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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Start here for superlative songwriting, 30 Nov 2002
This review is from: Travelling Man: The Journey The Songs (Audio CD)
He's the guy who wrote Streets of London, isn't he? Er... yes, but..
This album wisely puts THAT song at the beginning rather than near the end to avoid it overshadowing some of Ralph's other material. This double album is frankly an excellent selection of music from Ralph's long career, and is probably the best anthology of his material. What makes it the more impressive is that this is minimalist arrangement - one man and his guitar - yet it is far from "samey" throughout. There is a range of material, some of which is heart-warming, some of which makes you smile, some of which is disturbing and thought-provoking. Love songs, very personal songs (like Barges) about Ralph's childhood... whilst I have my favourites there isn't a single song on here I don't like.
To me, the album - and Ralph's songwriting skills - are summed up by two tracks. Mr Connaughton is a very personal memory about a man who used to live in the flat above Ralph when he was a child. The tune, the lyrics and the rhymes have an almost naive, childlike simplicity to them, enhancing the child's view imagery. It is packed with snapshot images, for example, Mr Connaughton bought an old motorbike, "they said it wouldn't run, but I thought that it might.." then, as the child Ralph lay in bed drifting into sleep, it spluttered into life, causing Ralph to clench his fists with happiness...
Peppers and tomatoes takes a little getting into. It showcases the other extreme of Ralph's gift with words - if he couldn't write songs he could have been a successful poet. In this song we see gradual shifts as a man who has always been accepted in his community senses changing attitudes then outright hostility towards him through sheer prejudice... all is expressed in terms of detail and imagery, a very disturbing song.
Buy this album if you only know "Streets of London" or know little about Ralph McTell. It will surprise you, and the price, let's face it, is only equivalent to many SINGLE albums anyway. If like me you have other albums of Ralph's I would heartily recommend this one anyway as a means to obtaining somesongs you don't have or hearing different versions. The "live" flavour adds to its appeal as well.
Indispensable!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Travelling Man, 3 Sep 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Travelling Man: The Journey The Songs (Audio CD)
The sleeve notes of the CD refer to "the simplicity and integrity of the performance" and also modestly to the "lack of preparation".
Those who attended either of the two sell out concerts given by Ralph McTell in 1998 were clearly treated to great performances. Ranging from the ficker-picking "Columbus Stockade" to the more introverted "The Ferryman" this double CD set shows Ralph at his best - Them man, his guitar and an audience.
For existing fans this is a must, for those new to his music, a great place to start.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I didn't buy this here, but but have listened to it for years, 26 May 2014
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This review is from: Travelling Man: The Journey The Songs (Audio CD)
This is a great double album. There is very little in the way of instrumentation over the top. I was lucky enough to see the concert that this was recorded at (well one of them as there were two performances - and this is a composite of both).
It was an excellent performance from Ralph and the recordings really give a sense of the occasion.
I still listen to this after what must be ten years.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Live and extremely good., 17 Jun 2013
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This review is from: Travelling Man: The Journey The Songs (Audio CD)
A mixture of Ralph playing and singing some of his finest recordings. Makes you appreciate a real artiste. Thanks Ralph.
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Travelling Man: The Journey The Songs
Travelling Man: The Journey The Songs by Ralph McTell (Audio CD - 2000)
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