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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary's best from the Apple years., 23 April 2002
By 
ROBERT F. MARSHALL "RobertFM" (Peterborough, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Earth Song Ocean Song (Audio CD)
I managed to get a 2nd hand copy of this fine album on vinyl and have been trying to get a CD copy ever since, with no luck unfortunately! I think this one is undoubtedly her best album from the 'Apple years'. Ms Hopkin is allowed to do what she does best and to perform for us material that's far better suited to her. It comes over in the emotion and love that's clear in her voice. It's a beautifully simple and acoustic affair - guitars, strings, harmonium, flutes, etc., lovely. Mssrs McTell, Stevens, Paxton, Gallagher & Lyle, amongst others, provide the material.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Golden Delicious: Mary's Best Apple Recording, 31 Oct 2010
By 
douglas smith (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Earth Song / Ocean Song (Audio CD)
This is Mary's highly acclaimed but much overlooked 1971 follow up to her Apple Records debut 'Postcard' and for me stands head and shoulders above its predecessor.

The album, produced by her then husband Tony Visconti, boasts some of the best singer songwriters of the day, including Ralph McTell, Cat Stevens and Gallagher & Lyle. Mary's interpretations of Ralph's 'Silver Birch & Weeping Willow' and bonus cut `Kew Gardens' are exquisite. The combination of Mary's pure voice and acoustic arrangements is close to perfection.

If you liked the hits 'Those Were The Days' or 'Think About Your Children' then you will love this album which shows there is definitely "something about Mary ......."

The album is nicely packaged with original artwork and extensive sleeve notes and a welcome taster for Mary's first recording of new material in over 20 years, called `You Look Familiar', which has just been released on MHM records. I'm pleased to say she is sounding better than ever and keeping things bang up to date with this long overdue album produced by her son Morgan Visconti.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Beatles, Apple Records and Folk Music, 22 Nov 2010
This review is from: Earth Song / Ocean Song (Audio CD)
One of the great things that the Beatles did was to establish Apple records. Not only did they record on this label, but they used it to record and promote other British artists such as Cilla Black and Mary Hopkin. This has always been my favourite Mary Hopkin album because it is very poetic and soulful in tone. Mary has a lovely voice which is showcased here on such diverse songs as 'Martha' - 'who tore her life apart and left it for the rats to find ?' and her haunting cover of 'Streets of London'.

If you like poetic lyrics, haunting melodies or simple singing with guitar then this is an album for you.

P.S I live in Australia, and I can tell you that finding and getting this CD was easy and quick.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Folk Album, 4 Nov 2010
By 
S. M. Engel (Amsterdam Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Earth Song / Ocean Song (Audio CD)
Nice to finally have this well remastered album on CD! This certainly is her best album on Apple. Very nice production from Tony Visconti. Great songs. Nice playing. What more could you want ? Well......... altough the bonustracks are very nice indeed, where's the 'knock knock who's there' single from the same period? It's also not available as a digital download. So shame on apple for this missed opportunity.

In the meantime: enjoy this album as much as possible!
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What a pleasant surprise, 17 Jan 2007
By 
Mr. John Evans (Pasadena, USA) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Earth Song Ocean Song (Audio CD)
I always liked Mary Hopkin's rich, melodic voice and recently bought this album. It's so much better than the mediocre jingly songs that she became known for and displays the range of her voice much more effectively. Nothing quite compares with her stunning rendition of Beyond the Fields We Know (on the 'King of Elfland's Daughter' album), where the power, emotion and depth of her singing are amazing. But this superb collection will certainly get lots of time on my CD player.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gem from Mary Hopkin, 7 Nov 2010
By 
This review is from: Earth Song / Ocean Song (Audio CD)
This is Mary at her wonderful best, with her crystal clear voice perfectly suited to the folk orientated songs on this underrated, underplayed album. Cat Stevens, Ralph McTell, Gallagher & Lyle songs; producer Tony Visconti.
Personally, I think including pop songs would have been a mistake, as this album reflects Mary's choice of music at that time -similar to the B sides of some of her hits - so it's perfect as it is.
Thirty years on, it sounds as fresh as ever. Buy it! (Also consider her 2010 album with son Morgan Visconti - different but equally enjoyable)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Mary Hopkin album on Apple, 28 April 2009
By 
This review is from: Earth Song Ocean Song (Audio CD)
This album shows Mary at her wonderful best - these are the songs that really suit her amazing crystal clear voice. More folk orientated than her better known songs; these are the songs that Mary herself had more control in choosing.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant contemporary folk; just what Mary wanted to record, 12 Nov 2012
By 
Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" (Leicester England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Earth Song / Ocean Song (Audio CD)
A seriously under-recorded singer (her choice), Mary Hopkin recorded just two albums for Apple, plus a few extra tracks, while her recordings before and since have been few and far between. I get the impression that while Mary enjoyed singing, she wasn't keen on the music business and the compromises that she had to make. With this album, Mary was apparently allowed to record the kind of album that she wanted to record. It no doubt helped that she fell in love with the record's producer and they married later that year.

