Electric Eden: Unearthing Britain's Visionary Music
Rob Young investigates how the idea of folk has been handed down and transformed by successive generations - song collectors, composers, Marxist revivalists, folk-rockers, psychedelic voyagers, free festival-goers, experimental pop stars and electronic innovators. In a sweeping panorama of Albion's soundscape that takes in the pioneer spirit of Cecil Sharp; the pastoral classicism of Ralph Vaughan Williams and Peter Warlock; the industrial folk revival of Ewan MacColl and A. L. Lloyd; the folk-rock of Fairport Convention, Sandy Denny, Nick Drake, Shirley Collins, John Martyn and Pentangle; the bucolic psychedelia of The Incredible String Band, The Beatles and Pink Floyd; the acid folk of Comus, Forest, Mr Fox and Trees; 'The Wicker Man' and occult folklore; the early Glastonbury and Stonehenge festivals; and the visionary pop of Kate Bush, Julian Cope and Talk Talk, "Electric Eden" maps out a native British musical voice that reflects the complex relationships between town and country, progress and nostalgia, radicalism and conservatism. An attempt to isolate the 'Britishness' of British music - a wild combination of pagan echoes, spiritual quest, imaginative time-travel, pastoral innocence and electrified creativity - "Electric Eden" will be treasured by anyone interested in the tangled story of Britain's folk music and Arcadian dreams.
A groundbreaking history of more than a century of music making in the British Isles.
"Rob Young's ambitious "Electric Eden" presents a flip side to the well-known story of the evolution of electric rock in Britain in the 1960s, a story of the rediscovery of England's native folk music in the early 20th century by the likes of William Morris and Cecil Sharp, who went from town to town recording and notating the music that would hold great sway with those musicians who became associated with England's less loud, more earthy music--the likes of Vashti Bunyan, Davy Graham, The Incredible String Band, Pentangle, Fairport Convention and Sandy Denny, Richard Thompson, John Martyn, John Renbourn, Bert Jansch, Nick Drake, and many others would each deploy traditional folk music to their own ends in various recombinant ways, writing new songs laced with the idealism of the exploding sixties youth culture, while paying homage to the spirit and traditions of old. Eventually the tide of this music swelled to inspire some of the most influential names in electric rock, from the Beat