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EARTH RECORDS

Bert Jansch

A Man I’d Rather Be (Part 1)

    Comprising Bert’s seminal 1960s output (alongside his only album as a duet with Pentangle bandmate John Renbourn) this four disc set covers an era that forged creative paths for everyone from Neil Young to Johnny Marr. New listening notes from Bill Leader, as well as unseen photographs from Brian Shuel complete this special collection. Where to start with a career as prolific as that of Bert Jansch? Why, the beginning of course. Bert’s first studio (though as Bill Leader rightly points out, that’s a bit of a stretch) albums capture a man whose star is truly on the rise. It also marks his most prolific period - these four LPs were written, recorded and issued in just two years; a testament to not only Bert’s abundant musicality but to a time for music that was changing - excitedly - from minute to minute.

    From Bert’s masterclass in elegant, melodic, one-man-and-his-guitar fingerpicking on his self-titled LP, to the beginnings of something altogether more exotic on ‘Bert and John’, these records are nothing if not a remarkable insight into the changing face of folk music at the time. For those unfamiliar with Jansch’s oeuvre, this is a real treat; you won’t find a more comprehensively produced collection. ‘A Man I’d Rather Be’ includes all the original liner notes (from both Keith De Groot and Bert himself) as well as new ruminations from Bill Leader (who recorded much of Jansch’s nascent work) as well as never-before seen photographs by the illustrious Brian Shuel.

    For those in the know, this is a chance to revisit these extraordinary albums, revel in new insights and add some - perhaps more listenable LPs - to sit alongside their love-worn originals. “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 // "I particularly like his second record. The album before it [1965's Bert Jansch] is more revered and held up by most journalists as being the seminal one, but I think the songs are better on It Don't Bother Me, particularly the title track. The fact that they were both recorded in a kitchen at his mate's house is another reason why it has never dated.” 

    Bert Jansch

    Living In The Shadows Part 2: On The Edge Of A Dream

      Following on from Earth’s definitive collection of Jansch’s 1990s works ‘Living In The Shadows Part 2: On The Edge Of A Dream' picks up from where it left off, bringing together Bert Jansch’s final recordings, made between 2000 and 2006. This remarkable anthology documents some of Jansch’s finest work, and a man at the top of his game, some forty years(!) after his first release. From the brooding resonance of Crimson Moon (where Jansch is joined by Johnny Marr, Bernard Butler and Johnny “Guitar” Hodge, as well as son Adam Jansch and Bert’s wife Loren Jansch) to the intimacy of Edge Of A Dream (Bernard Butler, Hope Sandoval, Dave Swarbrick, Ralph McTell, Johnny “Guitar” Hodge, Paul Wassif, Adam Jansch and Loren Jansch) to the wondrous new folk / trad folk harmony of Black Swan (Beth Orton, Devendra Banhart, Kevin Barker, Helena Espvall, Paul Wassif), these seemingly very different albums all speak of one thing: Bert’s natural talent for turning out extraordinary music, regardless of genre. Disc four, The Setting Of The Sun, takes in more demos and unreleased material, with guest appearances from Gordon Giltrap and Johnny Marr adding additional delight for fans old and new. These peeks into Jansch’s recording process are nothing if not fascinating, with his home studio lending itself perfectly to any recording fancy he might arrive at. Like Part 1, this deluxe case-bound set exhibits the sublime attention to detail that has become Earth Recordings’ calling card. Liner notes come courtesy of colleague Bernard Butler and Bert’s son Adam, while a comprehensive listening guide (by esteemed journalist, Dave Henderson) is also included. 

      FORMAT INFORMATION

      4xLP Info: Limited edition 4LP/4CD casebound book-back box set, comprising Jansch’s three studio albums from the 2000s (Crimson Moon; Edge Of A Dream; The Black Swan), alongside an additional disc of demos and unreleased material. Both studio albums and DAT transfers remastered by Brian Pyle

      4xCD Info: Limited edition 4LP/4CD casebound book-back box set, comprising Jansch’s three studio albums from the 2000s (Crimson Moon; Edge Of A Dream; The Black Swan), alongside an additional disc of demos and unreleased material. Both studio albums and DAT transfers remastered by Brian Pyle

      Bert Jansch With Loren Auerbach

      Colours Are Fading Fast

        THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2016 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

