The Watersons Early Days
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- Released: July 1, 1994
- Label: Topic Records
Mojo (Publisher) - 1/95, p.109"...collects songs from [The Watersons'] 1965 debut NEW VOICES as well as a selection from their subsequent Topic albums....The group's harmonies and distinct Yorkshire accents are still one of the folk scene's finest sounds."
- 1.Boston Harbour
- 2.The Greenland Whale Fishery
- 3.Three Score and Ten
- 4.The Broom of Cowdenknowes
- 5.King Arthur's Servants
- 6.Rap Her to Bank - (previously unreleased)
- 7.Dido Bendingo
- 8.The North Country Maid
- 9.Brave Wolfe
- 10.The Jolly Waggoners
- 11.I Am a Rover
- 12.Fathom the Bowl
- 13.The Thirty Foot Trailer
- 14.The Holmfirth Anthem
- 16.The White Hare of Howden
- 17.All for Me Grog
- 18.The Poacher's Fate
- 19.The Tour of the Dales
- 20.Willy Went to Westerdale
- 21.I'ansons' S Racehorse
- 22.The Plough Boy
- 23.The White Cockade
- 24.Ye Noble Spectators
- 25.Stow Brow
- 26.The Wanton Wife of Castlegate
- 27.The Whitby Lad
The Watersons: Michael, Norma & Elaine Waterson, John Harrison (vocals).
Photographer: Brian Shuel.
Unknown Contributor Role: A.L. Lloyd.
Arranger: The Watersons.
The influence of unaccompanied singing group the Watersons on the British folk revival has long been acknowledged as huge. This CD, which collect their cuts from the 1965 New Voices compilation along with The Watersons and A Yorkshire Garland (both 1966), captures a lot of the appeal of Norma, Lal, and Mike Waterson, who, with their cousin John Harrison, comprised the group. And, along with the Frost and Fire album (available separately), it rounds up the output of their early days, prior to their initial breakup in 1968 (they'd re-form four years later). The music itself is glorious, the voices completely unself-conscious, the harmonies stirring, whether on something as well-known as "Twanky-Dillo" or any of the more obscure songs from A Yorkshire Garland, which explored their native county. Of greatest interest is the way Norma and Lal's voices work together, bringing a young freshness to their vocals, and reinventing the traditional material in a way that it can hit a new, younger generation -- indeed, it still sounds completely vital and passionate today. And the inclusion of the previously unreleased "Rap Her to Bank," recorded for (but not included on) The Watersons, means this even has collector's appeal, too -- but it'll be the newcomer who'll be most moved by this excellent collection. ~ Chris Nickson
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