After finding a copy in a recent collection here at eil.com, get to know the hidden Billy Fay gem, Time of the Last Persecution.
Fay joined Deram in the late sixties, and released two albums in 1970 and 1971, respectively. Time of the Last Persecution was the second of these albums, but did not sell well, resulting in the label dropping him shortly after. For many years after, the album would become part of psych-folk lore and reach an almost mythical status.
The album would be mentioned in a similar vein to Nick Drake’s majestic 1971 album, Bryter Layter, and Vashti Bunyan’s stunning debut, Just Another Diamond Day. Only a a handful of people would be aware of Fay’s music, garnering him cult status among London muso’s, until it Time.. was reissued nearly 30 years later.
Musically, it is a very light album, built around delicate melodic intricacies. For the narrative. Fay would draw inspiration from the biblical books of Daniel and Revelation. Coming off the back of the hippie movement, the album was a stark contrast to the messages of peace and love that had become commonplace, warning of judgement despair.
Time of the Last Persecution would, like many unsung folk albums from the time, go on to become revered long after the fact. It has served as an inspiration to a number of artists, notably Wilco, and regular Sonic Youth collaborator, Jim O’Rourke.
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