        3LP beautiful hard casebound book style set featuring both of Auerbach’s official albums originally released on her own Christabel Records, plus a third disc of recFently unearthed, unheard material. Also includes previously unseen images, together with a personal message from Loren’s mother, Geraldine. Remastered from original tapes by Brian Pyle. Comes with high quality download. There’s an idea in Japanese culture which suggests that true beauty can only be achieved through imperfection, as its opposite is unattainable. ‘Colours Are Fading Fast’ - a beautifully presented 3 disc set by Loren Auerbach (alongside future husband Bert Jansch) is a case in point. Though Auerbach's voice is sure, it has a tenderness about it that is truly endearing - to listen to her sing is almost an invitation - close your eyes and you could be sitting with her in her living room, a hot cup of tea by your side. Auerbach’s two albums (‘Playing The Game’ and ‘After The Long Night’ respectively) are included here, alongside ‘In Moonlight’s Grace’ - a third disc of previously unheard and unreleased material, transferred and remastered from original tapes. This part of the triptych feels decidedly special as it documents what would become a great partnership between Loren and Bert - both creatively and romantically. Some of it is a work in process, some of it more polished, but all of it retains Loren’s particular charm, and the effect that it clearly had on those around her. Listening again to her works, it’s truly a wonder that she didn’t see the same recognition of Virginia Astley, Bridget St John or even Vashti Bunyan.

        Bert Jansch

        Black Birds Of Brittany / Cuckoo

          THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2016 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

          Originally released as part of a split single with Shirley Collins, 1979’s ‘Black Birds Of Brittany' was recorded - somewhat unsurprisingly - around the same time as Bert’s paean to ornithology, ‘Avocet’. Re-issued exclusively for Record Store Day 2016, and backed by the previously unreleased ‘Cuckoo’ these two tracks are a perfect companion to this beautifully orchestral, experimental album. Artwork again comes from UK illustrator Hannah Alice (also responsible for Avocet’s charming reinterpretation). Limited to 1000 copies worldwide. 

          Bert Jansch

          Avocet - Book Edition

            Bert Jansch was often quoted as saying “I’m not playing for anyone, just myself” and this feels no more apparent than on 1979’s ‘Avocet’, his beautifully meditative paean to British birds. This isn’t to say that Jansch was throwing commercial success to the wind, or was unaware of his audience, more that this album feels like a uniquely personal reflection of him. (The subject of British birds is one that Jansch held close to his heart. Indeed, just preceding this album was his 1978 split 7” single with Shirley Collins - with proceeds in aid of the RSPB.) For fans of Jansch this is often the album that is singled out as his best work. The freedoms of a post-Pentangle career are much in evidence; folk rock and even trad folk give way to an album that is not only without lyrical accompaniment but really quite orchestral, classical even, in its composition. There are surprises in particular in ‘Lapwing’ (a dirge-like waltz that wouldn’t be out of place on a Nils Frahm album) and ‘Bittern’ (which speaks of Arthur Russell’s more experimental pieces). Last issued more than 25 years ago, this is Earth Recordings’ deepest Bert-directed bow to date. Featuring ex-bandmate Danny Thompson, alongside Martin Jenkins with sleeve notes by Jansch aficionado Colin Harper (author of ‘Dazzling Stranger: Bert Jansch and the British Folk and Blues revival). 

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            CD Info: CD version comes as a deluxe ‘bookback’ edition, comprising all the illustrations and notes over 24 pages.

            There’s something particularly pleasing about a privately pressed record. The artist or musicians involved have wanted these recordings to exist with such conviction that they’ve been willing to fund it themselves; the result is either a vanity project or something rather special. Steve Warner’s eponymous 1979 debit falls firmly into the latter. Funded by the combination of a bank loan and a council grant from his native Australia, Steve manage to record, produce, mix and manufacture what would be come to be his only recorded output (Steve went onto teach music afterwards - imagine being in that class!). Nick Armstrong at the legendary Spectangle Studios - also where Howard Eynon recorded ‘Jam’ - was there to assist and the album was eventually managed by Tasmanian label, Candle.

            Running to 13 tracks, 11 of which original compositions, this album of delicate folk songs, madcap ditties and more psychedelic orchestrated pieces feels incredibly accomplished for what was basically a one man show. For fans of Dennis Wilson, Roedelius, The Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band and Elliott Smith (yes, as far reaching as that). "At the time I would have long dreams about music, but strangely never did I actually hear music in them. I would dream of music in a very abstract sense - it's tension and release, it's inner harmonies, often in a visual or graphic way like an architect might. Lines of stress and of release, tension and slackness, angles between elements, heavy and light, strength and fragility. I used to be fascinated by the grey zone between sleeping and waking, and of finding that place in music.” - Steve Warner, 2015

