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4.8 out of 5 stars89
4.8 out of 5 stars
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on 2 May 2011
For those who don't know the story of Nic Jones, here it is in a nutshell. He was a folk singer who made various albums in the 1970's both solo and with a group called Banddogs. Then in 1980 he made this incredible album. Quite rightly so it was hailed as a true classic by numerous music critics and won a number of awards, including Folk Album Of THe Year.
Sadly, Nic never got to record a follow up because in 1982 he was involved in a terrible car crash that left him in a coma for six months. Although he recovered sufficiently to lead a normal life once more, his injuries (particularly to his right hand) had put an end to his recording and performing career.

So this album proved to be his last, but what an album !
The standout track has got to be Canadee i o, where his beautiful percussive guitar accompaniment simply has to be heard to be believed. On some tracks he is helped out by a few friends on backing vocals, mellodeon, and recorder and the harmony vocals on a couple of these (Little Pot Stove & Farewell To The Gold) are so well sung that they almost bring tears to your eyes.

The song arrangements are sparse and uncluttered and there isn't anything you could call a weak track.

This recording should be used as a template for how good folk records should be made. It is truly magnificent from start to finish and is the work of a master craftsman at the absolute peak of his powers.

What A great pity that fate stepped in so cruelly.
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on 28 December 2002
Nic Jones is an innovative acoustic guitar player and he relates these songs of the sea,the pasture and the town with wit and feeling. If you are interested in listening to folk songs being delivered with warmth and individuality buy this album - it is a beauty!
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on 12 April 2001
I loved Nic Jones from my first experience of his live performance at the folk club at university in the late 60's. So much so that I bought both his first two LPs by special order. After some years (25) I discovered this CD and bought it without the slightest hesitation. I discovered anew how his choice of songs, distinctive arrangements and sympathetic treatments of songs on a wide range of topics, ages and subjects is unparalleled. His command of his guitar and his unusual distinctive rhythmic patterns fit his material perfectly. I recommend any Nic Jones material to anyone interested in any traditional or modern folk music. The tragedy is that his public career was cut short by a car accident some years ago, and now only performs rarely for friends, but luckily we can still enjoy the legacy of his recorded music.
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on 16 January 2008
Unsurpassed.

Simply the finest folk album ever made and one of the best albums of any kind ever recorded.

For Nic's guitar work alone it's worth 5 stars, add in the briliant singing and creating the definitive versions of so many songs and it's worth 15.

It is simply impossible to imagine modern UK folk being what it is without Nic.
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on 6 March 2002
Nic Jones is one of the finest folk musicians and singers that England has ever produced. His lyrical style of singing and his percussive and rhythmic guitar playing has been wildly imitated but never equalled. "Penguin Eggs" is widely regarded as his best album, although "The Noah's Ark Trap", long since deleted, is equally as good. "Penguin Eggs" consists of traditional English folk songs, and what tremendous songs they are. Each song tells a story and due to the skill of these forgotten songwriters, each song is a minor masterpiece of story telling. There are the usual stories one finds in folk music: cross-dressing on a sailing ship; having your money and clothes stolen by a prostitute while on shore leave; the perils of hunting whales on the high seas; and the usual spate of jealous murders. The quality of the lyric writing is masterly, the tunes strong and melodic, and the arrangements clear and uncluttered. Get this CD if you like English folk music, because you don't get much better than Nic Jones.
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on 10 April 2001
Every track on this CD is quality. But the whole thing hangs together with quite delightfully and has a special, warm feel about it. The instrumentation is sparse but varied so that every track sound distinctive. Nic Jones produced a number of albums but this was his last one before an accident ended his career. All his output has been good but in this he reached out for that special quality that pulled it all together. Because of legal problems this is the only album to make it from vinyl to CD. If you like traditional song this is a risk free buy.
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on 10 March 2007
I stumbled across Nic Jones purely by accident when Stuart Maconie played Canadee-i-o on his Saturday afternoon slot on BBC2. Not someone who would normally classify himself as enjoying folk music (I'm a Rush fan for goodness sake), I took the chance and bought this album on the basis of just hearing the one track. I have not been disappointed; the album has had me hooked like no other in a long time. The melodies are haunting, Messr Jones' guitar work exceptional and I have found myself humming the tunes non-stop. A few tracks have some dodgy backing vocals and the recorder descants on one song (old pot stove) remind me of my school's music festival, but this only adds to the album's appeal.

If, like me, your music tastes are becoming more eclectic as you get older and you want to try folk, start with this album. If you buy no other, this is the one to buy. I cannot recommend it strongly enough. Please don't tell my friends though - oh the shame. I'll be joining CAMRA next and putting a finger in my ear to hum along to '2112'!
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on 8 September 2008
I have been immersed in traditional folk song and dance all my relatively short life (23yrs to be precise) and i can safely say that Penguin Eggs is one of, if not the best example of the genre that exists. Nic was and is such an inspiration for myself and numerous others, and this is album is just a fraction of what he achieved, but one listen and your life will be changed forever!

Highly recommended, a true legand.
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on 3 May 2010
No wonder this album won the Radio 2 Folk Album of the Year! Nic Jones's voice is well suited to the traditional folk songs on this album. More importantly, his guitar playing is totally original and exquisite.
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on 15 August 2013
Always had a soft spot for folk, even when It was not as popular and in vogue as it is now. Heard about this guy and his story some time a go. And was recently reminded about it when listening to a program on the radio. I won't say any more, as I think finding an album like this and the story behind it is part of the fun. All I can say is great album well worth the money, highly recommended.
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