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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - but not the best CD to buy
Jackson C. Frank may well have been born in the USA, but in the 1960's he influenced a whole army of British guitarists and folksingers ... John Renbourn, Bert Jansch, Davy Graham, Al Stewart, to name just a few. He never achieved the level of public fame as those he inspired, but even today, his playing resonates throughout the world of the acoustic guitar...
Published on 9 Sep 2009 by A. J. Sturgess

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3.0 out of 5 stars Blues Run the Game
Jackson C Frank came from the USA to the London of the 1960s and fell in with Janscch, Renbourne, and their associates. He made this one disc, produced by Paul Simon, gave up and went back to the USA where he fell into decline, lived on the street, and was murdered. Blues Run The Game, the single, is a classic. Laura Marling has just made a beguiing version - it's on...
Published 2 months ago by scribe


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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent - but not the best CD to buy, 9 Sep 2009
By 
A. J. Sturgess "Alan Sturgess" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jackson C Frank (Audio CD)
Jackson C. Frank may well have been born in the USA, but in the 1960's he influenced a whole army of British guitarists and folksingers ... John Renbourn, Bert Jansch, Davy Graham, Al Stewart, to name just a few. He never achieved the level of public fame as those he inspired, but even today, his playing resonates throughout the world of the acoustic guitar.

This CD is excellent and contains stunning and varied examples of his versatile playing and his wonderfully expressive voice - but I'd recommend that instead of this CD, you buy the 2CD set 'Blues Run the game'. This contains the same songs alongside many others. True - the bulk of the songs on CD2 were recorded (often poorly) on amateur equipment and the sound quality is often weak, but that's no reason to avoid them. If you really want to hear the body of JCF's life's work, then that CD is a must-buy. Just imagine you're in a folk club or in a room next door listening to him playing and singing for his own pleasure.

You'll find no films of him on Youtube, the facial scarring he received as a result of an accident in his youth made him shun publicity, especially in the later years of his life, but his voice and guitar playing remained superb.
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Greatest Debuts Of All Time, 2 Aug 2009
By 
TS Samuel (Mustard City, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Jackson C Frank (Audio CD)
Shamefully,I'd never heard of Jackson C Frank untill I read an amazing article on him in Mojo magazine. The only knowledge I'd aquired of his talents up til then was a mention that John Martyn had (briefly) stayed at his home upon arrival on the London folk scene.
Often when an overlooked album receives almost universal praise, the urge to listen with great scepticism is overwhelming- 'why hasn't this ever been mentioned in one of those Observer/NME/Q lists?'- is the usual response, but Jackson's sole full length effort lives up to any hype, and then some.
Jackson was embraced by the Folk clubs of sixties London after an insurance payout for horrific injuries sustained as a child in a school fire meant he could travel the world and indulge his passion for expensive cars. Championed by the likes of Paul Simon and Al Stewart (who produced, and contributed guitar parts to the album respectively),his debut acted as the torch for a generation of raw, honest singer/songwriters without ever really making any kind of commercial splash. Further personal tragedies and a slide into mental illness meant Frank was never able to capitalize on this effort, and by the late 60's he was virtually a forgotten man.
In an age now where the industry packages alienation, turning blank canvas, stage schooled suburbanites into Conversed troubadours, the sheer raw intensity and energy of this album is hard to express. Songs like 'Blues Run The Game' speak of the kind of inner despair and resignation that all the surgury, rehabilitation and compensation in the world couldn't cure, whilst others like 'Yellow Walls' paint a level of introspection untapped amongst his often 'Hey Nonny Nonny' peers.
The sparse quality of the recording, coupled with Frank's propulsive guitar and haunting, low register delivery brings a subtle, yet anthemic quality to virtually every song, and lyrically there are clever switches in tone: the leaden menace behind the laughing faces in 'My Name Is Carnival' and the powerful defiance of 'Don't Look Back' being outstanding examples.
Frank's life was eclipsed by tragedy at nearly every turn. We should celebrate that he was able to live under that cloud whilst producing a work of such timeless, stark beauty rather than dwell on any 'if onlys'
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Melancholy Magic, 8 Jun 2010
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I used to see Jackson regularly in a London Folk Club called Bunjies. He was a strange uptight character but we all loved his music and bought his album more out of support than because we loved it. After all this was the 60s and there was a lot of wonderful music. I did not play the album for years then I came across the tragic tale of his life and I listened again. I was amazed to find that I remembered every word of the original 10 tracks - after 40 years! Each track is packed with intense and beautiful sadness. Not for everyday listening maybe but a piece of musical melancholy magic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars All Time Great Folk Singer-Songwriter Album, 12 May 2010
By 
AndyC (Midlands, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Jackson C Frank (Audio CD)
Like a lot of people I only discovered this album relatively recently, thanks to Iain Anderson's show on BBC Radio Scotland. It is one of the most hauntingly beautiful albums I've ever heard. Not every track is perfect, and some of it is difficult listening, but 'Blues Runs The Game' is a genuine classic, as is 'Milk and Honey' which was written for, and later covered by, Sandy Denny. I also love 'Kimbie' and 'Carnival'.

