Search Results for:

EARTH RECORDINGS

Various Artists

The Ballad Of Shirley Collins

    Widely regarded as the 20th century’s most important singer of English traditional song, Shirley Collins is someone who was born to invoke the old songs. Alongside her sister Dolly, she stood at the epicenter of the folk music revival during the 1960s and ‘70s. But in 1980 she developed a disorder of the vocal chords known as dysphonia, which robbed her of her unique singing voice and forced her into early retirement. The Ballad Of Shirley Collins – which premiered at last year’s London Film Festival – tells this story, though to reduce it to that single aspect does everyone (not least of all Shirley!) something of a disservice. The story proves itself to be something of a time-travelling Transatlantic road-movie of sorts, utilising a motherlode of archive audio to recount the tale of her seminal 1959 song-collecting trip around America’s Deep South alongside her then-lover (and legendary ethnomusicologist) Alan Lomax.

    As well as these songs (notably Alabama Sacred Harp Convention, Texas Gladden and Sidney Hemphill-Carter) there are more recent offerings, a home recording of Shirley’s sister Dolly Collins, and a BBC session from 1958, “Eight Five Spiritual” which gets its first release, some 60 years after it was recorded. Shirley Collins spent her life in song. Even during her time without her performing voice she was telling the stories of others’ music. Not once has she dropped the baton in keeping these songs, these stories, these people alive. The soundtrack to ‘The Ballad Of Shirley Collins’ – though diverse – showcases just a fraction of the facets that make up an extraordinary career by anyone’s standards. Deliberately eschewing a straightforward biopic approach, Rob Curry and Tim Plester’s follow-up to their award-winning documentary WAY OF THE MORRIS, is a lyrical response to the life-and-times of this totemic musical figure. Granted intimate access to recording sessions for Shirley’s first album of new recordings in almost four decades, and featuring contributions from the comedian Stewart Lee and David Tibet of Current 93, what emerges is a meditative and carefully textured piece of portraiture. A timely delve into the arterial blood, loam and tears of our haunted island nation. The film was released in October and has played more than 50 venues to date. December brings the last few screenings, before a major new wave of activity in January. January 9th is the date to look out for, with the film showing at around 30 venues across the country. 

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    Coloured LP Info: Pink vinyl LP

    Coloured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

    Bert Jansch

    A Man I'd Rather Be (Part 2)

      A Man I’d Rather Be' (Part II) comprises Jansch’s late ’60s and early ’70s output, an under-rated era, no doubt influenced by the now well-established Pentangle sound. Bandmates Danny Thompson (bass) and Terry Cox (drums) regularly feature among the musicians as well as cameo appearances by Mary Hopkin, Toni Visconti and Dave Mattacks. In this period we see Jansch’s take on pop (Nicola), blues (Birthday Blues funnily enough), handsome arrangements (Rosemary Lane) and barque folk (Moonshine).

      All of this being conjured during a time when Pentangle was simultaneously releasing albums and constantly touring; to say that the man had a generous talent is something of an understatement.  The lush orchestration of Nicola was partly recorded by John Wood who would later engineer Nick Drake’s recordings at the same studio. The heart melting cover of Birthday Blues contains a set with some of the stalwarts of Bert’s solo and Pentangle sets, ‘Poison’ and ‘A Woman Like You’ and some of his most arresting work including ‘Come Sing a Happy Song’ which featured on the soundtrack of Noah Baumbach’s The Squid and the Whale in 2005.

