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Kevin Coyne


Back when Virgin Records was seen as a champion of underground music in the early 1970s, they signed Kevin Coyne. Even amidst the avant-garde Jazz Rock of labelmates Henry Cow and Robert Wyatt, Coyne's music seemed different. His distinct, yawping vocal style and lyrics that embraced the disenfranchised and insane are best exemplified on Case History (1971) and Marjory Razorblade (1973). These folk-based records drew heavily upon Coyne's work with the mentally unstable and showcased his raw, Country Blues-inspired vocals. His work grew more sophisticated throughout the '70s; at one point he had future Police guitarist Andy Summers as part of his touring group. He was also an influence on the nascent Punk rock movement, and he found a suitable musical counterpart with former Slapp Happy vocalist Dagmar Krause in '79. His criminally ignored body of work has grown throughout the '80s and '90s. Given the amount of critical praise heaped on similar skewed artists such as Syd Barrett and Skip Spence, a Kevin Coyne reappraisal is overdue.
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