The Dandelion Years 1969-1972

Kevin Coyne

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The Dandelion Years 1969-1972 Review

by Dave Thompson

Three CDs round up Kevin Coyne's entire Dandelion label catalog, and do so in a way that cannot help but send you searching for his later (and better-known) Virgin catalog. Never a stranger to the phrase "tortured genius," the songs here largely reflect on Coyne's career working in a mental institution; not in a direct manner, of course, but with an eye for the extremes of the human condition that few other songwriters ever, focused on. The albums Siren, Strange Locomotion, and Case History are here, covering Coyne's output between 1969-1972; the former two cut with the band Siren, while there is also a look back at Clague, the partnership he formed with guitarist David Clague, and which produced a pair of oddball singles in 1969. Both are included here as bonus tracks, while Case History is likewise bolstered by the inclusion of the "Cheat Me"/"Flowering Cherry" single that was Coyne's solo debut. Raw production and a scratchy blues demeanor highlight the two Siren albums; Case History is more in keeping with Coyne's later acoustic direction. But all three make fine bedfellows all the same, with this budget-priced package easily ranked among the most essential Coyne purchases of them all.

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