Tymon Dogg - Battle Of Wills

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2 x CD

The original Y Records album with 13 bonus tracks, including rare and unreleased studio material and liner notes from Folk Roots editor Ian A Anderson.

Before hitting twenty, Tymon Dogg had made a single with pre-Led Zeppelin members Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones, recorded with Paul McCartney for Apple Records (running off with the tapes when he sensed they were 'too saccharine'), made a second single for The Moody Blues' label Threshold and then seemingly lost all faith in normal music business machinations.

So he wandered, busking at tube stations and encountering "Woody", who acted as Tymon's roadie and, when trade was slow, Tymon would teach him a few chords.

After being assaulted by police, Tymon won a £500 settlement, with which he recorded an album, singing and playing every instrument himself. Dwelling somewhere between avant-garde folk, Weimar cabaret and with an eerie sense of punk's D-I-Y ethos, the 1975 album failed to sell in appreciable numbers.


By then, "Woody" was known as Joe Strummer and had formed The 101'ers with Elgin Avenue friends and squat-mates. Tymon sporadically played songs with the band, including his "Dog Dirt On Your Shoe" (the only known recording of which is included here), a forerunner to punk expression if there ever were one.

Finding himself in NYC years later, Tymon was ushered into the studio by Mick Jones to record the first song completed for Sandinista!, "Lose This Skin", possibly the most polarising song on the album. Tymon became a de facto studio member of The Clash through Combat Rock and later joined The Mescaleros.

But in 1982, Tymon recorded Battle Of Wills, the last release on Dick O'Dell's Y Records, home to The Slits, Sun Ra, The Pop Group, Shriekback and others, reissued here with added studio rarities and a 1980 live set. The sole Tymon Dogg album released by an outside label, it got somewhat lost in the collapse of Y, yet it's a singular work: perfectly executed and fiercely unique. Tymon's vocals transcend the limits of 'rock' music, weaving their way through a seemingly disconnected array of parts - incongruous tabla, unsettlingly upfront violin parts, minimal folk drumming. It feels like an exemplar of some obscure, ages-old musical tradition rather than what it is - a conceptually original work by an artist of rare talent. Unavailable for forty years, the album has been expanded to include a seven-song 1980 live set and six rare studio tracks. With one exception, this extra material has never been available on vinyl, more than half of it was never released at all. Tymon's archives contain bountiful rare and unheard material, and this expanded edition of Battle Of Wills is the first of several planned archival releases.

Genre: Post Punk / New Wave