Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles

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YOU NEVER HEARD SO SWEET TSCD671

A collection of songs by Southern English Traditional singers.

You Never Heard So Sweet is selected and presented by Shirley Collins from classic field recordings made in the 1950s by Peter Kennedy and Bob Copper.
Series Editor – Reg Hall.

“Courtesy of another goldmine of 1950s field recordings salvaged largely from the late collector Peter Kennedy’s archive, Reg Hall, Shirley Collins, Steve Roud and Rod Stradling have compiled a cracking new series with detailed, illuminating booklets shining a revelatory light on Britain and Ireland’s ‘old music’. Hopefully it will inspire future generations.” ★★★★ Colin Irwin, MOJO

1. Ned Adams: The Bold Princess Royal
2. Joe Spicer: Heave on the Trawl
3. Lily Cook: Caroline and her Young Sailor
4. George Maynard: Down by the Seaside
5. Noah Gillette: The Bonny Bunch of Roses O
6. Bob & Ron Copper: Birds in the Spring
7. George Burton: The Pretty Ploughboy
8. Lily Cook: The Lark in the Morning
9. Luther Hills & Mark Fuller: Dame Durden
10. Jim Barrett: Spencer the Rover
11. Jim Swain: Jim the Carter Lad
12. Turp Brown: Six Jolly Miners
13. Fred Hewett: While Jones’s Ale Was New
14. Mrs. Hewett: Old Johnny Buckle
15. George Attrill: The Broken-Down Gentleman
16. George Maynard: Cloddy Banks
17. Enos White: The Bold Dragoon
18. Jim Copper: Lemany
19. Gladys Stone: Deep in Love
20. Luther Hills with Mark Fuller: The Foggy Dew
21. George Spicer: The Folkestone Murder
22. Harry Upton: Canadee-i-o
23. Lottie Chapman: The Silver Pin
24. Frank Cole: The Bold Trooper
25. Albert Beale: The Moon Shines Bright

Available now from:
TOPIC SHOP, AMAZON, ITUNES and on SPOTIFY

FOUR NEW VOICE OF THE PEOPLE VOLUMES (2012)

Drawn from recordings made during the 1950s and 60s these four volumes capture the music making of working people. This is the home-spun art and entertainment that enriched the lives of working people in pubs and cottages, in social clubs and village halls and on the street, and was made “by people with dirt under their finger nails.” This is music that has been largely ignored by the vagaries of the commercial recording industry. The emphasis in the presentation of this series has been weighted towards the social lives and values of the performers.

Series Editor Reg Hall has chosen individual experts to select and compile these four volumes – Shirley Collins, Steve Roud and Rod Stradling.

TSCD671 YOU NEVER HEARD SO SWEET : Songs by Southern English Traditional Singers.
Selected and presented by Shirley Collins from classic recordings made in the 1950s by Peter Kennedy and Bob Copper
TSCD672D I’M A ROMANY RAI : Songs by Southern English Gypsy Traditional Singers.

Selected and presented by Shirley Collins from classic recordings made in the 1950s by Peter Kennedy
TSCD673T  GOOD PEOPLE, TAKE WARNING : Ballads by British and Irish Traditional Singers.
Selected and presented by Steve Roud from classic recordings made in the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s
TSCD674  SARAH MAKEM : The Heart Is True

Classic recordings of this important Northern Irish Traditional singer selected and presented by Rod Stradling

“Topic’s original 20-volume The Voice Of The People series in 1998 provided a plethora of superb material for UK folk’s productive new wave to gorge on. Now, courtesy of another goldmine of 1950s field recordings salvaged largely from the late collector Peter Kennedy’s archive, Reg Hall, Shirley Collins, Steve Roud and Rod Stradling have compiled a cracking new series with detailed, illuminating booklets shining a revelatory light on Britain and Ireland’s ‘old music’. Hopefully it will inspire future generations… Magnificent” ★★★★ Colin Irwin, MOJO

“The Voice Of The People is the most important and rewarding series of British folk song recordings ever issued.” fRoots Magazine

★★★★★ Songlines    ★★★★★ Record Collector   ★★★★ Q   ★★★★ MOJO

Topic Treasures

Deluxe CD re-issues of classic Topic albums with original artwork, expanded sleeve notes, unseen photos and bonus tracks.

22nd March 2019 will see the release of the first three titles in the all-new Topic Treasures series. Beautiful deluxe CD re-issues of classic Topic albums with expanded sleeve notes, bonus material and unseen photographs.