            Earlier this year, Judy Dyble (Fairport Convention, Trader Horne, Giles, Giles & Fripp) issued her 'Gathering The Threads', a 3CD anthology of all the fragments that make up her - frankly extraordinary - career. Here, the first disc of the triptych is released as a deluxe vinyl compilation of her earlier work, as 'Anthology - Part One'. Compromising rare, unreleased and hard-to-find tracks - many of which have never before been issued on wax - these 15 songs bring together Judy's most prolific period as a musician. Deluxe linen-finish sleeve. Limited to 1000 copies worldwide. Comes with high-quality download featuring two additional tracks (full 12 minute version of ‘Improvisation’ / ‘Mirror Master Tape Advertisement’). 

            In 2011, Stephen Coates of the band The Real Tuesday Weld found himself sheltering from the cold in a cafe in Moscow with a friend. Fascinated by the music that was playing, he asked the waitress and was told ‘it was something from the old times'. It turned out to be the soundtrack for the Sixties cult Soviet film 'Goodbye Boys' composed by Mikael Tariverdiev. Compiled by his wife Vera Tariverdieva together with Stephen (in association with his publishing company Antique Beat), ‘Film Music’ includes a selection of the composer’s greatest tracks, including many previously unreleased versions. All were made with new transfers from original tapes and his own reel-to-reel machine. They are thematically programmed around Vera’s intimate knowledge of her husband’s music. It is with her blessing and dedication to see his legacy live on that we are able to bring his music to new audiences. ‘Film Music’ unveils the extraordinary life of an unusual composer who was acutely aware of the political environment although it was not central to his work.

            The 3LP boxset is beautifully packaged within hard outer slipcase and comes with a 24 page booklet bursting with unseen documents and materials from the Tariverdiev home. The rare photographs come from Mikael’s personal collection including stills from the film sets he was working on, his and Vera’s apartment and images of his studio images. 

            FORMAT INFORMATION

            3xDeluxe LP Info: 51 track, 3LP set, complete with 24 page full colour 12” linen-finish book, housed in a hard box slipcase. Limited to 1000 copies worldwide. Comes with high quality download.

            Originally released on Pye’s alt-label Dawn, Trader Horne’s ‘Morning Way’ is widely agreed to be one of the unsung musical treasures of the 70s. Judy Dyble (ex Fairport Convention / Giles, Giles & Fripp, amongst others) and Jackie McAuley (Them) formed Trader Horne in 1969, naming their group - so the legend goes! - after John Peel’s Nanny. By turns folk (‘Jenny May'), pop (’Sheena’) and something altogether more esoteric (‘Velvet To Atone'), Trader’s only album is a shining example of the cult British psychedelic era. Sunset red vinyl, limited to 1000 copies worldwide. Comes with high quality download, which includes two additional non-album tracks, ‘Here Comes The Rain’ and ‘Goodbye Mercy Kelly’. (CD includes all tracks.) 

            Available on vinyl for the first time, included download code. Inspiring generations of musicians, Scottish guitarist and songwriter Bert Jansch will be forever known as a remarkable talent and a leading figure in the British folk revival. He came to prominence in the 1960s becoming widely known for his exemplary guitar technique and innovative blend of folk, blues and jazz. Later he became a founding member of folk super group Pentangle before returning to his solo career. Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Donovan and Johnny Marr have long been fans. Reaching people far and wide, Bert deservedly received many accolades for his contributions to music including the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Radio 2 Folk Awards and a MOJO Merit Award.

            ‘Live at the 12 Bar’ was recorded in 1995 at the legendary London music venue and is a fitting tribute not only to Bert’s virtuosity but to this renowned hub for folk music and other genres. Bert’s meticulous performance brings together songs from ‘When The Circus Comes To Town’, released in the same year, along with the haunting reworking of ‘Blues Run The Game’ (written by Earth’s own Jackson C. Frank) and traditional folk songs ‘Curragh Of Kildare’ and ‘Lily Of The West’ which were staples in Jansch’s repertoire. ‘Live at the 12 Bar’ captures an intimate gig that’s richly brought to life by his spellbinding ability to hold a room. The warmth and reverent silence from fans reminds us of what it was like to attend his shows and the true legend that we have lost. Two decades after its first release, ‘Live At The 12 Bar’ is issued for the first time on vinyl. This exceptional record is the first release in Earth Recordings’ new extensive reissue series of Bert Jansch catalogue. 

            “One of the most innovative instrumentalists of the twentieth century in the folk rock canon” The Quietus.

            Peerless in his consistency of making astonishing records” All Music.




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