Mittwoch, 31. Oktober 2018

Paolo Conte - Same (1975)

One of the most idiosyncratic, charismatic, and internationally successful Italian singer/songwriters of the past four decades, Paolo Conte created his own unique style, combining a love for jazz and music hall together with a weary yet sympathetic and humorous understanding of human foibles. Born to a well-to-do Asti (Piedmont, Italy) family in 1937, Conte began to learn the piano at an early age, together with his younger brother Giorgio Conte -- who would also become a famous songwriter in his own right -- at the insistence of their father, a distinguished notary but also a passionate jazz amateur. Following in the family's footsteps, Conte became a lawyer and practiced the profession until well into his thirties. Contemporaneously, he played the vibraphone in several local jazz bands.

Paolo Conte's first and second album are virtually interchangeable. One released in 1974 and the other in 1975, both are unimaginatively titled Paolo Conte, include 11 songs, are built around the same instrumental core of Conte's piano, Danilo Pennone's double bass, and Nando Francia's accordion, and share the same topics, musical settings, and overall atmosphere. Fortunately for this, his sophomore effort, the second batch of songs, is every bit as memorable as his first. Some of Conte's most famous songs are here, such as "La Ricostruzione del Mocambo," the miracolo italiano postcard " "La Topolino Amaranto," or the extraordinary "Genova per Noi," a definitive portrait of a town that was once one of the busiest ports in the world, and is now a metaphor for rain, boredom, and things lost. Other standout tracks are the hilarious "Naufragio a Milano," sung in mock Neapolitan, or the oddly tender paean to extramarital affairs "Luna di Marmellata." Conte's voice and piano sound crisper than before, and several songs are augmented by horns, female vocalists, or a string quartet, elements that will become a mainstay of future Conte's productions. While neither this nor the debut album was particularly successful upon its release, both are faultless collections of originals, many of which would eventually become timeless classics of Italian pop music. Both stand among the highest achievements of Conte's recording career and are highly recommended.


Avanti, Bionda
Chi Siamo Noi ?
La Ricostruzione Del Mocambo
La Topolino Amaranto
Pittori Della Domenica
Naufragio A Milan
Genova Per Noi
Per Ogni Cinquantennio
Luna Di Marmellata
Avanti, Bionda

Paolo Conte - Same (1975)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Quilapayun - Cantata Américas

"Quilapayún" (Spanish pronunciation: [kilapaˈʝun]) are an instrumental and vocal folk music group from Chile and among the longest lasting and most influential exponents of the Nueva Canción Chilena (New Song) movement. Quilapayún originated in 1965 when Julio Numhauser, and the brothers Julio Carrasco and Eduardo Carrasco formed a folk music trio which they simply called "the three bearded men" (viz. Quila-Payún in the mapuche language). The group became inseparable with the revolution that occurred in the popular music of the country under the Popular Unity Government of Salvador Allende.

In 1966 Patricio Castillo joined the group and they began performing and winning notoriety for their Andean music. That same year the group met Víctor Jara and at their request he became Quilapayún's musical director. The group also backed Jara on his solo albums. After three years they assumed different paths and Eduardo Carrasco became the group's musical leadership.
Since its formation and during its forty year long history - both in Chile and during its lengthy period of exile in France - the group has seen modifications to its personnel lineup, to the subject and content of its work, and controversy regarding irreconcilable differences with the current and former group director; which has led each to maintain a distinctive - yet equally impressive - Quilapayún ensemble: one in Chile (named Quilapayún-Histórico) and one in France (named Quilapayún-France).
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 30. Oktober 2018

Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie & Leadbelly - The Original Folkways Recordings

Few independent labels have had the long and enduring impact that Folkways Records has had. Founded in 1948 by Moses Asch and Marian Distler, the label issued an astounding 2,168 titles (which ranged across genres from American folk to spoken word, world music and all points in-between) before Asch's death in 1986, at which time maintenance of the catalog fell to the Smithsonian.

Under the umbrella of Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, each of those titles has remained continually in print and available. Asch also licensed tracks to other independents, including the material found in this brief collection, which combines nine tracks by Woody Guthrie (several of them with Cisco Houston and one with Sonny Terry helping out), ten by Pete Seeger and two by Leadbelly (one with Terry and another with Josh White on board) into what amounts to a sampler of three of the most important influences (actually six, if you count Terry, Houston and White, which one should) on the folk revival of the late '50s and early '60s.     


1. Brown Eyes
2. Jack Hammer Blues
3. John Henry
4. House Of The Rising Sun
5. Little Black Train
6. Who's Goin To Shoe Your Pretty Feet
7. Bed On The Floor
8. Danville Girl, No. 2
9. Ride Old Point
10. Michael, Row The Boat
11. Big Rock Candy Mountain
12. I've Been Working On The Railroad
13. Down In The Valley
14. Blue Tail Fly
15. Black Is The Color
16. Boll Weevil
17. Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho
18. Fox
19. Casey Jones
20. How Long
21. I'v Got A Pretty Flower

Pete Seeger, Woody Guthrie & Leadbelly - The Original Folkways Recordings
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Orchestra of the Jewish Theatre Bucharest - Yiddish Folksongs

I have owned this cd for several years and never get tired of listening to it. It points up the star quality of the Bucharest State Jewish Theater, which somehow prospered under the repressive Ceausescu regime in Romania. I am not sure if it still exists, but this wonderful and inexpensive disk preserves an excellent record of their virtuosity and talent.

These are some of the most delightful Yiddish folk songs, sung in the Southern Yiddish dialect, and beautifully! I hope that this wonderful troupe still exists and performs in Romania! Zayt gezunt!

 - Murray B. Woldman

1A Nigndl2:49
2Gei Ich Mir Spazim1:48
3Leig Ich Mir Mein Kepale3:05
4Lamce Ram Ciam1:35
5Di Mame Is Gegangn2:27
6Inter A Klein Beimale2:21
7Di Warnicikes2:24
8Ein Mul Ti Ich Si Banalen2:42
9Lomir Singen Ciri Bim, Ciri Bom2:43
10Wus Dergeisti Mir Di Lurn3:22
11Oi Awram1:16
12Di Mame Kocht Warenikes1:43
13Mamenlu; Liubeniu3:53
14Mit A Nudl Un A Nudl2:17
15Asoj Wie-s Is Bitter2:40
16Bin Ich Mir A Schneiderl1:25
17Meheteineste Meine2:29
18Wus-Je Wilsti?2:13

Orchestra of the Jewish Theatre Bucharest - Yiddish Folksongs
(320 kbps, cover art included)

The Weavers - Folk Songs Around The World (1959)

The Weavers had the most extraordinary musical pedigree and pre-history of any performing group in the history of folk or popular music.

More than 50 years after their heyday, however, their origins, the level of their success, the forces that cut the group's future off in its prime, and the allure that keeps their music selling are all difficult to explain - as, indeed, none of this was all that easy to explain at the time. How could a song as pleasant and tuneful as "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine" be subversive?

