Kurt Van Arsdel – Golden Loneliness
Private press californian gospel LP from 1981. On the back cover Van Arsdel looked so much like the bearded Dennis Wilson that I had to give it a spin. I know this is the first pressing because it says so on the label, helpful. You can google Kurt van Arsdel and find his webpage, but it isn’t really helpful or forthcoming with information. My copy once belonged to Mike and Brenda Cornell, I know this because Kurt van Arsdel wrote a letter and prayer to this couple all over the front cover and on a sheet of paper that still resides in the LP jacket to this day. It always amazes me how a record such as this could find it’s way to New Zealand and I kind of wish I knew it’s travels. This LP came from Wisconsin to Auckland though, so at least I know the last part of it’s journey. Recorded at Mel’s Sound Of Music, 3148 1/2 Colima Rd, Hacienda Heights, CA 91745. For a private press you sure get a lot of info, all the musicians are credited etc. This LP is actually a million times better than I would’ve expected. Nice swirling songs, full of washy metaphors, fingerpicked acoustic guitar, laid back vocals, nice female backing vocals, understated drums, synth string pads. Really nice in a late seventies folky, soft rock/pop kind of way. The melter though is the very last track “Lights”, which is the only rocker on the whole record, distorted guitar, yearning vocals, totally out of step with the rest of this, actually kind of beautiful, record. Unexpectedly great stuff, undoubtedly with a story to go along with it all.