Back to 180Gram

John Fahey : The Yellow Princess


Fahey recorded this 1969 LP before his eccentricities had gotten the better of him, and he launches into this acoustic set with guitar rhythms that chug along like old American Mid-Western cross-country steam locomotives. It’s a pleasant journey to take, rattling along with the odd surprising flourish to mark the way, a random piece of dissonance to keep you awake and, above all, a reassurance that you’re in safe hands. From hammock-swinging relaxation to high energy tension, Fahey leads you through safely to the end. Fans of Leo Kottke should apply immediately. Fahey, who died in 2001, may have been a barmpot – but we miss him.

In stock


AllMusic Review by Eugene Chadbourne
This particular John Fahey side is a personal favorite of many of his devout fans for several reasons. And although such a judgment is tough, if one were looking to own only one album by this unique guitarist, The Yellow Princess could be the one. The recording sound is among the best of his many releases; at the proper volume, the effect is as if one had taken up residency inside the sound hole of a giant acoustic guitar. The program of pieces is marvelously emotional and varied, with many moments of precisely stated harmonies moving at courageously slow tempos. The second piece on the first side, “View (East from the Top of the Riggs Road/B&O Trestle),” is surely one of his masterpieces, on a par with Charles Ives for musical Americana. It is a great bonus to have liner notes by the artist, some of the best and most absurd text he ever came up with. Yet another reason this is one of Fahey’s top sides is it allows a chance to hear one of his few collaborations with other musicians. Several members of the fine rock group Spirit are present, along with drummer Kevin Kelley, for several lovely pieces, including “March! For Martin Luther King,” a remarkably heartfelt tribute that could have gone on much longer. Taped sounds and electronic effects on “The Singing Bridge of Memphis, Tennessee” certainly predict the noisier stuff Fahey would get into in the later part of his career.


The Yellow Princess
View (East From The Top Of The Riggs Road/ B & O trestle)
March! For Martin Luther King
The Singing Bridge of Memphis, Tennessee
Dance Of The Inhabitants Of The Invisible City Of Bladesburg
Charles A. Lee: In Memoriam
Irish Setter
Commemorative Transfiguration and Communion at Magruder Park


Additional information

Weight 0.480 kg
Dimensions 32.0 × 32.0 × 2.0 cm