The quartet went from being embraced by the public, and selling four-million-records, to being reviled and rejected over the political backgrounds of its members, and disbanding after only four years together. Yet, despite the controversy that surrounded them, and the fact that their work was interrupted at its peak, the Weavers managed to alter popular culture in about as profound a manner as any artist this side of Bob Dylan - indeed, they set the stage for the 1950s folk revival, indirectly fostering the careers of the Kingston Trio, among others, and bridging the gap between folk and popular music, and folk and the topical song, they helped set the stage for Dylan's eventual emergence. And the songs that they wrote or popularized, including "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine," "Wimoweh," "Goodnight Irene," "Wreck of the John B," "Follow the Drinking Gourd," and "On Top of Old Smoky," continued to get recorded (and occasionally to chart) 50 years after the group's own time.


A1 - Around The World
A2 - Bay Of Mexico
A3 - I Know Where I'm Going - Hush Little Baby
A4 - The Frozen Logger
A5 - Darling Corey
A6 - Follow The Drinking Gourd
B1 - Tzena, Tzena, Tzena
B2 - Suliram
B3 - Sylvie (Bring Me A Little Water)
B4 - Greensleeves
B5 - Along The Colorado Trail
B6 - Hard Ain't It Hard

The Weavers - Folk Songs Around The World (1959)
(192 kbps, cover art included, vinyl rip)

Montag, 29. Oktober 2018

Otto Reutter - Alles weg´n de Leut´

Otto Reutter was born on April 24th in 1870 in Gardelegen in a poor Catholic family as a son of the Ex-Ulan Andreas Pfützenreuter who was not at home, visited the Catholic primary school, absolved afterwards an education in and out of Gardelegen as a commercial assistant, ran away after finishing this and went to Berlin, earned money as a Charge at quite simple theaters, tried to be an actor and commedian at little theaters in Berlin.

His father took him away from Berlin and then he ended up being in Karlsruhe, where he joined a group of pub-singers and pub-commedians.
In 1895 he dared to have his first performance as a "Salonhumorist", first performance was probably in Bern in Switzerland.
In 1896 he got hired for the first time in Berlin, he really convinced the audience with his talent to recite the funny-pointed verses with easy melodies in a kind of spoken song and to be ironically funny even with his appearance. Reutter rose up to a popular star since his first performance in the "Wintergarten-Variete" of the Central- Hotel in Berlin. In the following years Reutter was able to remain on top of the financial and artistic top of the German little-theater-artists with the help of his huge talent and his hard work.

In 1919 after 30 years of hard work and marked by personal blows Reutter was very tired and he wanted to retire and go back to Gardelegen.
Driven on by his own ambition and the need to earn money in insecure times, Reutter created his „work of his old times“ from the year 1919. This work consisted of Couplets that were on humor and melancholy, worldly wisdom and mild old-age cheekyness and these Couplets are still part of the German humor for higher demands.

Ill and tired of life Reutter died on March 3rd in 1931 in Düsseldorf and was buried in Gardelegen.

Otto Reutter - Alles weg´n de Leut´
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Dmitri Shostakovich - Under Stalin´s Shadow - Symphony No. 10 - Andris Nelsons

The "Under Stalin's Shadow" subtitle of this release may be confusing inasmuch as the opening Passacaglia from the opera Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District dates from before the period when Stalin made Shostakovich's life a living hell, and the main attraction, the Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93, was finished ten months after Stalin's death.

Actually the album is the first in a set of three; the others will cover the symphonies No. 5 through No. 9, all written during the period of Stalinist cultural control. But even here the theme is relevant: the pieces are linked by a dark mood that carries overtones (of a feminist sort in the case of the opera) of repression. And the Symphony No. 10 is decidedly some kind of turning point, with repeated (and finally triumphant) assertions of the D-S-C-H motif (D, E flat, C, B natural in the German system) that would appear frequently in the composer's later work.

Boston Symphony Orchestra conductor Andris Nelsons, who grew up in Soviet-controlled Latvia, is to be believed when he claims a spiritual kinship with Shostakovich, and he delivers a full-blooded performance of the Symphony No. 10 that rises from deepest introspective gloom to a fine example of Shostakovich's sarcasm, to the discovery of the motif, to a triumphant finale enthusiastically greeted by Symphony Hall's usually reserved patrons. Deutsche Grammophon's live engineering, in the orchestra's first recording for the label, is notably clear and sharp. A superior reading of one of the lesser-known Shostakovich symphonies.   


1 Passacaglia (Interlude from Act II of Lady Macbeth Of Mtsensk 8:11

Symphony No. 10 In E Minor Op. 93
2 Moderato 25:39
3 Allegro 4:22
4 Allegretto 12:44
5 Andante - Allegro 13:54

Dmitri Shostakovich - Under Stalin´s Shadow - Symphony No. 10 - Andris Nelsons
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Lotte Lenya - Lotte Lenya singt Kurt Weill (1955)

Lotte Lenya recorded "Lotte Lenya singt Kurt Weill" in Hamburg on July 5 - 7, 1955,  for Philips (B 07 039); released later in the U.S. by Columbia (ML 5056) in November 1955 as "Lotte Lenya Sings Berlin Theater Songs of Kurt Weill" (see our posting on September, 19, 2015).

"Whether playing Anna in "The Seven Deadly Sins" or singing "Moritat vom Mackie Messer" ("Mack the Knife"), Lotte Lenya helped define the music of her husband, Kurt Weill. The duo literally created the soundtrack for the prewar Berlin of our fantasies - an exotic land of nicotine and nightlights - where cabaret, jazz, and the odd American instrumental influence all coexist happily. Now remastered, this collection gathers Lenya's legendary 1957 recordings of Sins and her 1955 recording Sings Berlin Theatre Songs. Forget subtlety - Lenya is all about emotion. On cuts like "Pirate Jenny," Lenya's voice sounds fluttery and frantic, and on "Surabaya-Johnny," her German sounds fragile and sweet, but mostly she's just herself - bittersweet, raw, and (most of all) human. In spirit, Marianne Faithfull, PJ Harvey, and a host of others all kept the torch of Lenya's style going. But after listening to these Berlin theater songs in classic form (and in their original tongue), you'll never hear them the same way again." (Amazon review by Jason Verlinde]

Die Dreigroschenoper [The Threepenny Opera]
1. Moritat vom Mackie Messer [Mack the Knife]
2. Barbara-Song
3. Seeräuber-Jenny [Pirate Jenny]

Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny [The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny]
4. Havanna-Lied
5. Alabama-Song
6. Wie man sich bettet [As You Make Your Bed]

Happy End
7. Bilbao-Song
8. Surabaya Johnny
9. Matrosen-Tango [The Sailors' Tango]

Das Berliner Requiem [Berlin Requiem]
10. Vom ertrunkenen Mädchen [Ballad of the Drowned Girl]

Der Silbersee [The Silverlake]
11. Lied der Fennimore [I am a Poor Relative]
12. Cäsars Tod [Ballad of Caesar]

total time: 44'04

All music composed by Kurt Weill.
Lyrics by Bertolt Brecht, exc. 11-12 by Georg Kaiser.

Recorded on July 5-7, 1955, at Friedrich-Ebert-Halle, Hamburg, Germany.
Recording supervisor and original producer: H. Gerhard Lichthorn.

