Traditional and contemporary folk from the British Isles

The WATERSONS

The original Watersons were Mike and his sisters Norma and Lal, with their second cousin John Harrison. That is the lineup heard on Early Days and most of Frost and Fire, classic recordings from the 1960s. After a period off the scene, the group re-emerged in 1973 with Harrison’s place filled by Martin Carthy; these are the Watersons of For Pence & Spicy Ale and Green Fields. In their power and rich texture the Watersons’ harmonies are unmatched in English folksinging.

TSCD464 BLOW THE MAN DOWN ~ VARIOUS ARTISTS

TSCD464 webSea songs and shanties
A treasure-chest of seafaring songs delivered by such fine inter-preters as Louis Killen, The Watersons, Bob Davenport, Ian Campbell and Cyril Tawney. The two dozen performances include some of the best-known of all British sea songs and shanties, evoking a long and turbulent history of shipwrecks and sea-battles, of tall ships and whalers and the men who sailed in them.

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THE WATERSONS ~ FROST AND FIRE TSCD563

The original classic album recorded in 1965 is now released in a re-designed package with extra photographs and with unbeatable remastered sound quality that makes it feel as though the group is in the room with you.
Seasons of anxiety, seasons of joy. The common people had their rites of propitiation and triumph, older than the rituals of the church and closer bound to their daily lives. This album takes us through a year’s calendar, displaying songs that accompanied these ceremonies, season by season.
The Watersons perform in the original classic lineup – Lal, Mike and Norma Waterson and John Harrison.

  • “Quite without parallel amongst British group singing” English Dance and Song
  • “Frost and Fire contains all the urgency of talented young people determined to record songs from a seemingly dying tradition. The results sound as fresh today as any recent Waterson:Carthy offering.” Morning Star
  • “The Watersons’ first album was released in 1965. It remains a revelation” ★★★★ Songlines
  • “These venerable releases shine in their newly remastered form.” Dirty Linen

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PETER BELLAMY ~ BOTH SIDES THEN TSCD582

Peter Bellamy’s passions – from the great English traditional singers to the prisoners of Parchman Farm, the mountain music of the Appalachians, the Rolling Stones and especially the poems of Rudyard Kipling, were too wide-ranging to be tied to any one sort of music.

BOTH SIDES THEN – originally released in 1979 and generally considered to be his finest solo album – is a superb integration of his varied musical interests, drawing on English, Irish and Appalachian traditions. Working with close friends from The Young Tradition, The Watersons, Louis Killen and Dave Swarbrick, he explores the richness of traditional music. Peter Bellamy, who sadly died in 1991, left a remarkable body of recording which continues to inspire musicians around the world.

“Peter Bellamy’s finest hour” ★★★★★ Songlines
“Classic” Taplas

Peter Bellamy
with
Anthea Bellamy, Louis Killen, Bill Shute and Lisa Null, Dave Swarbrick, Royston Wood, Heather Wood and The Watersons

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THE WATERSONS ~ GREEN FIELDS TSCD500

Another masterful performance by the latter-day Watersons. Again, an original album by the full group has been supplemented with solo tracks by Mike and solo and duet tracks by Norma and Lal. In keeping with its title, the album focuses on songs of country life like While Gamekeepers Lie Sleeping, We’ll All Go a-Hunting Today and The Brave Ploughboy.

Lal Waterson, Mike Waterson, Norma Waterson & Martin Carthy vocals

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THE WATERSONS ~ FOR PENCE AND SPICY ALE TSCD574 

for pence and spicy ale introduced the “new” Watersons of the 1970s – when Martin Carthy joined the group. Two music papers judged it Folk Album of the Year in 1975 and, for many, it is the best album that The Watersons have ever produced. Topic has re-mastered the recordings from the original tapes to produce unparalleled sound quality, and re-packaged it in a handsome digipak. Between the opening song “Country Life” and the closing “The Good Old Way” are some of the most stirring performances ever committed to record.

  • This is the pinnacle of their prolific career – a wonderful collection of passionate solo voices and inspired harmonies. Ageless songs + sharp sense of adventure = certified genius. All time classic album.” HMV Choice
  • “A staggering album – the luminous power and rich texture of their acapella voices unmatched in English Folk Singing. This is traditional folk music elevated to the highest art. The finest, most fragrant flowering of the English Folk tradition in the past 50 years.” HMV Choice
  • “This classic album of British Folk Music sounds as fresh and astringently beautiful today as it did in 1975, when it was originally released…the harmonies they produce are sharply beautiful. The Watersons’ many fans will be thrilled to see this album newly available on CD with its tracklisting in the original running order – ESSENTIAL” All Music Guide
  • “This reissue of a classic album is a must-have” Dirty Linen More Details >>
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THE WATERSONS ~ SOUND SOUND YOUR INSTRUMENTS OF JOY TSCD564

For the first time on CD, the complete album as recorded in 1977 with Lal, Mike and Norma Waterson and Martin Carthy. Remastered for outstanding sound quality and presented in a redesigned digipack.
On this record The Watersons give us a panorama of sacred song – from the deep folklore of wassail songs and vernacular carols, through various folky kinds of meeting-house hymn, and on to exuberant camp meeting pieces – folk songs, or near folk songs that we have lost or that have become unfamiliar – but all worth restoring to life.

  • “This album displays the rich a cappella polyphonies that were the Watersons’ trademark.” The Independent Music Review
  • “These releases, beautifully packaged and re-mastered in such stunning clarity, will blow away any complacency that familiarity may have bred and will serve as a reminder of what groundbreaking albums they were upon release and remain today.” Properganda
  • “Truly glorious” ★★★★★ Songlines
  • “These venerable releases shine in their newly remastered form.” Dirty Linen

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TSCD472 THE WATERSONS ~ EARLY DAYS

TSCD472 webIntroducing these recordings on their first appearance in the mid-’60s A.L. Lloyd wrote of this new singing group’s ‘hand-crafted harmonies, an immediately recognisable and uniquely distinctive group sound which is uninhibited, spontaneous seeming and rich in texture.’ What became of The Watersons after that is history, and can be followed step by step in Topic’s other Watersons CDs. Early Days recaptures the youthful sound of the original quartet in 27 performances from long-deleted albums.

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