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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent "live" in the studio album, 21 Sept. 2009
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This review is from: So Early In The Spring (Audio CD)
The late 1970s was when digital recording started to move into the rock and folk idiom with artists such as Ry Cooder ("Bop Till You Drop"), Jim Pembroke ("Party Upstairs") and also this, a 1979 recording made in Japan with John Renbourn. Since in those days you couldn't edit or mix digital recordings, everything had to be done very much "live" in the studio. With regard to sound quality it is commonly agreed that digital has come a long way since then, but I really don't think this recording - nor the others mentioned in the above - are any less perfect than what we get from digital recordings today. It seems that the improvements have mainly been in mass production and domestic equipment.

It is a great shame that this album was initially only available in Japan (on vinyl), but at least it's now out in the rest of the world, too. It really is a fantastic disc. John Renbourn has always been well worth listening to, but the 1970s in particular was the time he made a series of truly amazing studio albums. It was also a time during which he gradually sang less and less on his studio recordings, but he still performed many songs at his shows, and since this is very much a "live" in the studio presentation of stage material there is fair amount of vocals on it. He is not the greatest singer in the world, but if you listen to the voice not in isolation but as an integrated part of the whole thing it makes an awful lot of sense. There are many moments on the CD that make your hair stand on end and give goose pimples. It is modern music deeply rooted in several traditions, quite outstanding, always perfectly melted together. If I have any critisism it is that Renbourn occasionally stumbles through the material at such a breakneck pace it doesn't have time to shine with all its indisputable beauty as much as it could. I would also have loved to hear more of the material from his masterpiece "The Hermit". But these are only minor personal issues compared to the fact that this is a set of very moving and superbly accomplishes performances by possibly the greatest composer for the acoustic guitar in our time.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A collection of short tunes, 11 Feb. 2009
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This review is from: So Early In The Spring (Audio CD)
This album was released in 1979, and in Japan only. To my knowledge it is the first studio recording of "Lindsay" by JR, a song that has become an all favorite live tune. It is a mix of familiar folk and renaissance music. As you can imagin, this was very hard to find on vinyl. A must have for all you people who's into British folk and great guitar playing!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So Early In The Spring: John Renbourn - Great Dreams From Heaven, 23 Sept. 2013
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Victor (Hull, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: So Early In The Spring (Audio CD)
This 1979 album, John Renbourns eleventh solo release, is a great follow up to his previous two releases, the classics `Hermit' and `Black Balloon'. Something pretty amazing was needed to follow up those two albums, and something special was what he produced.

It's an album firmly rooted in the traditions of English folk and baroque music, with a few other influences thrown in as Renbourn delights us with suites of stately and meaningful music that stir the soul. It's a pure delight to listen to, 5 stars.
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So Early in Spring (Jpn)
So Early in Spring (Jpn) by John Renbourn (Audio CD - 2006)
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