Kevin Ayers & The Whole World: Kevin Ayers, Mike Oldfield (vocals, guitar, bass); Lol Coxhill (saxophone); David Bedford (piano, organ); Mick Fincher (drums).
Additional personnel: Bridget St. John (vocals); Robert Wyatt, The Whole World Chorus.
SHOOTING AT THE MOON, originally released in 1970, was Kevin Ayers's second solo album after leaving the Soft Machine, and his first recorded with his touring band of the moment, Kevin Ayers & the Whole World. Retrospectively, of course, this band became somewhat legendary, as Ayers's primary collaborators were reedsman Lol Coxhill and an 18-year-old whiz-kid guitarist named Mike Oldfield, both of whom later went on to much bigger things. But even on its own merits, SHOOTING AT THE MOON is one of Ayers' finest albums. Lacking the faux-naif persona of his solo debut, JOY OF A TOY, and recording with a full band for the first time since the Soft Machine's first album, Ayers creates challenging, compelling music that doesn't stint on his trademark whimsy.