-definitive package of the important Blind Joe Death material, with extensive historical liner notes explaining the circumstances that gave rise to its various incarnations. ~ Richie Unterberger
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Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 2006 | Vanguard Records

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Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 2006 | Vanguard Records

This particular John Fahey side is a personal favorite of many of his devout fans for several reasons. And although such a judgment is tough, if one were looking to own only one album by this unique guitarist, The Yellow Princess could be the one. The recording sound is among the best of his many releases; at the proper volume, the effect is as if one had taken up residency inside the sound hole of a giant acoustic guitar. The program of pieces is marvelously emotional and varied, with many moments of precisely stated harmonies moving at courageously slow tempos. The second piece on the first side, "View (East from the Top of the Riggs Road/B&O Trestle)," is surely one of his masterpieces, on a par with Charles Ives for musical Americana. It is a great added bonus to have liner notes by the artist, some of the best and most absurd text he ever came up with. Yet another reason this is one of Fahey's top sides is it allows a chance to hear one of his few collaborations with other musicians. Several members of the fine rock group Spirit are present, along with drummer Kevin Kelley, for several lovely pieces, including "March! For Martin Luther King," a remarkably heartfelt tribute that could have gone on much longer. Taped sounds and electronic effects on "The Singing Bridge of Memphis, Tennessee" certainly predict the more noisy stuff Fahey would get into in the later part of his career. ~ Eugene Chadbourne

Classical - Released February 2, 2018 | Cult Legends

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Ambient/New Age - Released October 28, 2016 | Concord Records, Inc. (UMG Account)

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Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 1999 | Concord Records

The title The Dance of Death and Other Plantation Favorites might lead some to believe that this is a collection of public-domain items that go back to the Deep South of the 19th century. However, while this 1964 session does contain a song titled "Dance of Death," most of the material (including that tune) was written by Fahey himself in the early '60s. So an intriguing title is simply that: an intriguing title. Nonetheless, Fahey's music does have strong southern roots. Unaccompanied, the acoustic guitarist/instrumentalist demonstrates his love of African-American blues as well as the Anglo-American country, folk, and hillbilly music of Appalachia. This is essentially a folk album, but a folk album with strong country and blues leanings; in fact, numbers like "Worried Blues" and "Revelation on the Banks of the Pawtuxent" incorporate the slide guitar technique that came from Mississippi Delta blues. Not that Fahey limits himself to American influences -- Appalachian music is a descendent of British, Scottish, and Irish music, and Fahey is hardly unaware this. Further, Indian raga is an influence on the Fahey piece "On the Banks of the Owchita." This album makes it clear that even back in 1964 Fahey was quite original. ~ Alex Henderson
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Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 2007 | Vanguard Records

Though John Fahey cut only three records for Vanguard between 1966 and 1969 (he cut a slew for his own Takoma label as well) , some of his most adventurous -- and some would say maddening -- work is here. Vanguard Visionaries compiles ten cuts from the latter two of these LPs, 1967's Requia & Other Compositions for Guitar Solo, and 1969's Yellow Princess. From the former, some listeners will be either gratified or horrified to know that all four parts of "Requiem for Molly" -- a 20-minute composition for acoustic guitar and electronic tape montage with the manipulation of found sounds -- is here, as is the beautiful and moving "Requiem for John Hurt." The other five cuts from Yellow Princess, represent Fahey's "American Primitive" trademark guitar style, full of its mode and stylistic changes all though repetition and rhythmic shifts. These cuts, serve, as well as any, the mannerisms of Fahey's playing on his earlier Takoma recordings. That said, he is forever unpredictable, no matter how often one hears these songs. His playing is simply the element of imagination and surprise itself. While it's true that "Requiem for Milly," may be off-putting for those looking for a real introduction to Fahey, this is his earliest experimentation with the electronic sounds he explored a great deal more in his later career, and stands as a singular moment in his catalog. ~ Thom Jurek
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Jazz - Released January 1, 1981 | Concord Records

John Fahey was well known as a perfectionist who played concerts for over two decades without releasing a live album. It was therefore something of a surprise when he not only recorded a full album in front of an audience, but did so at a concert booked on four days notice, at a hall he had never seen much less checked for acoustics, and with almost all material written on the spur of the moment. Fahey hadn't even planned on visiting Tasmania, but during an Australian concert tour he got drunk on an airplane flight and decided on the spur of the moment that he wanted to record an album there. A hall was booked, an audience rounded up, and the resulting show was recorded. The results were fantastic. The notoriously unpredictable Fahey was in a cheerful mood, playing an outstanding set and genially favoring the audience with a rambling monologue about the strangeness of finding Tasmania less wild and esoteric than he expected. A thoughtful version of "Waltzing Matilda" was a predictable crowd-pleaser, but so were more, er, esoteric pieces like "The Approaching of the Disco Void." The transcendent moment of this album, and one of the finest pieces of Fahey's career, is "Indian-Pacific R.R. Blues," a complex work that has elements of ragtime, blues, and Americana strung together into a magical whole. It was a marvelous gift to an audience that had probably never heard of him five days before, and it is fortunate indeed that this concert was not merely recorded, but captured brilliantly so that not a note was lost. ~ Richard Foss
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Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 1987 | New Rounder

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1996 | Fantasy Records

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Ambient/New Age - Released October 28, 2016 | Concord Records, Inc. (UMG Account)

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Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 1986 | New Rounder

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Ambient/New Age - Released January 1, 1983 | New Rounder

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Jazz - Released January 1, 1998 | Fantasy Records

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Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 2002 | Concord Records, Inc.

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Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 1984 | New Rounder

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Ambient/New Age - Released January 1, 2013 | Concord Records, Inc.

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Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 1975 | Fantasy Records

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