Lotte Lenya - Lotte Lenya singt Kurt Weill (1955)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Erich Kästner - Die Schule der Diktatoren

The play "Die Schule der Diktatoren" by Erich Kästner had its premiere in 1957 and was honoured by the "Georg-Büchner-Preis".

Kästner was a German satirist, poet and novelist, whose military experiences made him pacifist after World War I and opponent of totalitarian systems.

During the post-World War II years, Kästner was an active participant in the Munich cabaret "Die Schaubude" (from 1951 "Die kleine Freiheit").
In his play "DIE SCHULE DER DIKTATOREN" (1949) about a training school for dictator-doubles Kästner reflected his experiences during wartime and unmasked inhumanity in the form of comedy.

Erich Kästner - Die Schule der Diktatoren (new link)
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Walter Benjamin - Gesammelte Schriften (7 Bände)

Walter Benjamin, (born July 15, 1892, Berlin, Ger.—died Sept. 27?, 1940, near Port-Bou, Spain), man of letters and aesthetician, now considered to have been the most important German literary critic in the first half of the 20th century.

Born into a prosperous Jewish family, Benjamin studied philosophy in Berlin, Freiburg im Breisgau, Munich, and Bern. He settled in Berlin in 1920 and worked thereafter as a literary critic and translator. His halfhearted pursuit of an academic career was cut short when the University of Frankfurt rejected his brilliant but unconventional doctoral thesis, Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels (1928; The Origin of German Tragic Drama). Benjamin eventually settled in Paris after leaving Germany in 1933 upon the Nazis’ rise to power. He continued to write essays and reviews for literary journals, but upon the fall of France to the Germans in 1940 he fled southward with the hope of escaping to the United States via Spain. Informed by the chief of police at the town of Port-Bou on the Franco-Spanish border that he would be turned over to the Gestapo, Benjamin committed suicide.

Collected works in german language (pdf):

Band I: Abhandlungen. 3 Teilbände
Band II: Aufsätze, Essays, Vorträge. 3 Teilbände
Band III: Kritiken und Rezensionen
Band IV: Kleine Prosa. Baudelaire-Übertragungen. 2 Teilbände
Band V: Das Passagen-Werk. 2 Teilbände
Band VI: Fragmente vermischten Inhalts. Autobiographische Schriften
Band VII: Nachträge. 2 Teilbände

Sonntag, 28. Oktober 2018

Quilapayún - Con el alma llena de banderas

Quilapayun is a Chilean group formed in 1965 by Julio Carrasco, Eduardo Carrasco, and Julio Numhauser, later joined by Patricio Castillo.

Since its beginning, Quilapayun's lyrics were inspired by social issues related to its country, combining them with autochthonous musical arrangements. In 1966, the band came in first place at the Festival de Festivales, releasing its first album that same year. Folk singer and songwriter Víctor Jara helped the band by promoting Quilapayun's music and making the record "Canciones Folklóricas de América" together. By the time Julio Numhauser decided to leave, Carlos Quezada and Guillermo Oddo joined in. As Chilean New Song's ambassador, Quilapayun went on its first European tour in 1968. When Julio Carrasco left, Hernán Gómez and Rodolfo Parada became part of Quilapayun's new lineup. Due to Chilean political and social changes in the early '70s, the group settled in foreign countries for more than a decade.

This collection was published during their time in exile, as its subtitle says, in "Homage to Victor Jara." Members of the group at that time were Edward Carrasco, Carlos Quezada, Willy Oddó, Hernan Gomez, Rodolfo Parada, Hugo Lagos, Guillermo Garcia and Ricardo Venegas.
The cover design, which became a classic, is owed ​​to George Lillo.

The title song of this collection is one of the most beautiful written by Victor Jara. It was composed in tribute to Miguel Angel Aguilera, a young militant who was shot dead by a policeman during a demonstration in 1970. The song was introduced by Victor in August of the same year at the Second Festival of the New Chilean Song.


01. Canción para Victor Jara (Eduardo Carrasco)
02. Te recuerdo Amanda (Victor Jara)
03. Susurro (Rodolfo Parada)
04. Paloma quiero contarte (Víctor Jara)
05. Con el alma llena de banderas (Víctor Jara)
06. Nuestro cobre (Eduardo Yáñez)
07. Titicaca (Arr. Quilapayún)
08. Tío caimán (Chang Marie)
09. Sonatina (Hugo Lagos)
10. Patria de Multitudes (Hernán Gómez-Eduardo Carrasco)

Quilapayún - Con el alma llena de banderas
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Collettivo Del Contropotere – L'Estate Dei Poveri (1976)


This italian agitprop album was produced by a group of the Italian anarchy movement. It was sold to finance Radio Popolare Massa, the radio station of the Italian libertarian communist movement in Massa, Tuscany.

It was released in 1976 and never published on cd.

01. Il nostro Maggio … 03:27
02. Vi canteremo la favola … 02:56
03. Anche lo stato … 02:30
04. Andare avanti sempre … 02:38
05. Ma non riusciranno … 02:40
06. Coi comunisti nel governo … 02:01
07. Rondinella pellegrina … 02:44
08. E allora canta ghitarra … 05:34
09. Nella fotografia grande … 04:03
10. Se da diecimila anni … 04:35
11. Avanza senza sosta … 02:23
12. Dove nel Maggio splendono … 02:44
Total time: 38:08

Angelo: voce, percussioni, kurù
Mauro: voce, chitarra, flauti, triangolo
Michele: voce, chitarra, flaluti, percussioni
Riccardo: voce, chitarra, percussioni

Collettivo Del Contropotere – L'Estate Dei Poveri (1976)
(ca. 256 kbps, cover art included)

Hammerfest – Schleudertest (1981)


This is down-to-earth rock with German lyrics, perfect for their thousands of live gigs. The style runs from psychedelic via prog-rock to political agitation. Only 8 songs didn't sum up to a regular LP, so they used a nice trick and pressed one with 45 rpm, at least it gives a better sound. The album was recorded at Cottage Studio, Spenge, and released on the Schneeball label. Track B4 is a cover of Shadows' Apache.           

A4Die Irren3:36
B1Panik, Panik4:30
B3Bäume statt Beton2:25
B4A. Patsche3:45

Wolfgang Kuhlmann (Wolli Kuhl): guitar
Rüdiger Friese (Rubbel Rüdi): guitar
Achim Patz (Ako Patz): keyboard, vocals
Jakob Künzel (Jesus Caneloni): sax
H.F. Schänder: bass, vocals
Klaus Otto (Fetzenotto): drums

Hammerfest - Schleudertest (1981, Schneeball)
(ca. 256 kbps, cover art included)

Kurt Weill - O Moon Of Alabama - Historic Original Recordings 1928 - 1933 & 1943/44

The son of a cantor, Kurt Weill was born in Dessau into a family that took in operatic performances as a main form of entertainment.
When Weill was in his teens the director of the Dessau Hoftheater, Albert Bing, encouraged him in the study of music. Weill briefly studied composition with Engelbert Humperdinck and was already working professionally as a conductor when he attended composer Ferruccio Busoni's master classes in Berlin.