      Rosemary Lane is considered by many to be one of Bert’s finest records, a smooth mix of traditional folk such as the title track and ‘Reynardine’, timeless original compositions like ‘Tell Me What Is True Love?’ and in ‘Alman’ and ‘Sarabanda’, examples of early music including the 16th and 17th/18th centuries, all with the sympathetic production of Bill Leader. Moonshine, Bert’s first release after Pentangle split, It was produced by fellow member Danny Thompson and the legendary Tony Visconti, who not only arranged a number of songs but also played on the record. It also features Mary Hopkin duetting with Bert on Ewan MacColl’s ‘The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face’, Aly Bain and Charles Mingus’ drummer Charlie Richmon. "Simply, I think Bert was a truly unique musician. Somehow he could elegantly bridge differing musical and singing traditions to sing and play in a way that sounded only like Bert Jansch.” - Anne Briggs // “The Jimi Hendrix of the acoustic guitar” - Neil Young // "At one point, I was absolutely obsessed with Bert Jansch. When I first heard that LP, I couldn’t believe it. It was so far ahead of what everyone else was doing. No one in America could touch that.”  - Jimmy Page 

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      4xLP Info: Limited edition 4LP/4CD case-bound 24 page book-back box set

      Mikael Tariverdiev

      Olga Sergeevna

        Following the release of the critically acclaimed ‘Film Music’ box set and ‘Irony Of Fate’, Earth Recordings release Mikael Tariverdiev’s score of 1975’s ‘Olga Sergeevna’. Produced by Stephen Coates and Vera Tariverdieva with imagery from Paul Heartfield, the deluxe double vinyl will be made available for the first time outside of Russia. Bringing the composer close to recognition in the west, the magisterial score and improvisations are taken from the Soviet TV Film series ‘Olga Sergeevna’ which was directed by Aleksandr Proshkin. Based on a story by Edvard Radzinsky, the show featured several film stars with the lead role of Olga played by screen star Tatiana Doronina. Olga is a marine biologist brought from a small town to Moscow by her mentor.

        As the story unfolds there’s a tangled web of professional, romantic and emotional relationships with various men. The main theme of the series is that a woman can dedicate her life to her career and feel satisfied, even when she is not particularly happy in her personal life. In the USSR, and globally, it was a revolutionary concept in the 1970s to set a TV drama around the life of a female scientist. As many critics have noted, his music, like the theme of the TV series, contradicts the lazy prejudice that any popular culture which escaped the Soviet censor could not be ground breaking or the equal of anything being made in the West. The scores improvised baroque jazz inflections were created from improvised pieces lead by Tariverdiev on keyboard, celeste, cimbalon, harpsichord and piano.

        Here he’s accompanied by Josef Kobzon with the Orchestra of Cinematography conducted by Emin Khachaturian along with double bassist Shakhaliev and Livshin on drums. At the time of its release, Tariverdiev had recently scored the popular ‘Seventeen Moments Of Spring and was about to work on ‘The Irony Of Fate’ when Proshkin submitted music from the score for the Union Of Composers. Having won the award, Tariverdiev travelled to LA to receive it and the offers for further film composition work came flooding in. 

        FORMAT INFORMATION

        2xLP Info: Gatefold double LP

        2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

        Various Artists

        Avocet Revisited

          'Avocet Revisited' is a four track EP, commissioned by Earth recordings as a companion piece to Bert Jansch’s 1979 avian-themed masterstroke ‘Avocet’. Again drawing inspiration from the resplendence of birds native to British waters (Bert himself was a keen ornithologist), Earth invited this quartet of artists to each choose a species that particularly speaks to them, and base a track around it. The results have been universally graceful, evocative, and majestic - much like the creatures themselves. Fulmar - Drifting low and gliding high, the flight patterns of this gull-like creature are echoed in Edwyn Collins and Carwyn Ellis’s paean to the bird that spends most of its life airborne. Part waltz, part lullaby, ‘Fulmar’ is exquisite in its simplicity, with Carwyn’s elegant arrangements providing the perfect foil for Edwyn’s unmistakeable intonation. 

          Compton & Batteau

          In California

            In California by name, in California by nature. You’ll struggle to find 14 songs more drenched in lazy West Coast sunshine than Compton and Batteau’s only album (recorded in 1971 before promptly falling into the abyss of wonderful, overlooked recordings). Fans of Gene Clark, John Phillips, Fraser & Debolt and the like will be well served here, with many of the tracks leaning towards the cowboy balladry these artists share. Completing the line-up with the likes of Randy Meisner (The Eagles, Poco) and Jim Messina (Loggins and Messina, Buffalo Springfield) ‘In California' understandably has an additional proto-yacht rock feel, evoking ‘Late For The Sky’ era Jackson Browne - though it’s the more up-tempo offerings that really showcase the duo’s ability to write a tune.

