DAVID BEDFORD The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner (1975)

The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner (1975)
Weird Scenes Inside The Gold Mine

Remember this one? I was a Kevin Ayers fan back in the day, so I was warm to David Bedford’s work before his name became known for his orchestral adaptation of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells in 1975. When The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner hit the stores, looking all creepy and conceptual, with Oldfield’s name on front and Virgin Records’ name on back, it was only a matter of time before it was homeward bound. And, like many a 70s concept LP, it pretty much sat on the shelf for the next decade, next to those Bo Hansson and Alan Parsons conceits. Give Bedford credit, his work is unique and this album’s avant leanings, spacial surrounds and sober narration is a stylish listen. It won’t shake your windows and rattle your walls, but… it’s a spooky experience. Hear an excerpt from the beginning of Pt. II. Thanks to gribovar for this one. Amazon‘s got it.

The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, Part I (20:32)
The Rime Of The Ancient Mariner, Part II (20:38)


  • Willard
    July 29, 2011 - 08:10 | Permalink

    Search HERE

  • Steward
    July 29, 2011 - 09:12 | Permalink

    Nice to hear this again. I got into this through Mike Oldfield, so it also led to Bedford’s “The Odyssey” and “Star’s End”

    • Willard
      July 29, 2011 - 09:15 | Permalink

      I’m ashamed to say I never followed up on Bedford’s work. Too busy buying Eddie & The Hot Rods singles, or something. What are the two you mentioned like?

  • Steward
    July 29, 2011 - 10:12 | Permalink

    “Odyssey” is a bit more accessible than “Rime” or “Star’s End”, sounds more like Mike Oldfield’s other work during that time. It’s a musical interpretation of Homer’s “Odyssey”, eight or so shortish pieces. Interesting use of a bunch of rubbed wine glasses in one, rather eerie. It came after “Rime”

    “Star’s End” is more in the avant garde classical vein, two side log pieces, rather dissonant, full orchestra with punctuation by Oldfield’s guitar. It came before “rime”.

    And then there’s “Nurses Song with Elephants”, which predates all of the others, and is even more out there. I think I’ve listened to it once since I bought it in a cutout bin 30+ years ago.

    • Willard
      July 29, 2011 - 10:49 | Permalink

      Cool, thanks. I’ll probably check some out. I like John Taverner’s stuff (The Whale and one other I forget), and like avant stuff in general. This album, The Rime, I thought was kinda meandering. It didn’t strike a nerve in the old days, even though I’ve always liked the atmosphere.

  • Steward
    July 29, 2011 - 10:16 | Permalink

    Heh. Come to think of it, this album inspired me to read the actual Coleridge poem.

    • Willard
      July 29, 2011 - 10:47 | Permalink

      You’re one up on me.

  • July 29, 2011 - 11:03 | Permalink

    For many years when I walked into a record store (remember those?), I’d go to the A’s and look for Kevin Ayers. From what they had, or didn’t, I could tell what kind of depth I was dealing with.
    Next stop: Roy Harper. Both artists worked with David Bedford. One of my favorite recordings of all time can be found on his “Nurses Song With Elephants”(1972), the surreal and sublime “Some Bright Stars For Queens College”, a piece written for 80 girls voices and 27 plastic pipe twirlers.
    Out there doesn’t begin to describe it.
    As usual, nice post.

    • Willard
      July 29, 2011 - 12:12 | Permalink

      I know exactly what you mean. I had a couple of benchmarks myself, but I can’t remember them to save my life. But, thanks for the info on “Some Bright Stars…” I’ll probably start there. I’m always up for the unusual or absurd.

  • July 29, 2011 - 23:57 | Permalink

    I do love long form concept albums like Ommadawn and Thick As A Brick, so I’ll have to check this one out.

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