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Sand In Your Shoes

Ralph McTell Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Audio CD (9 Oct 1995)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Transatlantic
  • ASIN: B000006M84
  • Other Editions: Audio CD
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 287,214 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Contains some of Ralphs VERY BEST material 19 Dec 1999
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
This album was a featured album of the week on BBC Radio 2, it has some superb material on it. Most people will only know Ralph McTell for Streets of London. The sad thing about his success with that song is that he has produced so much good material over the years, but that's all he is known for. This album contains some excellent material, the lyrics are great, each song tells a different story and the music on each track is very different but goes so well with the words. There are 14 tracks on the album, here are comments about my favourites; "The Islands" - This was written for the TV program 'World Tour of Scotland' for his good friend Billy Connelly and tells a tale of the Shetland Isles through the years. "Care In The Community" is on a similar theme to 'Streets of London' but a very different style of music. He was spot on with his predictions about the mentally ill being discharged from hospitals into the community ending up taking other's lives. This all may sound a bit serious but the album contains some great tunes, it's not all doom and gloom, even though I will go on to tell you that the next 2 favourites of mine are about ethnic cleansing and the holocaust. I will defy you to not be moved by Ralph's performance in "Peppers and Tomatoes" which tells the story of a family in a village, happy in a community, where they shared crops with their neighbours until the politicians sent in soldiers and divisions between neighbours were created . Tension builds up throughout the song and you get a chill down your spine as it climaxes with the words 'I am watering my garden, when I smell the cigarette smoke, and turn round in the dust. Read more ›
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A terrific CD that gets even better with repeated listening 16 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This is a terrific CD from gifted British singer-songwriter Ralph McTell that gets even better with repeated, closer listening. I know because, after I bought it, I listened to nothing else for weeks. As always, McTell's lyrics are intelligent and provocative, often beautiful or inspiring and sometimes charmingly idiosyncratic. His finger-style guitar is outstanding and his gift for melody equals his gift for lyrics. Some of the best songs on this CD (Peppers and Tomatoes, Jesus Wept, The Enemy Within) support McTell's stereotype as a socially conscious songwriter. But even at his most political, McTell is never preachy or obvious -- he makes the listener do some of the work. For example, "Peppers and Tomatoes," an incredibly powerful song and all too timely song about so-called ethnic cleansing, doesn't even use that term. Instead, it chronicles the experience of a man who suddenly finds himself an outsider in the village his family has lived in for generations. McTell's vocal and Maartin Allcock's guitar convey an atmosphere of increasing dread as the song builds towards its inevitable conclusion. In "The Enemy Within The Band" (no, it's not a song about Robbie Robertson -- the title refers to Margaret Thatcher's infamous 1984 description of striking coal miners as the "enemy within" the U.K.), rather than directly denouncing economic policies, McTell adopts the voice of a miner who drifts from enthusiasm to despair as the strike ends but the mines shut down anyway. "Jesus Wept," another outstanding song, is a haunting mixture of confusion, pain and gentle humor. The only song that borders on preachiness is "Care In The Community," which faintly echoes McTell's own Streets of London in its subject matter and structure but has a far more foreboding tone, appropriate to our era of decreasing social services and increasing economic stratification. But McTell is more than just a "protest singer." He also writes heartfelt, frighteningly honest songs about intensely personal concerns. The stand out example on this CD is "Still In Dreams," an achingly beautiful song in which McTell, accompanying himself on finger-style guitar, reflects on aging and a life-long love. Despite the serious subject matter of many of the songs, the CD's overall feel is upbeat. This is due, in part, to McTell's ability to inject a touch of humor into even serious sujects by using a bit of word play, a quirky instrumentation or an ironic insight. But there are also some songs on this CD that are downright lighthearted, including the infectiously rhythmic title track which uses a series of unexpected images to describe an ill-advised love affair; and Tous Les Animaux Sont Tristes, which invariably makes me smile although I don't know why. I think that the unifying characteristic of all these songs -- whether political, personal or lighthearted -- is McTell's unerring ability to understand and communicate the emotions of others as well as his own.
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