Magna Carta; a three piece folk band could argueably be described as the british equivalent to Simon and Garfunkel. Their vocals are a joy to behold and the songs on this album provide the perfect platform, making full use of the five octave range of Glen Stuart, plus the more than capable support from the others. Instrumentally Chris Simpson and Lyell Tranter play acoustic and electric guitar respectively, supported on this album by a host of quality musicians including Rick Wakeman on keyboards.
The title track weighs in at over twenty two minutes, using a mixture of poetry and individual vignettes to transport an imaginary traveller through the four seasons of the year. The rest of the album is reserved for the more standard three minutish material covering different styles of contemporary folk. These include the mighty 'Ring of stones' which became a staple element of their 'live' act, plus an absolutely beautiful tale of a forlorn 'Scarecrow' left on his own in a field, blubbers beware, while closing with my introduction to and favourite number by the band, 'Airport song' is so atmospheric it has to be heard to be believed.
I hope this review has been of some assistance, unfortunately my command of the English language is not in my opinion of a high enough standard to fully portray the beautiful sounds on offer.
It's the poetry really rather than the music. Having said that the music is pleasant and folksy and yes perhaps dated in places. Pure nostalgia bought me back to it and I still love the imagery of the 4 seasons. There is a timeles beauty here, "Frost has rimmed the pools with ice and hung diamonds in the spiders web" as we go from autumn into winter. Romantic old fool that I am, but I found this truly moving at the time of it's release which was remarkable as I always have been something of a metalhead. Any way if you yearn for the halycon days of carefree youth and the endless days of hot summer,or the joy of the first fall of snow. Then yes, put your feet up, give this a spin and return to those days when you just didn't give a damn.
This is an absolute classic of an Album in my view. I don't agree with the other review. I think the songs are beautifully crafted. Chris Simpson is an incredibly good songwriter. Top class. Mystery, and Human feeling emanate from his songs. Glenn Stuart had a five octave vocal range. The Album is timeless. Pastoral beauty. A wonderful piece of history, somehow linking old England with the new young people culture of the late sixties and early seventies. The world, and my life would be a much poorer place without this Album.
Having first received this on vinyl as a child and loving it then, I have since bought it on cd several times since (sometimes as gifts)and it remains a favourite of mine to this day with beautiful, sometimes haunting music and poetry, sometimes upbeat and hugely uplifting, and I never tire of listening to it. There is a simplicity of sound which belies the how well written this is. It is not typical of so much that is deemed to be 'current' these days with so much manufactured music being over mixed and over dubbed. Whilst I understand an earlier comment that this may sound a little dated, this does not mean it is inferior or unworthy of being loved and appreciated today and perhaps reminds us of a time when life was a little gentler than it is now. I believe it is a classic in its own right and the added bonus for me is always the beautifully crafted Airport Song. I hope that many others who have not heard this before, add this to their collections and enjoy it as much as I do.
It's relegated to the loft with the other 500 vinyl albums. The sound quality of this is crystal. I know critics say that vinyl is a more mellow sound but I'm hearing sounds on this that I've never heard before. For the techies out there I play the cd on Bose or Vita Audio. The vinyls are played on a Riga Planar turntable through a Marantz amp to Mission bi-wired speakers [ the cute small ones on the black stands] Regards
I loved this the first time I heard it back in the 70's on the Saturday Radio One Show and went out to my local record shop and bought it.
One entire side of the LP consists of the story of the Four Seasons as an entire uninterrupted track with 6 tracks on the flip side. It is a very well-constructed of nature and life during the year describing the seasons as they come and go - each one fades into the other reflecting the mood and seasonal changes. In my opinion it is a classic of its time but still stands up today as a great musical recording production.
As I write this review the sun has come out for what seems like the first time and if I quote from the Summer Song, "Hey Mr Sunshine Like a Harlequin You're dancing on my picture book today It's a good time I'm a paper kite And I'm floating far away".
It sums up the sunny times we are going through - shame most people are at work lol
The final track 7 is perhaps my favourite - The Airport Song and tell the tale that we are all too familiar with waiting for a delayed flight to take off when we are waiting to get home to see our loved ones - in this case because of the fog - similar sentiments to those of Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon on their travels but in a different way and very uplifting at the end when the fog lifts.
Magna Carta writes in an innocent way throughout but that's no bad thing in this day and age - you will certainly be taken on a great journey with some great musicianship and vocals. This is a real treat and very pessimistic piece of work and as a Chair of Warrington Nature Conservation Forum its right up my street catch us on our Facebook Site. Plus if any teacher/parent played track one they could use it to teach about the seasons and the changes that impact not only nature but also people.