Delighted to see the positive responses of an audience to his first collaboration with playwright Georg Kaiser, "Der Protagonist" (1926), he thereafter resolved to work toward accessibility in his music. In 1926 Weill married actress Lotte Lenya, whose reedy, quavering singing voice he called "the one I hear in my head when I am writing my songs."

In 1927 Weill began his collaboration with leftist playwright and poet Bertolt Brecht; their first joint venture, "Mahagonny-Songspiel" (1927), launched the number "Alabama Song," which, to their surprise, became a minor pop hit in Europe. The next show, "Die Dreigroschenoper" ("The Three-Penny Opera", 1928), was a monstrous success, in particular the song "Moritat" ("Mack the Knife").

Nonetheless, strain in their association was already being felt, and after the completion of their magnificent "school opera" "Der Jasager" (1930), the two parted company. Brecht and Weill were brought together once more in Paris to create "Die Sieben Todsünden" ("The Seven Deadly Sins") in 1934. In the meantime, Weill collaborated with Caspar Neher on the opera "Die Bürgschaft" (1931) and Georg Kaiser again on "Der Silbersee" (1933), works that garnered the hostile attention of the then-emerging Nazi party.

With the rise to power of Hitler, Weill and Lenya were forced to dissolve their union and flee Continental Europe. Weill found his way to New York in 1935; rejoining Lenya, Weill became a citizen and devoted himself to American democracy with a vengeance, preferring his name pronounced like "wile" rather than "vile." After a series of frustrating flops, Weill hit his stride with playwright Maxwell Anderson, producing his first hit, "Knickerbocker Holiday" (1938). In the dozen years left to him, Weill's stature on Broadway grew with a series of hit shows, including "Lady in the Dark" (1941), "One Touch of Venus" (1943), "Love Life" (1948), and "Lost in the Stars" (1949). Weill had ambitions to create what he regarded as "the first American folk opera"; the closest of his American works to reach that goal is "Street Scene" (1946), a sort of "urban folk opera" based on a play by Elmer Rice with lyrics by Langston Hughes.

On April 3, 1950, Weill unexpectedly suffered a massive coronary and died in Lenya's arms. Weill's estate was valued at less than 1,000 dollars, and Lenya realized that his contribution to musical theater was likewise undervalued. She commissioned composer Marc Blitzstein to adapt an English-language version of "Die Dreigroschenoper"; it opened off-Broadway in 1954 and ran for three years, touching off a Weill revival that continues to this day.

Here´s a collectoin of Kurt Weill related recordings called "O Moon Of Alabama - Historic Original Recordings 1928-1933; 1943/44":

1. Alabama-Song (2:53) - Marek Weber And His Orchestra
2. Tango Angèle (3:02) - Saxophon-Orchester Dobbri
3. Die Muschel Von Margate (Petroleum-Song) (2:55) - Lyrics By - Felix Gasbarra Piano - Alfred Schlee, Vocals - Otto Pasetti
4. Surabaya-Johnny (2:52) - Theo Mackeben And His Jazz-Orchestra
5. Bilbao-Song (2:56) - Theo Mackeben And His Jazz-Orchestra
6. Matrosensong (3:08)
7. Surabaya-Johnny (2:43)
8. Der Song Von Madelay (3:02)
9. Surabaya-Johnny (2:42) - "Red" Roberts And His Jazz-Orchestra
10. Surabaya-Johnny (3:14) - Orchestre Pierre Chagnon Vocals - Marianne Oswald
11. Alabama-Song (2:49)
12. Denn Wie Man Sich Bettet (3:22)
13. Querschnitt Aus Der Oper "Aufstieg Und Fall Der Stadt Mahagonny" (8:33) - Großes Ensemble Des Theaters Am Kurfürstendamm Conductor - Hans Sommer Orchestra - Orchester Des Theaters Am Kurfürstendamm
14. Das Lied Vom Schlaraffenland (2:55) - Conductor - Maurice de Abravanel Vocals - Ernst Busch
15. Der Bäcker Backt Ums Morgenrot (3:06) - Conductor - Maurice de Abravanel Vocals - Ernst Busch
16. Lost In The Stars (3:00) - Lyrics By - Maxwell Anderson
17. Lover Man (2:51) - Lyrics By - Maxwell Anderson
18. J'attends Un Navire (3:02) - Lyrics By - Jacques Déval
19. Complainte De La Seine (3:26) - Lyrics By - Maurice Magre
20. Surabaya-Johnny (3:06)
21. Denn Wie Man Sich Bettet (3:03)
22. Und Was Bekam Des Soldaten Weib (4:09)
23. Wie Lange Noch? (3:17) - Lyrics By - Walter Mehring


1 rec. Mar 1928, original release on Electrola (E.G. 853)
2 rec. Jan 1928, original release on Beka (B 6313)
3 rec. 1931, original release on Paloma (Wien) (3501)
4, 5 rec. 1929, original release on Orchestrola (2311)
6, 7 rec. 1929, original release on Electrola (E.G. 1590)
8 rec. 1929, original release on Electrola (E.G. 1569)
9 rec. 1930, original release on Ultraphon (A 198)
10 rec. 1931, original release on Columbia, Paris (DF 1114)
11, 12 rec. 1930, original release on Homocord (3671)
13 rec. 1932, original release on Electrola (E.H. 736)
14, 15 rec. Jan 1933, original release on Gloria (G.O. 10703)
16 to 21 rec. 1943, original release on Bost Records, New York (6 5017-19)
22, 23 rec. 1943/44, original release on Office of War Information (OWI) Washington

With special greetings to verde!

Samstag, 27. Oktober 2018

Colin Wilkie, Shirley Hart, Albert Mangelsdorff, Joki Freund - Wild Goose (1969)

The legendary German trombonist Albert Mangelsdorff began his career in the early '50s in the groups of Hans Koller and Joki Freund, making an appearance at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival as part of the "International Youth Band" (at 30!).

On the atypical Wild Goose, his quintet augmented by brother Emil (alto sax and flute) and Freund (tenor and soprano), all backing the British folk duo of Colin Wilkie and Shirley Hart on four of the former's originals and three traditional folk songs. This folk jazz LP was released on the cult german jazz label MPS. It includes the nice modalish 'Willow And Rue'!

The album was produced by Joachim E. Berendt & Ulrich Olshausen and recorded Febraury 19th at the Tonstudio in Walldorf. Colin Wilkie (vocals, guitar), Shirley Hart (vocals), Günter Lenz (bass) and Ralf Hübner (drums, darbouka, tambourine) were accompanied by the "Jazzensemble des hessischen Rundfunks" with Albert Mangelsdorff, Joki Freund Emils Mangelsdorff and Heinz Sauer.

A1Icy Acres4:07
A2Fourth Flight7:00
A3Snowy Sunday6:57
B1Willow And Rue4:25
B3Ich Armes Maidlein Klag Mich Sehr6:43
B4Sweet Primroses5:05

Colin Wilkie, Shirley Hart, Albert Mangelsdorff, Joki Freund - Wild Goose (1969)
(ca. 224 kbps, cover art included)

Asian Dub Foundation - Facts And Fictions (1995)

Asian Dub Foundation's album debut finds the band with their chops fully intact, even at this early date. Dr. Das' rapping flow is speedy and intricate, though continually inflected in the same ways (very reminiscent of Rage Against the Machine's Zack de la Rocha).