Martin Simpson - Prodigal SonMartin Simpson – Prodigal Son

Considered by many in the folk world as one of Martin Simpsons finest albums, Topic are proud to present here in their 80th year the first release on the Topic Treasures imprint, deluxe issues of classic Topic albums from the label. Prodigal Son, the classic album in all its glory along with a bonus disc of live tracks hand-picked by Martin Simpson himself.

Originally released in 2007, the album was hailed a classic, receiving 4- and 5-star reviews in such publications as The Sunday Times, The Guardian, Daily Express and Observer while Folk publications such as fRoots raved about its wonderment!

Tracks like ‘Duncan & Brady’ an American ballad originally recorded by Leadbelly and ‘Good Morning Mr. Railroad Man’ clearly indicate Martin Simpsons love for traditional American roots music and the wonderful cover of Randy Newman’s track ‘Louisiana 1927’ delve into historical event territory.

One of the stand out tracks if there is such a thing on this album of quality is ‘Never Any Good’ a song about Father and Son relationship, stands out as the shining star. In truth the whole album is a true tour de force and a beautiful body of work from one of the greatest guitar players in the world.

The bonus disc 2 features 9 live tracks recorded at the Union Chapel in Islington, London on 13th November 2007 and features Andy Cutting, Andy Seward and Kellie While in Martin Simpsons band for the gig. Tracks such as ‘Duncan and Brady’, ‘Never Any Good’ and ‘Good Morning Mr Railroad Man’ are played with such beauty and style.

Pre-order Prodigal Son

 

Anne BriggsAnne Briggs

A long overdue reissue of the classic first album from Anne Briggs on Topic. Widely regarded as a long-lost treasure and recorded in 1971 by Sean Davies and featuring Johnny Moynihan from Sweeny’s Men on bouzouki.

Anne Briggs began singing in local folk clubs in her teens. In 1962 she became part of the Centre 42 tour which was a leftist group of artists, writers, actors and musicians whose aim was to make arts and culture accessible to the masses. Ewan MacColl first heard Briggs’ remarkable voice and persuaded her to join the group and tour. There Briggs met MacColl’s comrade A.L. ‘Bert’ Lloyd who became her mentor.

Briggs debut EP, The Hazards Of Love, was produced by Lloyd. Lloyd also recorded Briggs for Topic released albums The Iron Muse and The Bird In The Bush.

In 1971 Anne Briggs recorded this, her debut full length album simply named Anne Briggs with Johnny Moynihan of Sweeny’s Men appearing on one track. Tracks include ‘Blackwater Side’, ‘The Snow It melts The Soonest’ and ‘Go Your Way (My Love)’.

Famously, Briggs taught Bert Jansch the song ‘Blackwater Side’, which he recorded on his classic 1965 debut album; the next year his pivotal traditional album Jack Orion largely comprised songs he learnt from Briggs who helped him understand the structure of folk song. Briggs and Jansch also wrote a handful of songs together. ‘Go Your Way’ being one of them.

Briggs went onto recorded a follow up album The Time Has Come later that same year for CBS. Two years later she recorded again but blocked the album’s release because she was so disheartened by her singing and retired from the limelight only to resurface in the mid 90’s to perform with Bert Jansch for a TV documentary.

Pre-order Anne Briggs

 

Shirley Collins - The Sweet PrimerosesShirley Collins – The Sweet Primeroses

Topic Records are proud to present the Shirley Collins album The Sweet Primeroses plus bonus material by way of the Heroes Of Love Topic EP with sleeve notes by Colin Irwin and photos by Brian Shuel and packaged with the original album artwork.

During the 1960s and 70s Shirley Collins was regarded by many as the first lady of folk music, the subsequent decades have only served to enhance that reputation. Between 1955 and 1978 she recorded for the Folkways, Argo, Harvest and Topic labels. After the release of ‘For As Many As Will’ in 1978 she withdrew from performing and the music world after developing dysphonia. Shirley recently returned to recording after a very long hiatus and is still widely acknowledged as one of the finest singers and ambassadors to have emerged during the Folksong Revival of the 1960s.

Few singers of the English folk revival have attempted as much on record as Collins – an extraordinary combination of fragility and power. “I like music to be fairly straightforward, simply embellished – the performance without histrionics allowing you to think about the song rather than telling you what to think.” Through an impressive series of experimental recordings Shirley established an extraordinarily sympathetic marriage of traditional songs handed down through generations of rural labouring people with ground breaking contemporary arrangements – recordings that have scarcely been equalled in subsequent decades.

Pre-order The Sweet Primeroses