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4.3 out of 5 stars12
4.3 out of 5 stars
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on 25 February 2006
I was a big fan of Bridget St John in the late 60's and early 70's. In fact I began to think I was the only fan, as years passed before I met anyone who had even heard of her. The first time I heard her was on John Peels "Top Gear" radio show. She sang her version of John Martyn's "The River" which was spellbinding and I fell in love with her voice and guitar style straight away. "Ask Me No Questions" was her first album and her purist. Just her and her guitar, with the occasional second guitar added. It is full of country lanes and nice images and has a very tranqulising effect on the listener, transporting us to another, better world. The title track is lovely with its break in the middle for birdsong and church bells. I always find Bridgets voice very relaxing and yet emotional. Also her lyrics have a rare poetry that is lacking in modern music and so the whole album is a delight. I have it on vinyl and, although I have been listening to it for 37 years, I never grow tired of any of the songs-they seems as fresh now as when I first heard them, which is a rare thing nowadays!
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If Nick Drake had a sister or Nico recorded a folk album in 1969 - then the lovely "Ask Me No Questions" by Britain's Bridget St. John would be the result. Signed to John Peel's fledgling DANDELION label, Londoner Bridget St. John was just 22 when she recorded this beautiful, but criminally forgotten debut LP. She was one of the first three acts released by the BBC's most famous DJ on his 'it's all about the artists' label.

1. To B Without A Hitch
2. Autumn Lullaby
3. Curl Your Toes
4. Like Never Before
5. The Curious Crystals Of Unusual Purity
6. Barefeet And Hot Pavements
7. I Like To Be With You In The Sun
8. Lizard-Long-Tongue Boy
9. Hello Again (Of Course)
10. Many Happy Returns
11. Broken Faith
12. Ask Me No Questions
13. Suzanne [Bonus Track]
14. The Road Was Lonely [Bonus Track]

Produced by JOHN PEEL - the album "Ask Me No Questions" was released in July 1969 on Dandelion S 63750 in a fetching gatefold sleeve (distributed by CBS at the time). Although it received many favourable music press reviews, it sold poorly. It's now a £70-plus listed vinyl rarity but can easily sell for three figures in tip-top condition. This November 2005 Cherry Red CD reissue on CDM RED 282 (Barcode 5013929128224) gives us the album's original self-penned tracks (1 to 12 above) with 2 fantastic rarities as extras. The 20-page booklet also has informative and affectionate liner notes by NIGEL CROSS which include an interview with the lady in 2005 - colour pictures of her in 1969, lyrics to the songs, a trade paper review, reminiscences on John Peel and John Martyn etc...

Musically - her gut-string guitar picking sounds like Nick Drake on his debut "Five Leaves Left" and her voice is deep and dark like a more sombre version of Sandy Denny. Most of the arrangements are just St. John and her guitar - very quiet, pretty folk songs. The mood isn't dark either, more reflective than that - the songs often sound like the countryside although she's from a capitol city. If I were to nitpick, I'd say the lyrics are sometimes weighed down with too many hippy-dippy ponderings about nature and `buttercup sandwiches' that may sound twee to some ears now...others, however, will feel they are very much part of the music's charm.

Two notable contributors are JOHN MARTYN on "Curl Your Toes" and the stunning album title track "Ask Me No Questions" where he plays second guitar on both (no vocals unfortunately). There's also second guitar from RIC SANDERS of THE OCCASIONAL WORD ENSEMBLE on "Lizard-Long-Tongue Boy" and "Many Happy Returns" (on which he also plays some wonderful Bottleneck Guitar).

Highlights include the forgiving relationship song "Broken Faith" (lyrics are the title of this review), the sweet "Barefeet And Hot Pavements" and Martyn's subtle backing on "Curl Your Toes". But the best is kept until last - the near eight-minute folk work out that is the album's title track - "Ask Me No Questions". The song's lovely guitar refrain fades into bird song and bells about three minutes in - only to come back again to the lilting music to great effect. It's still moving - 40 years after the event.