The production and programming, by Steve Chandrasonic and Dr. Das, is the real highlight here, incorporating traditional Indian percussion and instruments, but constantly name-checking contemporary dance styles like bhangra and ragga jungle. The haunting vocals that open "Rebel Warrior" make it a highlight, while Chandra's deep drum programs provide continual thrills.               

  1. "Witness" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Pandit G, Steve Chandra Savale, Sun-J, Delbert Tailor, Thorpe, Zaman) – 4:50
  2. "PKNB" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Pandit G, Steve Chandra Savale) – 6:27
  3. "Jericho" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Pandit G, Steve Chandra Savale) – 7:02
  4. "Rebel Warrior" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Pandit G, Steve Chandra Savale) – 6:27
  5. "Journey" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Pandit G, Steve Chandra Savale, Zaman) – 7:06
  6. "Strong Culture" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Steve Chandra Savale, Uddin, Zaman) – 6:44
  7. "TH9" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Pandit G, Steve Chandra Savale, Thorpe, Zaman) – 5:25
  8. "Tu Meri" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Pandit G, Steve Chandra Savale, Thorpe) – 4:57
  9. "Debris" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Pandit G, Steve Chandra Savale, Zaman) – 4:18
  10. "Box" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Pandit G, Steve Chandra Savale, Zaman) – 6:09
  11. "Thacid 9 (Dub Version)" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Pandit G, Steve Chandra Savale) – 5:32
  12. "Return To Jericho (Dub Version)" (Chandrasonic, Aniruddha Das, Pandit G, Steve Chandra Savale) – 4:26

Asian Dub Foundation - Facts And Fictions (1995)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Egon Erwin Kisch - Erinnerungen an den rasenden Reporter

PhotobucketOn March 31, 1948, Egon Erwin Kisch, a german-speaking Czech journalist and novelist, died in Prague, Czech Republic.

Egon Erwin Kisch was "der rasende Reporter" ("the raging reporter"), a journalist whose interest in marginalized parts of society and the world outside Europe endeared him to a large number of readers. He became a figurehead in the fight against fascism. Later generations of journalists regarded his documentaries as exemplary and pioneering. He is admired to this day for the high literary quality of his journalitic work.

Kisch was born into a German-speaking Jewish family in Prague, at that time part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, and began his journalistic career as a reporter for a local German language newspaper in 1906. His early work is characterised by an interest in crime and the lives of the poor of Prague, taking Jan Neruda, Emile Zola and Charles Dickens's Sketches by Boz as his models. He deserted from the army in World War I in October 1918 as the war came to an end and played a leading role in the left-wing revolution in Vienna in November of that year. Although the revolution failed, in 1919, Kisch joined the Communist party, a political allegiance he maintained for the rest of his life.
Between 1921 and 1930 Kisch, though a citizen of Czechoslovakia, lived primarily in Berlin, where his work found a new and appreciative audience. In books of collected journalism such as "Der rasende Reporter" (1924), he cultivated the image of a witty, gritty, daring reporter always on the move, a cigarette clamped doggedly between his lips. His work and his public persona found an echo in the artistic movement of "Neue Sachlichkeit", a major strand in the culture of the Weimar Republic.
On February 28 1933, the day after the Reichstag Fire, Kisch was one of many prominent opponents of Nazism to be arrested. He was briefly imprisoned in Spandau, but as a Czechoslovakian citizen, was expelled from Germany. His works were banned and burnt in Germany, but he continued to write for the Czech and émigré German press, bearing witness to the horrors of the Nazi takeover.
In 1937 and 1938, Kisch took part in Spanish Civil War. He travelled across the country speaking in the Republican cause and his reports from the front line were widely published.

Following the "Munich Agreement" of 1938 and the subsequent Nazi occupation of Bohemia six months later, Kisch was unable to return to the country of his birth. Once war broke out, Paris, which he had made his main home since 1933, also became too dangerous for an outspoken Jewish communist whose native land no longer existed. In late 1939, Kisch and his wife Gisela, sailed for New York where, once again, he was initially denied entry. He eventually landed at Ellis Island on December 28, but as he only had a transit visa moved onto Mexico in 1940.
He remained in Mexico for the next five years, one of a circle of European communist refugees, notable among them Anna Seghers and Ludwig Renn.

Kisch died two years after his return to Prague, shortly after the Communist party seized complete power. There are contradictory reports of his attitude - as a German-speaking Jew - to the party in this period as it began to develop the anti-semitism which culminated in the "Prague Trials" of 1952 and supported the expulsion of most of Czechoslovakia's ethnic Germans.
To remember his great work, here is "Erinnerungen an den rasenden Reporter", a wonderful feature in german language about Egon Erwin Kisch.

Egon Erwin Kisch - Erinnerungen an den rasenden Reporter
(192 kbps, front cover included)

Brothers Four - Greenfields

"Washington state's Brothers Four mined much the same territory as other commercial folk bands of the revival in the late '50s, such as the Kingston Trio.
The formula was similar -- good harmonies, simple instrumentation, and good songs that more or less fell under the folk banner. Most of the ten tracks here are very familiar -- the title cut, "If I Had a Hammer," "Rock Island Line," and others. It's certainly pleasant in a nostalgic way, but hardly likely to get any pulses beating faster. Like other bands, they were the white-bread face of folk, relatively bland and making sure there was no threatening edge in their music.

What that boils down to is that it's fun, but unless you're avid about the period, it's unlikely to be played often -- once might be quite ample for many. But it's hard not to be moved just a little by their update of the old jug band favorite "Walk Right In." And given the budget price, it might be worth the investment for those odd times when you want a stroll down the byways of American folk nostalgia."   -      

Brothers Four - Greenfields    
(320 kbps, front cover included)

Mutter - Hauptsache Musik

In the late 1980s, a new musical scene was emerging in Hamburg compromising a number of bands that sung in German but that had no record deals (with the exception of "Die Antwort"). To remedy this situation and to give the new style a platform, the record label "L'age d'or" (French for "Golden Age") was established in October 1988 by Carol von Rautenkranz and Pascal Fuhlbrügge. They signed contracts with many bands and published numerous albums. A great deal of the albums were produced by Chris von Rautenkranz, Carol's brother, in the legendary Soundgarden recording studio in Hamburg. Another label that influenced the emerging genre was Alfred Hilsberg's "What's so funny about?" which published the first albums by Blumfeld, Die Erde, Cpt. Kirk and Mutter.

Soon, however, the Hamburger Schule was not restricted to Hamburg anymore. In particular, a local scene of Germanophone bands had developed in the small town of Bad Salzuflen in Eastern Westphalia, which was centered around the label Fast Weltweit. Founders were Frank Werner, Frank Spilker ("Die Sterne"), Michael Girke, Bernadette La Hengst ("Die Braut haut ins Auge"), and Jochen Distelmeyer (then "Bienenjäger", now "Blumfeld"). They got in contact with the Hamburg scene through Bernd Begemann who was a native of Bad Salzuflen but moved to Hamburg where he established his band "Die Antwort". This led to various gigs in Hamburg for bands from the "Fast Weltweit" label, eventually causing many other artists to move to Hamburg.Another first-generation Hamburger Schule band, "Die Regierung", was not from Hamburg, but rather from Essen.