Most of the tracks are quite sparse - it reminds me of 'Pink Moon' in places. Nick Drake covered some of Jackson's songs so it's easy to believe Pink Moon was partly inspired by this album.

There is a small biog with the sleevenotes, but it is also worth reading the article on Wikipedia.

The quality goes down a bit towards the end of the album, particularly with the later (1970s) tracks that have been added at the end, although I would still recommend the rather harrowing 'Marlene' (apparently about a girl who died in the school fire which injured Jackson, but also making clear how emotionally scarred he still was by his childhood experrience).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Malcolm Middleton said so..., 12 Aug 2009
By 
Mr. Richard M. Thomas (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jackson C Frank (Audio CD)
I bought this after hearing a couple of songs by Malcolm Middleton. One is "Superhero Songwriters" where he claims "...Frank's the greatest..." and the other is his cover of "Just Like Anything".

You should get records by both artists and see Malcolm live at your next opportunity.

Be happy.Sleight Of Heart [Explicit]
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26 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Piece of History, 7 Sep 2002
This review is from: Jackson C Frank (Audio CD)
This is the only tangible artefact we have of Jackson Frank's tragic life and unfulfilled career. For a folk album in 1965, this was hardly run of the mill stuff: personal songs predominate and they showcase Frank's strong baritone voice, intiricate way with words and intriguing, percussive guitar work to great effect.
What makes it stand out from the folk crowd is the degree of feeling in both the words and the performances: here was an artist of total commitment and integrity, interested more in communication than in striking the right poses or dropping the right names.
But why go on reading? Buy this album: you owe it to yourself, and to Frank's memory.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality from the past, 14 Mar 2013
By 
Mr. Richard A. Spanner (Colchester, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jackson C Frank (Audio CD)
A thoughtful and honest collection of songs from a particular period of songwriting.It's easy to see how such material has influenced the music that followed. A singer that died far too early,but should be remembered.
R A Spanner
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning..., 10 Feb 2013
This review is from: Jackson C Frank (Audio CD)
I'd never heard of this guy until I was intrigued to find out who was responsible for a song (Marlene) which plays at the end of the film Martha, Marcey May, Marlene (which is very good, by the way). I'm not great at writing about music and other reviewers have done Jackson C Frank's talent and tragic life story more justice than I could. I will simply say that this a genuinely beautiful album by an incredibly talented and woefully unknown artist.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You come across hidden gems now and then. This is one of them, 27 Dec 2012
By 
Mr. M. J. Walters "mikejwalters" (west midlands, U.K.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Jackson C Frank (Audio CD)
It's like the late lamented Hovis Presley..... humour and music are very personal things. You can easily kill a party, say, by inflicting your choice of either on your guests. A bit like a joke that you find excrutiatingly funny....
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3.0 out of 5 stars Blues Run the Game, 1 Jun 2014
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This review is from: Jackson C. Frank (Audio CD)
Jackson C Frank came from the USA to the London of the 1960s and fell in with Janscch, Renbourne, and their associates. He made this one disc, produced by Paul Simon, gave up and went back to the USA where he fell into decline, lived on the street, and was murdered. Blues Run The Game, the single, is a classic. Laura Marling has just made a beguiing version - it's on Youtube. By Frank it's a great single but the rest of the disc doesn't measure up to it.
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