Sunday, 1 April 2012

Rheinallt H. Rowlands - Tair Blynedd ar Ddeg (1993)


Between 1991 and 2001, Rheinallt H. Rowlands released three full length albums (one appearing in two different forms) and an EP as well as appearing on various compilations. The rarest Rheinallt release however (and one of the rarest releases by anybody!) was Tair Blynedd ar Ddeg, a unique one-off release made specially for BBC Radio Cymru's cult late night programme Heno Bydd yr Adar yn Canu, hosted by the DJ Nia Mellville. The recordings were broadcast on the show, but the sole copy of the release presumably still lies in Nia Mellville's private collection. We do however have the actual recordings, together with a photographic record of the packaging and a copy of the original accompanying press release, which is reproduced below. Also included in the post is a bonus track - a rare and radically different alternative version of the track Pethau which was to appear on Rheinallt's debut album Hendaid BrĂ¢n a Straeon Eraill.


27/01/93 SLATE 13
Rheinallt H Rowlands - Tair Blynedd ar Ddeg

A Limited edition (one copy only) DAT in special presentation box with exclusive inserts. Comprises three exclusive songs specially recorded for the popular radio programme "Heno Bydd yr Adar yn Canu". These songs will not subsequently appear on Rheinallt's forthc
oming LP, provisionally scheduled for May release.

A word from the chairman:

It gives me great pleasure to be able to bring you this very special release. I have very much enjoyed working with Rheinallt H. Rowlands over the past months on the eleven songs that are to make up his debut LP and at a recent label-artist meeting, I put it to Mr Rowlands that it might be quite fun to record something special for the radio programme "Heno Bydd yr Adar yn Canu", on which he received his first airplay. Upon throwing the meeting open to suggestions, Rheinallt told me a very moving story that eventually led to the idea for this project.

On May the 17th 1980, the quarry where Rheinallt had been working for the previous thirteen years was forced to close, making all the workers redundant. Despondent almost to the point of suicide, Rheinallt walked the thirteen miles back to his isolated cottage for the final time and sat down in his old wooden chair with a bowl of broth. Finding the silence unbearable, he turned on the old valve radio and, fumbling to tune it to the Home Service, he inadverten
tly came across the John Peel programme on Radio One. Rheinallt would not normally have paused for more than a second on such new-fangled nonsense, but on this occasion the voice that came from his crackly speaker was so deeply mournful it seemed to have a special resonance with his current state of mind. When the record finished, Rheinallt heard that the voice was that of Ian Curtis of the then popular group Joy Division and that he had committed suicide that very day. Far from deepening Rheinallt's depression, this news brought a profound inspiration to him, and he decided that moment that he would forge a new career as a popular singer. The rest, as they say, is history.

We realised at once that this year was the thirteenth anniversary of those events - the same length of time as Rheinallt worked in the quarry - and it seemed appropriate to record some kind of tribute to the man who provided the original inspiration for Rheinallt's career. The three interpretations on this release are just that, and take on a new resonance due to th
e recent demise of Factory Records, who released the original recordings. A further coincidence appeared when I came to assign a serial number to the project and realised we had now got up to SLATE 13! I hope these unique recordings touch you as deeply as they did me.



Rheinallt H Rowlands - Tair Blynedd ar Ddeg

1 Degawdau (Decades)
2 Awyrgylch (Atmosphere)
3 Gwawr Newydd Yn Cilio (New Dawn Fades)
bonus track:
4 Pethau (Alternative Version)

1-3 by Curtis/Hook/Morris/Sumner, 4 by Rowlands

get it here

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