Here´s Mutter - Hauptsache Musik with favourites like "Ihr seid alle schön" ("You all are beautiful") and "Die Erde wird der schönste Platz im All" ("Earth will become the most beautiful place in the universe"):

Mutter - Hauptsache Musik
(256 kbps, front cover included)

VA - Rock Steady Beat - Treasure Isle's Greatest Hits (1967)

Arthur ‘Duke’ Reid (b.1915, Jamaica) had spent ten years as a Kingston policeman when he and his wife Lucille decided to buy The Treasure Isle Liquor Store in Kingston, Jamaica, after winning a substantial Jamaican National lottery. Wanting music to attract customers, the Duke arranged through a sponsorship deal to host his own radio show ‘Treasure Isle Time’. The people would listen to the latest American R&B tunes on 78rpm, interspersed with liquor deals going down at his store. This in time would lead to the starting of his own Sound System, where he could take his liquor to the dances via his Trojan truck. He used a large van to transport this equipment around Jamaica to dance halls and open air events. Due to the nature of the van it became known as the Trojan. With shouts of ‘Here comes the Trojan’, Duke Reid’s now named Trojan Sound System was born. It proved such a success that he was crowned King of Sound and Blues three years in a row 1956, 1957 and 1958. 1958 also saw the store which was out growing itself, move to its legendary premises, 33 Bond Street, as Treasure Isle Recording Studio

Duke Reid was a formidable character in the music business. His guns from his policing days were ever present and always on show, striking a menacing cord. The former champion marksman was notorious for his permanent armament and his 'bad men' who not only attended on his dances but also sabotaged competing sounds. It was also not unheard of for a few rounds to be let off, if the need arose. But it was his extensive knowledge of the R&B tunes,and knowing what the people liked to here that was his real strength. Like Clement "Coxsone" Dodd at Studio One he would travel to America to acquire the latest cuts. But this was proving more difficult due to America’s tastes moving on to Rock & Roll, which was not so popular in Jamaica.

His record production career began in 1959 on the "Trojan " record label, these were on 78's, such as Duke's Cookies and Chuck and Dobby "Cool School". On the Duke Reid label due to demand he issued home made recordings of the USA R & B style music. He formed his own backing band, which backed young singers like Derrick Morgan and Jiving Juniors.

1962 - 1966 was a prolific time at Treasure Isle, the Ska hits kept coming. He worked with artists like Stranger Cole, Techniques and the great Alton Ellis & The Flames. Such was the output that the releases were spread over three labels: Duke Reid's (later Duke Reid Greatest Hits), Dutchess (a name he often used to refer to his wife), and Treasure Isle. His work with Skatalites as a group came to an end after August/September 1965. Don Drummond was arrested on New Years Eve 1965, accused of murdering his girl friend Marguerita. He died in Bellevue, a mental institution in 1969. The Skatalites last gig was a Police Dance at the Runaway Bay Hotel.

1968-1969 saw the beat slowing down and reggae was evolving into Rocksteady and again Duke had his finger on the pulse. Working with the great sax player Tommy McCook & The Supersonics, the hits flowed from the studio. Paragons ‘Wear you to the Ball’, Alton Ellis’ ‘Rock Steady’, Melodians ‘Last train to Expo’ and The Techniques’s rendition of the Curtis Mayfield classic ‘Queen Majesty’ were all big hits of the day. Getting released on Reid’s own labels and in the U.K. Trojan Records (named after his Sound System) which he created with Chris Blackwell and Lee Gopthal from Island Records.

The musical style would change again around 1970, but the ever resourceful Reid would apply his tunes and start a new genre, the DJ Sound. By using his classic backing tracks and interspersing the dubbed vocal along side his Sound System DJ’s rants and raves, his tunes became hits once more.

Duke Reid became seriously ill in 1974 and sadly passed away in early 1975. He left behind a treasure chest full of his music, even today, gems are still to be found.                   

"Most of these sides were originally released as singles in 1966 and 1967, on Treasure Isle in Jamaica and on Doctor Bird, Trojan and Treasure Isle in England. Duke Reid selected them in 1967 to make up his first rocksteady compilation LP which he issued on Treasure Isle LP 101/2."

A1A. EllisRock Steady
A2The TechniquesYou Don't Care
A3–The Three TopsIt's Raining
A4The JamaicansThing You Say You Love
A5The TechniquesOh Babe
A6Tommy McCookInez
B1The TechniquesOut Of Many One
B2Justin HindsCarry Go Bring Come
B3Phyllis DillonPerfidia
B4The TechniquesDay O
B5A. EllisGirl Have I Got A Date
B6T. McCookTrain To Ska-thederal

According to liner notes:
Track 2 ("You don't care") started life as "You'll want me back" written by Curtis Mayfield and a hit for Major Lance.
Track 5 ("Oh Babe") started life in New Orleans as "Sick and Tired", composed by Chris Kenner in 1957 (and covered by Fats Domino in 1958).
Track 9 ("Perfidia") is best known as a hit instrumental and dates back to 1941, an Alfredo Dominguez composition.
Track 10 ("Day O") is a traditional West Indian melody.
Track 12 ("Train To Ska-Thedral") started life as "Winchester Cathedral", written by Geoff Stephens and a big hit in 1967.           
(256 kbps, cover art included)

Crass - How Does It Feel (1982)

"How Does It Feel" was recorded and mixed in August 1982 at Southern Studios, London.

George Barber wrote in the Crass story, Having had a bit more time to consider their response, Crass released another single: ‘How Does It Feel To Be The Mother Of A Thousand Dead?’ A direct attack on Thatcher, it came in a black sleeve decorated with white graveyard crosses. When, during Prime Ministers Question Time,Thatcher was asked if she’d heard the record, things were getting serious.

The Conservative Party attempted to fight back, as the Guardian reported: “The Attorney General, Sir Michael Havers, has been asked by the Conservative MP for Enfield North, Mr. Tim Eggar, to prosecute an Anti-Falklands war record under the Obscene Publications Act. The record ‘How Does It Feel To Be The Mother of 1,000 Dead?’, by the group Crass, which also owns the record company Crass Records, which released it, is said to have sold 20,000 copies since it was issued last Saturday. It refers to Mrs. Thatcher and the decision to send the Task Force. ‘You never wanted peace or solution, from the start you lusted after war and destruction . . . Iron Lady, with your stone heart so, eager that the lesson be taught that you inflicted, you determined, you created, you ordered . . . It was your decision to have those young boys slaugh- tered.” Tim Eggar was the brother of Robin Eggar, a Daily Mirror columnist who had previously written in his column:“Rock music is often used by the young to voice their protests. However distasteful the Sex Pistols appeared to be in 1977, their songs were a chilling warning of the coming recession. But anarchist band Crass have gone too far. They released last week the most revolting and unnecessary record I have ever heard. ‘How Does It Feel To Be The Mother of 1,000 Dead?’ is a vicious and obscene attack on Margaret Thatcher’s motives for engaging in the Falklands war. It bears little relation to reality. Retailing at only 75p it has already sold more than 28,000 copies.”

