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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watersons
Mike Lal, Norma Waterson and Martin Carthy created this fabulous album back in 1977. It is a glorious celebration of hymns that are connected to English Folk Tradition. It is a wonderful concept album and is both a unique project and a handsome set of recordings.
My personal interest is not so much in the celebration of the actual meaning of the hymns from any...
Published on 1 Mar 2011 by Marcia

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1.0 out of 5 stars Something went very wrong here!
Topic have done some pretty odd things in their time, especially when it comes to their CD back catalogue. Changing the cover and inserting random Watersons tracks into the middle of Mike Waterson's solo album was one of them. This "remaster" is another. I've been listening to the earlier two remasters from 2007 ('Frost and Fire', and 'For Pence and Spicy Ale')...
Published 21 months ago by Mr Ons


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Watersons, 1 Mar 2011
By 
Marcia "marcia" (england) - See all my reviews
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Mike Lal, Norma Waterson and Martin Carthy created this fabulous album back in 1977. It is a glorious celebration of hymns that are connected to English Folk Tradition. It is a wonderful concept album and is both a unique project and a handsome set of recordings.
My personal interest is not so much in the celebration of the actual meaning of the hymns from any personal religious perspective, but it is an interest in the roots of the songs and the pure musical brilliance of their creation and interpretation.
The Watersons bring their own unique style of fantastic vocal arraignment to these songs that give them a special injection of respect that I may not have found from any other interpretation.
The album takes us back to a time before the flood of Victorian Hymnals (Hymns Ancient and Modern 1861) that had pushed out the traditional melodies.
At the start of the eighteenth Century the use of folksong based melodies helped with religious celebration and led to a religious revival. Britain and America were strongly linked and the Baptists and Primitive Methodists favoured folk style melody for pious use. Many tunes came from Britain. They were taken to America and additions were made both in tune and word. Then they were brought back in new powerful forms.
Most melodies were sober folk style with religious hints of independence.
This album takes us back to this era. A time before the Victorian hymnal compilers changed these tunes. Perhaps they felt these folk melodies were not fine enough.
The album takes reference from oral tradition of country choirs and other sources. The Watersons explore the folklore of Wassail songs, Vernacular carols and pious folk songs.
The recording sound is great. And we get the harmony singing of the Watersons along with trombone, tuba and C melody saxophone provided by Gabriel's Horns.
There are interesting tracks such as "While shepherds watched their flocks" using the tune Winchester old, and songs like "Bitter Withy" with a carol that is vengeful. It is a hymn that lasted a long life in the West Midlands.

This release is a welcome addition to the catalogue of British Folk associated recordings and will appeal to Christian historians and fans of the Watersons and Martin Carthy.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant album, pity Amazon couldn't get the music samples right !!!, 14 Aug 2007
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Sue Whitehead (London) - See all my reviews
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I have this album on vinyl from zillions of years ago, it's still brilliant. Great tunes, great band.

Sadly, if you click on any of the tracks here you will get samples from a totally different Watersons album, possibly Green Fields ??
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1.0 out of 5 stars Something went very wrong here!, 4 Mar 2013
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Topic have done some pretty odd things in their time, especially when it comes to their CD back catalogue. Changing the cover and inserting random Watersons tracks into the middle of Mike Waterson's solo album was one of them. This "remaster" is another. I've been listening to the earlier two remasters from 2007 ('Frost and Fire', and 'For Pence and Spicy Ale') and found them to be terrific. However, this one is almost unlistenable, especially on headphones, as the sound quality is just horrible. I find it difficult to believe that it was professionally recorded, let alone professionally remastered. The sound is very, very close, and highly claustrophobic. It sounds as if it was recorded in a carpet lined broom cupboard, using pretty cheap microphones. There is no ambience or sparkle to the sound, it's just thick, muddy and over-compressed. The panning is especially harsh, with Lal and Norma confined almost entirely to the left and right channels. If this recording had any merits, which I'm sure that it did, they've certainly been been lost with this CD.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 5 star music by 5 star performers, 14 Feb 2013
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Well if you like Sacred Harp type music this is a must. I had the original on a cassette years ago and had been looking for it's replacement.
Very pleased to have found it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 11 Dec 2014
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This review is from: Sound, Sound Your Instruments of Joy (MP3 Download)
Classic
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