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ENGLAND, BLONDEL CD


Price: £11.78 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (11 Oct 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: BGO
  • ASIN: B003VZL9M4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 42,759 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Paintings – Seascape
2. Landscape
3. Afterglow
4. A Spring Air
5. Cantus Firmus To Counterpoint
6. Sinfonia For Guitar And Strings (from The Suite 'For My Lady's Delight')
7. Dolor Dulcis (Sweet Sorrow)
8. Lament To The Earl Of Bottesford Beck
9. The Leaving Of The Country Lover
10. Young Man's Fancy
11. Easy Come, Easy Go
12. Sailing
13. Lesson One
14. Festival
15. Weaver's Market
16. Depression

Product Description

The mediaeval instrumental band's third and fourth albums for Island Records, from 1972 and 1973. Amazing Blondel are still active today, since a 1997 reunion of the original members. Digitally remastered and slipcased, and with new notes.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By The Tea Caddy on 13 Oct 2010
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At the close of the 1960s there was no shortage of British bands turning back the musical clock and finding inspiration in the jigs, reels and sentimental balladry of traditional folk songs. Amazing Blondel followed a parallel path that also drew heavily on the past, but eschewed the populist sounds of country fair and village green in favour of a more courtly and refined musical heritage - Greensleeves rather than the Bonny Black Hare.

'England' is the third of three albums that the original trio of Gladwin, Baird and Wincott recorded for Island Records from 1969 to 1972, and although there's much to enjoy here, the Restoration vibe is starting to show signs of fatigue. The album opens and closes strongly with Gladwin's soaring 'Seascape' and Wincott's engagingly eccentric mediaeval soundscape 'Lament to the Earl of Bottesford Beck', but in between veers dangerously close at times to mere pastiche. The raw creative excitement of rediscovering and mastering ancient and obscure musical instruments and lyrical styles that distinguished their previous album 'Fantasia Lindum' is largely absent, and all too often it sounds as if the band is simply going through the motions.

Perhaps it's no surprise, then, that Gladwin (the prime architect of AB's archaic musical stylings) felt the need to move on, leaving his bandmates to record the next album, 'Blondel' (1973) as a duo. It's very much a transitional album, halfway between the grand ambitions of the first three Island releases and the trio of more conventional folk-rock albums that the duo made for DJM in the mid-seventies, but no less worthy for that. What really makes it stand out is the quality of Eddie Baird's songwriting as he emerges from Gladwin's be-wigged shadow to become the group's primary tunesmith.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Greville Rob on 17 Feb 2011
Former dabblers in pop rock, Amazing Blondel's transformation into renaissance revivalists of the pastoral was triumphantly convincing, founder/ principal writer John David Gladwin, Terence Alan Wincott and Edward Baird espousing the electronic for lute, dulcimer, crumhorn and cittern. Popular live, a tour with Free took their ballads, madrigals and wintry early church music to Island Records (always up for promoting music for niche tastes). Third album, 1972's England is their peak achievement, a rich, uplifting suite of musical landscapes presided over by `The Paintings' ("three pastoral settings for voices, flute, guitars and orchestra") broadened by sensitive string arrangements from guest harpsichordist Adrian Hopkins. Undinted by Gladwin's departure post-release, writing duties were taken up by Baird for Blondel wherein commenced a veering from the antique to the modern. But for the minstrel hark back of `Festival', close-harmonised acoustic/percussive soft rock akin to timeliners Magna Carta and Clifford T Ward predominates; heavy guests include Steve Winwood and Free's Paul Rodgers and Simon Kirke. While Blondel was their last release for Island, the band recorded throughout the 1970s and have returned to the studio on more than occasion since. Blondel is most agreeable; England is pure magicke.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By IanatShilton on 29 Jan 2012
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I am very happy to have purchased this CD since I remember it from the vinyl days - the quality is good both musically and packaging.
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