This 2010 re-issue contains the ten tracks released on the original LP, plus three other tracks, these being the two sides of a 1971 single (Let my name be sorrow / Kew Gardens) and a track recorded for possible use on the original album, When I am old one day.

The original tracks include two tracks each by three folk singer-songwriters although Ralph McTell is the only one of them that I recognize. He had a huge British hit in the mid-seventies with Streets of London, a song that he had included on one of his early albums. Mary's version of that famous song appears here, along with her cover of Ralph`s Silver birch and weeping willow. Ralph also wrote one of the bonus tracks, Kew Gardens. I lived in Kew for a few months, within walking distance of the gardens, and sometimes visited them. Botany is not my area of expertise, but it was more interesting than anything I could see within walking distance of my Leicester home.

As I write this review, I haven't heard of Harvey Andrews (writer of There's got be more, Martha and the bonus track When I am old one day) or Liz Thorsen (writer of the two title tracks) but Mary's choice of these songs makes me want to hear their own music.

Apart from Ralph McTell, Mary covered songs by other famous singer-songwriters for the original album, these being Gallagher and Lyle (who had hits of their own in various guises), but most famously just as Gallagher and Lyle, and are represented here by International, a song that is stylistically a little different from the other tracks here), Tom Paxton (whose early music I love; I haven't heard his later stuff; he is represented here by How come the sun) and Cat Stevens (represented here by The wind, from Tea for the tiller man; I have all of Cat's early albums, of course).

Completing the original album is Water, paper and clay, which became the A-side of Mary's last Apple single, and which appealed to Mary partly because she didn't fully understand the lyrics.

So Mary avoided the most obvious tracks (Streets of London wasn't famous in 1971; Ralph's hit came later) and recorded an album filled mostly, if not entirely, with covers. Even now, only one of these songs is famous, so I suspect that most people buying this album will be unfamiliar with most of these songs.

I am disappointed that Mary opted out of the music business in 1971 (although she has made the occasional comeback since) but if she had to go after recording this album, then what a way to go.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much, much better than Postcard, 14 Feb 2012
By 
Terrahurtz (Kidlington, Oxon) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Earth Song Ocean Song (Audio CD)
This is a very good album. With better timing it could have become the '21' of its time and assured Mary of a career lasting many more years. Unfortunately for Mary she had already released the (very) patchy Postcard the year before, which did for her musical credibility and also taken the Sandie Shaw route to prolonging a flagging career (entering Eurovision) which did for her street credibility too.
Things don't start on a particularly high note. International has some of the most banal lyrics ever uttered by a supposedly serios artist and probably only the Jesus refernces prevented it being adopted by a well-known supermarket of that era (you remember, the one with the nice people and nice prices).
Moving swiftly on, however, we get to There's got to be More. Having never heard it before buying this album 3 months ago it has rapidly becomne one of my favourite songs of all time. This would have got Mary another gold disc had it been released as a single rather than Let My Name be Sorrow, which doesn't suit her voice at all. (If you buy the right version with the bonus tracks you will also get the latter for proof of this). Harvey Andrews wrote TGTBM and is also responsible for Martha, probably the second best song on the album, and another great song marred only slightly by a mystifyingly long and pointless instrumental outro,
How Come the Sun is another winner, even if the two hook lines bear an unfortunate resemblance to Neapolitan song 'Caro Mio Ben' and 'feed the birds' from the Sound of Music.
Anyway, tracks 2-6 inclusive are all great, then we get to streets of London. Mary sings this very nicely, but for me the author's original with its rather lived in vocal is more apt for the song than Mary's pure tones. Later on we get another 'flop' single, in Water, Paper and Clay, a folky dirge in the same vein as Voyage of the Moon on Postcard, although thankfully neither as long or as dull as the latter.
All told, though, there's not a really duff song on this album and several excellent ones. Buy and enjoy.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary Hopkin at her best, 29 Dec 2010
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This review is from: Earth Song Ocean Song (Audio CD)
I heard one of the songs on this album while driving back from Wales and fell in love with it so searched for it to buy and I am so glad I did as the whole album is lovely, vey folky and just what I need in this manic time we are living in
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