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102 of 104 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars still amazing after all these years,
I confess my bias: Pentangle struck right into my DNA and blew it open like no other music when their first album reached my 14-year old ears in 1967. I could never quite decide whether "1st" or "Sweet child" was the greatest, but had to concede that they gradually lost freshness, vitality and uniqueness on later albums before their phase petered out. This reissue solves my dilemma: The greatest songs and instrumentals from "1st", witness "Let no man steal your thyme", "Bells" and "Waltz", are all included in generous bonus sections, as live versions with even more looseness and drive than on the studio versions. Much has been written about the Renbourn-Jansch interplay. I will not add to it, suffice it to say that 35 years on it sounds fresher than ever, each note leaving the eager anticipation - what comes next? Jacqui McShee was at this point more an instrument than a voice, to incomparable effect, before she later mysteriously changed into an average folksinger, losing the strange objectivity her voice carries on these early tracks.This concert makes it clear that their rhythm section played a both larger and more important part in the group than they are often given credit for. Danny Thompson is a giant in his own right, but these tracks also bring Terry Cox`s melodic and creative drive to the fore, bringing forth the question of whether his relegation to ordinary backing folk-rock drummer may have been one factor in the strain of listlessness that crept into their playing on later albums. No one can accuse the material presented here of listlessness: A quiet intensity simmers and shimmers around and above the whole presentation, leaving each new musical turn meaningful. Folk, blues, jazz, early classical - a radical amalgam of styles and influences that never feels contrived, overacademic or unnatural. This music shines like an unpolished precious stone, and I can only kick myself at not having been present at the 1968 concert that most of the pieces are taken from. I understand that amazon.com does not offer 6 stars, but why not a rosette for records of special merit, like "Penguin guide to classical music". In the present inflation of 5-star reviews on the website, I am aching to give my first rosette after many reviews - to this record.
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Masterpiece,
This could be Pentangle's best album - 'Basket of Light' is the only other contender, but this one has much more material on it.
The first disc was recorded live in 1968 and the second is from the studio. The live show is great, with a mix of folk standards, originals and instrumentals showing great dexterity and skill from all involved. Bert Jansch and John Renbourn's version of Mingus' 'Goodbye Pork Pie Hat' is a standout instrumental tune - very relaxing and melodic. The studio set is a strong album in its own right, with highlights (for me) being the guitar duel of 'In Time', the morality tale 'Sovay' and the grooving 'I've Got A Feeling', which borrows the chord sequence from Miles Davis' 'All Blues'.
This expanded edition is a treat, fleshing out the concert to give what I believe is the complete show (minus tune-ups) plus a few alternate versions of the studio songs.
All in all, a monster package that should delight fans of the group as well as fans of acoustic music in general.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I missed this first time round,
I became interested in The Pentangle after hearing one their songs played on Radio 2's `Sounds of the Sixties'. I checked out their albums on the Amazon site and decided on this one. It is a gem! The Live CD actually improves on the original vinyl release as it has much more of the concert. I love folk/jazz sounds and wonder if this sound influenced the likes of Jefferson Airplane and Later Joni Mitchell recordings
4.0 out of 5 stars Remembering those years when the LP was played over and over.,
From the 70's era so a nostalgic trip down memory lane. Good choice of tracks although some get played more than others.
4.0 out of 5 stars Pentangle at the RFH - back in the day,
This 2008 release is a beefed-up 40th anniversary offering of Penangle's November 1968 album, which featured a lot of live-on-stage material from the Royal Festival Hall concert on 29th June, mixed with studio recordings.
The sound quality on the RFH material is fresh and surprisingly crisp, especially the acoustic guitars and vocals.
Pentangle combined trad folk with blues (particularly evident here on `Woman like you' and `Goodbye Pork Pie Hat') and jazz, with Renbourn's classical interests audible throughout the repertoire. It's a rare combination never really replicated by any other band in quite this way, and they pull off the trick with style. Jacqi MacShee proves she can deliver perfect pitch, unaccompanied, in front of a live audience and set your spine a-tingle.
This is a nice, fresh-sounding album with some short, delicate numbers to balance out the jazz-rock groove which this band were so consistently good at. Check it out.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful,
Complex. Simple. Pure. Breathtaking and deeply satisfying. Surely one of the best, if not the best, example of a live recording by the very best acoustic musicians combining together. Ego-free, balanced, crafted with enormous skill. Listening to it is like basking in sunshine on a summer's day. The emotional power and clarity of Jacqui McShee's voice is stunning.
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Timeless Gem,
I have known this album since I was a child, but have only just replaced it with the CD. The running order is the same with a number of bonus tracks (either live tracks omitted from the 'live' LP, and alternative takes from the 'studio' LP.)
The album shows an extraordinarily gifted set of five individuals coming together to form a group that managed - against the odds - to be even greater than the sum of the parts. Not true of all 'supergroups'.
Sweet Child looks both forwards and backwards, with experimental pieces nearing jazz, and traditional folk tunes. Also thrown in are bluesy numbers, solos for all members of the band (more promising that it sounds!) and even a chance for Renbourn to give his early music readings an outing.
The span of music represented here is matched by the versatility and imagination of the band, using their virtuosic gifts to the full.
The bonus tracks include a couple of absolute gems, so it was well worthwhile me upgrading from my old worn LP double set. Although just rediscovering this wonderful album again was more than reason enough for the purchase!
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nostalgia revisted,
I first came upon Pentangle in the late 60's at the Troubador in London while I was studying. I bought the vinyl of this in about '74, and treasured it.
Although it now sounds a little dated ( musically not sonically), it is hard to criticise the beautiful voice of Jacqui McShee, and the guitars of Jansch and Renbourn.
This disc also has mix of chroologies with new versions of some old traditional tracks. I am thinking particularly of "The trees they do grow high" I have always preferred their versions of the more traditional songs, even if modernised. I admit to not being a fan of Jansch's songwriting ability
For me this will always be the 'classic' album.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet child by Pentangle,
Great CD, great delivery service (it arrived well packaged and within normal time limits)-no complaints at all!
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A classic,
This review is from: Sweet Child (MP3 Download)
Great album from Pentangle with a live concert and studio tracks plus some bonus tracks too. Peerless playing, great recording. What are you waiting for? Go and buy it.
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