Kendra Steiner Editions (Bill Shute)

August 18, 2020

Fading Yellow, Volume 1

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 12:22 am
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fading yellow 1


Hard to believe it’s almost 20 years since the first CD compilation in the seminal FADING YELLOW popsike compilation series (an LP came out in the 1990’s prior to the CD’s). I reviewed a volume in Ugly Things magazine a while back and then reviewed the most recent entry, Volume 17, here on the KSE blog a while back. You can read that write-up here:

Here is a key section from that, in case you are unfamiliar with the FY series: Curating compilations is truly a complex art–a quality compiler with a consistent aesthetic and a knowledge of deep tracks that others have overlooked can create a masterwork from songs that, taken individually, might not blow anyone away. Through sixteen volumes, the Fading Yellow (the name taken from a Mike Batt song on the first volume) series has staked out a unique territory–not really psychedelic, though with some trippy elements; not really sunshine pop, though with some elements from that genre too. There tends to be a moody, melancholy feel to the best tracks on these albums, and even when the series moves too far into the 1970’s and some of the pieces sound like groups such as America or England Dan & John Ford Coley, those tracks tend to complement the overall atmosphere of the album and provide a change of pace among the trippier tracks that helps create a varied mosaic of sound that’s instantly recognizable as a Fading Yellow comp. The albums can transport you to a place where you are looking upon a field of flowers illuminated by moonlight at 2 a.m., with a mellow wine buzz….assuming that’s what you want!

While I (literally!) keep my FADING YELLOW CD’s on the same shelf as my SOFT SOUNDS FOR GENTLE PEOPLE comps, FY has a unique and consistent aesthetic….SOFT SOUNDS tends to go more for kitschy West Coast faux-psych, while FY tends to go more for trippy late 60’s (and eventually early 70’s) singer-songwriters or florid studio-pop that could have been played at a record-label press-party announcing the release of, say, The Yardbirds’ LITTLE GAMES or the Bee Gees’s ODESSA (if you get my drift), but there is also an appealingly eclectic quality to the series so those generalities don’t really hold when you look at the entire series. Certainly, anyone who enjoys Steve Stanley’s NOW SOUNDS internet radio show or Andrew Sandoval’s COME TO THE SUNSHINE will appreciate the FADING YELLOW series. I certainly do, and every year I bring a stack of FADING YELLOW CD’s with me when I go on my poetry writing vacations (as I did just last week!) because you can’t get much more “atmospheric” than Fading Yellow (I also have allusions to lyrics of some of the songs in some poems, for you trainspotters our there and for future scholars to unpack).

So, here is VOLUME 1 from the Fading Yellow series for you, from You Tube. It should play the songs in order. This is the volume that started it all! There is a primarily UK orientation here (volumes would often alternate their focus….one volume would be UK/Europe, the next would be North American, etc., though some mix that up), though the net is cast wide enough to include Ronnie Bird (from France) and the Aerovans (Americans who recorded in the UK in a very British style).

Put it on while you are doing something around the house….and then repeat it, and you may well be hooked….

note: some of the songs on the original CD have been deleted on You Tube (no doubt due to rights issues…..these comps are not authorized and are more visible on You Tube than on the “private pressing” CD’s distributed through specialist dealers), so I’ve deleted them from the line-up below–you can tell from the missing numbers.


Fading Yellow Vol. 1
Timeless Pop-Sike and Other Delights

CD version originally released 2002.

• • • • •

1. Kate – “Strange Girl” (3:04)
2. Dean Ford and the Gaylords – “That Lonely Feeling” (2:41)
3. Eddy Howell – “Easy Street” (3:01)
4. Mike Batt – “Fading Yellow” (3:45)
5. Steff Sulke – “Oh, What a Lovely Day” (3:04)
6. John Williams – “Flowers in Your Hair” (2:42)
7. Zephyrs – “I Just Can’t Take It” (2:31)
8. Jon – “Is It Love” (2:52)
9. Koobas – “Woe Is Love My Dear” (2:27)
10. Orange Bicycle – “Competition” (2:40)
11. Gremlins – “The Only Thing On My Mind” (2:06)
12. Quintin E. Klopjaeger & the Gonks – “The Long Way Home” (2:28)

16. Paul & Barry Ryan – “Madrigal” (2:17)
17. Phil Cordell – “Red Lady” (2:25)
18. Ronnie Bird – “Sad Soul” (2:52)
19. Ronnie Bird – “Raining in the City” (2:37)
20. Elliots Sunshine – “‘Cos I’m Lonely” (3:08)
21. Peter Janes – “Do You Believe (Love Is Built on a Dream)” (2:54)
22. Bliss – “Lifetime” (2:47)

24. Members of Time – “Dreamin'” (2:38)
25. Aerovons – “World of You” (2:24)



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