The bonus tracks are genuinely that - bonuses. "Suzanne" (a Leonard Cohen cover) appeared as a rare non-album B-side on "Fly High", a 3-track maxi 7" single in a picture sleeve issued in 1972 on Dandelion/Polydor 2001 280. "The Road Was Lonely" turned as a non-album B-side to the 7" UK single "Passin' Thru" on MCA Records MUS 1203 in 1973. She went on to make two more albums for the Dandelion label "Songs For The Gentle Man" in 1971 and "Thank You For" in 1972 (they're available elsewhere) and has recorded into the 1990s.

So there you have it - if you like Nick Drake's "Pink Moon" (just him and his guitar) or Sandy Denny's more plaintive songs - then this little folk/rock gem is for you. A lovely thing indeed...
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on 3 October 2006
Ever since my well-loved and well-played vinyl went to the great vinyl resting place and tape copies became snagged, I thought I'd never hear Ask me No Gquestions again until now and how lovely are the sweet memories of late summer and autumn come flooding back as I listen to the husky/dusky voice of Bridget St John, all the way from buttercup sandwiches to the birds and bells - and all the goodies in between.

The clarity of the CD is just as good, if not better in places, but Bridget's guitar playing (and John Martyn on second guitar) is crisp and clear as before.

The bo sorry the bonus tracks are just that - a bonus - especially BSJ's version of Suzanne - how to out-Cohen Leonard Cohen; brilliant!

I haven't herd Bridget's other stuff and I don't think I would want to now I have this, the best there is; but I may be tempted, but I am well enough pleased with this.

anybody out there know how to play her guitar chords? Is that question allowed amazon?
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on 11 July 2006
Definitely the best British female singer songwriter EVER. I first heard this album in 1969 and was instantly hooked on her unusually deep (but oh so pleasant) voice, her brilliant acoustic guitar playing in various tunings and plenty of bass notes and above all the 'get back to the country' lyrics. Every track is brilliantly and minimally produced by John Peel. She reminds me of Donovan when she sings the line 'Buttercup sandwich' - it took me years to discover that it comes from Beatrix Potter. The title track ends with various bird song recordings plucked by Peel from the Beeb Archives. That gets a mention in his autobiography as people kept asking how come birds from around the globe were recorded together in one place! Buy it - but buy the others too - they're all great in their own way. here's to another CD soon!
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on 15 January 2006
I wonder how many people have topped themselves while listening to this LP? hehe
A hauntingly beautiful recording. Produced by John Peel and originally released on Dandelion- Peelies 'co-operative' label.
If you like Nick Drake, Nico, Vashti Bunyan et al, you'll gonna love this!!!
My opinion is buy this one and forget the other two later releases- this is the best of the three new re-issues.
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on 9 June 2014
Firstly great service and speedy delivery.

Secondly what a fantastic album. I hadn't heard of Bridget St John before and only came across her reading a book about John Martyn (who I adore!). What an absolute find I have been playing this album on repeat on my ipod since I bought it. I'll be buying her others now. If you want to gaze through a window and dream of running through a meadow and get totally lost in the moment, then this album will deliver!
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on 22 June 2009
THIS PURCHASE WAS DRIVEN BY NOSTALGIA, THE VINYL EQUIVALENT HAVING BEEN A FAVOURITE 35 YEARS AGO! WHILE MEMORY HAD PLAYED ONE OR TWO TRICKS ON ME, I SOON FOUND MYSELF RECALLING THE WORDS OF MANY OLD FAVOURITES, AND SINGING ALONG HAPPILY (OK, ON MY OWN). THIS PROBABLY MEANS THAT I CAN'T BE COMPLETELY OBJECTIVE ABOUT IT, BUT I DO ENJOY THE OFTEN-QUIRKY LYRICS AND ITS UNDENIABLE ROMANTICISM.
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on 30 May 2012
B St J sings beautifully, great memories of John Peel's radio show
Great to have a replacement for my original Dandelion LP.
Delivered on time, great condition.
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on 4 February 2015
40 years on and it's still lovely. One of the highlights of Dandelion Records in the early 70s.
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on 6 March 2016
Great cd brings back good times thanks
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