            Album highlight ‘Homesick Kid’ is the perfect example of the addictive, melody-led songwriting which really should have earned them stardom, while ‘Honeysuckle’ and ‘Essa Vanessa’ bring texture in the form of immaculately orchestrated percussion and additional instrumentation (harpsichord, cowbell). On these occasions the album veers magnificently towards the psychedelic, bringing to mind The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band.

            Anne Briggs

            The Time Has Come

               ‘The Time Has Come’ is an absolute master class on words and guitar twisting into one another - the poetry goes beyond simple observation into deeply personal and profound lore. A timeless document of sweet and haunting melodies. My favorite record of all time.’ Ryley Walker. // "I've never written songs, regularly, because I never considered myself a song-writer. I've only ever really considered myself a ballad singer, which is what is most important to me. The stories... the ancient nature of the situations and the human condition. And obviously, it's changed so much over the centuries that those songs have been sung, but it always retains that essence of something that's universal... to humanity, and I've always wanted to touch that. I think I wanted to understand people; I think I wanted to understand myself. It's a way of finding the truth. I felt I belonged to that music.” Anne Briggs //

              Offering some of her first original compositions, ‘The Time Has Come’ was a break from tradition in more ways than one for Anne Briggs. Where previous recordings displayed the unaccompanied melodies of her voice, this album - originally released by CBS in 1971 - brings additional instrumentation in the form of guitar and bouzouki. The result is that her vocals are not submerged, but heightened - the plucked strings providing the perfect foil for her crystalline inflection. ‘The Time Has Come’ is a mix of Anne’s own songs alongside some notable covers (Lal Waterson, Steve Ashley, Stan Ellison, Henry McCulloch). All are graced with the quietly self-assured elegance of Anne’s playing, with sounds ranging from the breezy ‘Clea Caught A Rabbit’ to the terrible beauty of ‘Wishing Well’ - each song typifying the bouzouki or guitar style. To say that Anne was an accomplished picker is to do her something of an disservice - the intricacy of her finger-work rivals - and more often than not eclipses - any number of her contemporaries

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              LP Info: LP Single sleeve printed inner but note no download card.

              CD Info: CD Single CD in a 20 page DVD sized book.

              Bert Jansch

              The Black Swan (Single)

                THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2017 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                Originally found on Jansch’s final album of the same name, ‘The Black Swan’ is featured here on a 7” single, flanked by an early demo. The two songs are at parallels; where the demo shows the bare bones of the track (working title: 'Space Highway’), the finished article is something altogether more orchestral, with Helena Espvall’s (then of Espers) soaring cello providing a foil for Jansch’s supremely melodic refrain. Fans will surely be intrigued to see the process involved in the evolution of ‘Black Swan’ - the paradox in the two versions each beautiful in its own way. Artwork again comes from Earth collaborator Hannah Alice, with her own interpretation of The Black Swan’s plumage. Remastered by Brian Pyle. 

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                Ltd 7" Info: Limited edition 7", Download Card. 2000 worldwide.


                Latest Pre-Sales

                177 NEW ITEMS

                FREE TIX! If you want to go to this, but you didn't want to pay for tix to this.. Then today is your day. Ask at th… https://t.co/ErWdXz8m9Y
                Fri 23rd - 3:05
                RT @whytehorses: Whyte Horses are having an Album Launch Party on 9th March @PiccadillyRecs Live Performance & Signing Session No ticket…
                Thu 22nd - 5:14
                Get pre-ordering now!!! It's the return of the mighty Parquet Courts with their new album 'Wide Awake!'… https://t.co/2gR0U6i6JK
                Thu 22nd - 3:01
                Join us for the @whytehorses lp launch party, featuring a stripped back performance followed by a signing session -… https://t.co/fV5Y42W50A
                Thu 22nd - 1:26
                E-newsletter —
                Sign up
                Back to top