Crass themselves escaped any direct threat from the state.“We didn’t actually get any of it,” says Rimbaud.“There’s no question at all that that was a policy.” Rimbaud cites a circular sent around the Tory party after MP Timothy Eggar opened proceedings against ‘How Does It Feel?’ which stated that “on no account must they respond to any form of provocation from us”.

A hilarious LBC radio interview ensued, where Tim Eggar debated with Andy Palmer and Pete Wright. Eggar is clearly angry fit to burst before he even starts, and – sounding like a clichéd public school Tory – starts off by blustering that the record goes “beyond the acceptable bounds of freedom of speech, being the most vicious, scurrilous and obscene record that has ever been produced”.


A How Does It Feel (To Be The Mother Of A Thousand Dead)?
B1 The Immortal Death
B2 Don't Tell Me You Care

Crass - How Does It Feel (1982)
(192 kbps, cover art included)

1. Festival des politischen Liedes - Song `70 (Eterna, vinyl rip)

The "Festival of Political Songs" was one of the largest music events in East Germany. This festival provided a meeting place for politically involved musicians from around the globe with a like-minded audience.

It was founded by the group Oktoberklub and between 1970 and 1990 took place in East Berlin every February as an official event of the Free German Youth. The event was first organized by the Berlin division, but from 1975 was directed by the Central Committee of the Free German Youth.

Artists from 60 countries participated in the event over the years, and usually between 50 to 80 artists, from around 30 countries, performed, including prominent artists like Mikis Theodorakis, Miriam Makeba, Quilapayún, Inti-Illimani, Silvio Rodríguez, Mercedes Sosa, Canzoniere delle Lame, and Pete Seeger. The mascot of the festival was a red sparrow named Oki (derived from Oktoberklub).

After the collapse of East Germany, the festival lost its function and supporting infrastructure.

From 1991 to 1994 the association ZwischenWelt-Förderverein continued the tradition of the political song festival along with a progressive Cultural festival. After the break-up of this association and until 1999 no festivals took place. In 2000 a successful small-scale revival of the festival took place. The new orientation of the festival manifested itself in 2001 with the festival’s new name: "Festival Musik und Politik", taking place this week in Berlin.

We start today posting some albums documenting these festivals.

The album from the first "Festival des politischen Liedes" in 1970 features recordings from the opening and closing event at the Kongresshalle, Berlin, february 15 and 21, 1970.

1. Festival des politischen Liedes - Song `70 (Eterna)
(256 kbps, front & back cover included)

Freitag, 26. Oktober 2018

The SWAPO Singers – One Namibia One Nation (SWAPO Freedom Songs)

Like South Africa’s ANC, Namibia’s liberation organisation SWAPO has from time to time put together agit-prop bands or choirs, to bolster the morale of the troops or attract overseas media attention.
One generation of the SWAPO Singers came to Western attention in the mid-80s, when Jerry Dammers and Robert Wyatt respectively produced and collaborated on "Wind Of Change", which also featured Onyeka.   

DIAL AFRICA wrote about this album:
"The 1980s were the time, when the countries of southern Africa were fighting for freedom. In Namibia SWAPO organised not only this struggle but also a lot of support in Europe. One document was this LP here which led to a very pop(ular) version of a song called "Wind of Change"."

A1 Afrika (Africa)
Vocals [Sung By] – Jackson Kaujewa
A2 Odi Wena Vorster (Warning Vorster Get Out Of Namibia)
Vocals [Sung By] – Dan-Hafeni Haipinge, Jackson Kaujewa
A3 Va Nambia Va Kwetu (Fellow Namibians)
Vocals [Sung By] – Albertina Heita, Dan-Hafeni Haipinge, Freida Kaurimuje, Jackson Kaujewa, Martha Elieser, Nick Nambahu, Sackey Schikwambi
A4 The Wind Of Change
Vocals [Sung By] – Jackson Kaujewa
A5 Shilongno Shetu (My Country)
Vocals [Sung By] – Jackson Kaujewa
A6 Twanana Swapo Yeti (We Are United In Swapo)
Vocals [Sung By] – Albertina Heita, Dan-Hafeni Haipinge, Freida Kaurimuje, Jackson Kaujewa, Martha Elieser, Nick Nambahu, Sackey Schikwambi
B1 Mwene Kala Pamwe Na Afrika (God Bless Africa)
Vocals [Sung By] – Albertina Heita, Dan-Hafeni Haipinge, Jackson Kaujewa, Martha Elieser
B2 Ti Mamasa Ta Gegaisera Mo=gao (I Want To See My Mother)
Vocals [Sung By] – Jackson Kaujewa
B3 Tunana Ko Ngutukiro (Lead Us To Freedom)
Vocals [Sung By] – Albertina Heita, Dan-Hafeni Haipinge, Freida Kaurimuje, Jackson Kaujewa, Martha Elieser, Nick Nambahu, Sackey Schikwambi
B4 We Are The Soldiers Of Swapo
Vocals [Sung By] – Albertina Heita, Martha Elieser
B5 Give Me Back Namibia
Vocals [Sung By] – Jackson Kaujewa
B6 Power To The People
Vocals [Sung By] – Dan-Hafeni Haipinge, Jackson Kaujewa
B7 Afrika (Africa)
Vocals [Sung By] – Jackson Kaujewa

The SWAPO Singers - One Namibia One Nation (SWAPO Freedom Songs)
(320 kbps, cover art included)

Mittwoch, 24. Oktober 2018

Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger - The Amorous Muse (1968)

Ewan MacColl´s sleeve notes:

“Luve’s as warm among cotters as it is among courtiers,” says the Scots proverb, and if songs are an accurate barometer of emotional temperature, then the cotter, along with most of his class, would appear to have gone through life without ever feeling the need of an electric blanket.
Furthermore, when it came to making up songs which matched the intensity of his feelings, the cotter seems, on the whole, to have been rather more successful than his more socially-elevated contemporaries. This is not to say that the ‘folk’ have been more pre-occupied with the theme of love than have formal composers or creators in the field of Anglo-American popular song; love is a perennial theme with all kinds of songmakers and probably accounts for well over half of all songs written in English or in any dialect of English.

Tin Pan Alley
If there is no fundamental thematic difference between the folk, the formal, and the popular amatory song, there is a tremendous difference in the way the theme is treated. This difference of approach is between the amatory folksong on the one hand, and the formally composed and popular song on the other.

This division would, at first sight, appear to be a somewhat strange one particularly in view of the fact that many commentators in the present folksong revival are fond of saying that today’s Tin Pan Alley creations are tomorrow’s folksongs. An analysis of the last fifty years of Anglo-American popular song does not support this theory; on the contrary, it shows that pop song (as far as the treatment of subject matter is concerned) leans overwhelmingly towards the type of song created by formal composers.

