Personnel: Vashti Bunyan (vocals, guitar); Robin Williamson (whistling, irish harp, fiddle); Mike Crowther (guitar); Simon Nicol (banjo); Dave Swarbrick (mandolin, fiddle).
Liner Note Author: Joe Boyd.
About five years after briefly surfacing as part of Andrew Loog Oldham's stable, Vashti -- now billing herself with her full name, Vashti Bunyan -- made her only album. A folkier and more serious-minded effort than her initial mid-'60s recordings, it is a pleasing yet overly dainty slice of British rock-tinged folk, produced by Joe Boyd. A certain similarity to some other acts under Boyd's supervision, such as the Incredible String Band and Fairport Convention, was assured by contributions from the ISB's Robin Williamson and Fairport's Dave Swarbrick and Simon Nicol. For good measure, there were string and recorder arrangements by Robert Kirby, who had done some string arrangements for Nick Drake, another Boyd-produced artist. Comprised solely of original material, Just Another Diamond Day contained dignified yet slightly sad ruminations with a pastoral, indeed rural feel, imbued with images of solitary meditations upon rain, wind, sunsets, and open fields. The drum-less, acoustic arrangements yielded an intimate ambience well-suited for Vashti's fragile, measured, almost despondently wispy vocals. These were rather in the manner of Marianne Faithfull's highest and most whispery early efforts, albeit with far folkier setting and more vivid lyrics. The CD reissue of this rarity (on Spinney) is enhanced by four bonus tracks that, with an oh-so-slight poppier bent, actually rate as the best material on the disc: the 1966 B-side "Love Song," a pair of unreleased 1966-1967 acetates, and a 1969 version of "Iris' Song" (to be redone as "Iris's Song for Us" on the LP). It's too bad, though, that the other three songs from her official 1965-1966 singles weren't added, as well, to make this a more complete retrospective. ~ Richie Unterberger
Spin (p.110) - "A female analogue to Nick Drake..."
Dirty Linen (p.59) - "[S]teeped in the clear, warm, childlike sunshine of the 60s....This is a rare gem of aching beauty."