Maggie vs ‘my honey’
In both classes of song we are presented with a lover whose sole function is to love or to be loved, to be rejected, jilted and betrayed. The lovers have no social identity, they appear to live without having to work; if they have names then they are usually of the kind derived from classical literature or, in the case of the pop songs, the beloved is addressed affectionately – and possessively – as “my gal”, “my baby”, “my sugar”, “my honey”, etc.

In the folksongs the lovers generally possess the kind of names that have been common throughout the British Isles for the last three or four hundred years—Willie, Johnnie, Maggie, Peggy, Barbara, Helen, Mary, Annie, etc,—and, as often as not, we are told in the course of the first three or four lines, that Johnnie is a weaver, collier, soldier, brewer, or ploughboy and that Mary is a farmer’s daughter, who milks her father’s cows or minds his sheep.

Again, in formal and popular type love songs, there is usually a total lack of topographical detail: the lovers exist in a circumscribed part of an idealised landscape or in an area as abstract as deep space. There is an equally loose disregard for time, which is, so to speak, perpetually frozen, so that there are no seasons, no hours, no days or nights.

Folksongs, on the other hand, are usually quite explicit; Johnny, a brisk young sailor, soldier, deserter, roving heckler, ploughboy, etc., walks out one bright May morning, or one morning in June, or sweet July, in the ewing time, in the nutting time, just as the tide was flowing, and encounters Mary milking, reaping, dressing flax, washing or bleaching her clothes on the banks of a sweet purling stream, or by the salt sea strand.

The most important difference, however, lies in the action of the songs, In formal and pop songs the action is nearly always minimal; a young man loves a young woman (or the other way around), and he or she is frustrated and unhappy or, less frequently, happy and fulfilled.

At the conclusion of the song the condition of the lovers is unchanged—they are still frustrated and unhappy, or happy and fulfilled. Nothing has happened to them. In most folksongs, lovers consummate their love at a fairly early point in the text, and thereafter events follow in a perfectly logical sequence; the young girl becomes pregnant and marries her lover or is abandoned by him; or, alternatively, the couple make love, taking enormous pleasure in the encounter and then part, still full of admiration for each other.

Abstract pop, specific folk
Perhaps it would be true to say that in formal compositions and pop songs, we are presented with an abstract concept of romantic love, shared by a ‘he’ and a ‘she’ who are themselves mere abstract formalisations of social attitudes, whereas in folksongs we are asked to observe the effects which love has on specific human beings functioning in a specific set of circumstances.
To claim for our amatory folksong a greater degree of realism than is apparent in formal and pop songs, is not to say that they are mere matter-of-fact descriptions of sexual encounters, That they are often forthright and refreshingly frank in their observations of human pleasures and passions, is undeniable; that they can combine candour with sensuousness, tenderness with sensuality, humour with lust, and delicacy with appetite, is equally true.

And there is no lack of imaginative ideas in the way in which the subject is handled. Traditional love songs are rich in euphemism, ranging from the most delicate and oblique metaphors, to analogies obvious enough to have provoked an immediate belly-laugh from the crowds who followed the mountebanks of Athens and Sparta five centuries before Christ.

At various times throughout history, stern moralists have attempted to wean the ‘rude unlettered folk’ from their ‘lewd and licentious songs and ballads’. It would appear that their efforts have not been entirely crowned with success. A surprisingly large number of amatory folksongs have survived and the scores of young singers encouraged by the current folksong revival are busy ensuring that they will continue to survive.


1. Kissing's Nae Sin (Scots) - Ewan MacColl
2. The Little Carpenter (American) - Peggy Seeger
3. Stonecutter Boy (English) - Ewan MacColl
4. When I Was In My Prime (Nove Scotia) - Peggy Seeger
5. The Mill-Mill O (Scots) - Ewan MacColl
6. Bonny Bunch of Rushes Green (Canadian) - Peggy Seeger
7. Lassie Gathering Nuts (Scots) - Ewan MacColl
8. If He'd Be A Buckaroo (American) - Peggy Seeger
9. Let Me In This Ae Nicht (Scots) - Ewan MacColl
10. Whistle Daughter Whistle (American) - Peggy Seeger
11. Eppie Morrie (Scots) - Ewan MacColl
12. Supper is Nae Ready (Scots) - Ewan MacColl
13. The Spinning Wheel (Scots) - Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger
14. A Pretty Fair Maid (American) - Peggy Seeger
15. Firelock Stile (English) - Ewan MacColl
16. Where Are You Going, My Pretty Little Girl (American) - Peggy Seeger
17. O Gin My Love Were You Red Rose (Scots) - Ewan MacColl
18. Young Munro (Canadian) - Peggy Seeger
19. The Bugaboo (American) - Peggy Seeger
20. Dainty Davie (Scots) - Ewan MacColl
21. The First Time Ever (Contemporary English) - Peggy Seeger
22. Sweet Thames Flow Softly (English) - Ewan MacColl

Ewan MacColl & Peggy Seeger - The Amorous Muse (1968)
(ca. 250 kbps, cover art included)

Dienstag, 23. Oktober 2018

Anne Briggs - Same (1971)

Few legends loom larger than Anne Briggs in the history of British folk; she was a dazzlingly gifted young prodigy who was discovered by Ewan MacColl in 1962 and sporadically performed and recorded until 1973, when she decided she didn't care for the sound of her voice on record and walked away from her career, presumably for good.

Briggs had recorded a pair of EPs and contributed to some compilation albums in the 1960s but didn't recorded a full LP until 1971, when she cut her full-length debut for the well-respected British folk label Topic Records. Of Briggs' three albums, "Anne Briggs" is easily the purest and most austere; Briggs sings a cappella on six of the ten songs, and on the rest she's accompanied only by an acoustic guitar or bouzouki, and the production is clean and straightforward, as if a microphone was placed in the room with Briggs and the results were put to tape with no further filtering or manipulation. Briggs' voice is stunning in its clarity and her command of her instrument is complete on these ten selections, but what makes this album a lasting classic is Briggs' gift as an interpreter. There's precious little in the way of forced drama in these performances, but Briggs inhabits these songs the way a truly gifted actor can slip completely into a character, and with the simplest tools at her disposal she turns these age-old melodies (with two Briggs originals for seasoning) into stories that draw the listener in, holding them breathless through the full ten minutes of "Young Tambling." Briggs draws from the classic repertoire of British folk on this album (two of the same songs would later appear on Fairport Convention's ground-breaking "Liege & Lief"), but she was willing to embrace idiosyncratic versions of these songs (most notably "Young Tambling," better known as "Tam Lin," and "The Cuckoo") and her interpretations are singular in their beauty and eloquence.

In the liner notes that accompany the 2008 reissue of this album, Ken Hunt points out that many of the stories that circulate about Briggs' wild, nomadic life are myth rather than reality. But one has only to listen to Anne Briggs to realize that the legends of her gifts as a singer are rooted firmly in fact, with these recordings as proof.


"Blackwater Side"
"The Snow It Melts The Soonest"
"Willie O'Winsbury"
"Go Your Way"
"Thorneymoor Woods"
"The Cuckoo"
"Young Tambling"
"Living By The Water"
"Ma Bonny Lad"

Anne Briggs - Same (1971)
(320 kbps, cover art included)