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on 27 April 2014
If anyone watched her blind audition on the Voice, you will know that Sally Barker has already had a career in music .. and with some success. This compilation takes selection from the material she recorded in the early nineties.

Most of it is very good - "Another Train", "Sleepy Eyes" and "Elephants" are excellent tracks, as is "While You Sleep", "Moses" and "We Built Fires". However, perhaps my favourite track is "Alexis Korner (Still Sings the Blues in Heaven)", a wonderful bit of blues (what else). Sally's voice is unmistakeably hers and a lot of the tracks are her own compositions. "Alexis Korner" is just a wonderful exhibition of how to sing with the kind of growl and without the screeching which some singers think they need to let everyone know they can sing. Most fail, but Sally succeeds beautifully.

There are a couple of tracks I do not like - "Nocturnal Visions" and "Die Sorge" do nothing for me and her version of Genesis's "I Know What I Like (In Your Wardrobe)" is a mistake - she should have left that alone.

Having said all that, not only does she sing well, but her guitar playing is brilliant and her backing musicians are excellent, too.

Sally was also a founder member of the all-female folk/pop band, the Poozies, in which Kate Rusby also had a stint as singer. I love Kate, but think Sally was a better singer for the band - and the Poozies retrospective "Raise Your Head" is a very good companion album to buy with this.

So, just to recap - this is not an introduction to the Sally Barker we saw and loved on the Voice, but a snapshot of her previous career as described. Don't be misled into thinking "Dear Darling" is going to be on this - it isn't. I, along with a lot of other people, will wait in case Sally records a new album with that and other new tracks on it. Until then, this will do nicely.
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on 13 February 2017
Familiar with Sally from contributions to the reformed Fotheringay & recently supporting Fairport on tour, so decided to buy this. Well pleased with it ! A variety of styles, all headed by Sally's distinctive & powerful voice. Check out the moving & affecting Another Train and We Built Fires, and the concert sing a long 'Money Talking'. Hunting The Buffalo & Moses also leave an instant impression and the brave idea to cover 'We ( I ) Know What I Like' works surprisingly well. A top compilation, and can't wait for 'Ghost Girl', due out later this month ( Feb 2017 ).
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on 6 March 2014
Honestly, I have played this at least twice a week since buying it .... it's that good !! I heard Sally sing on The Voice TV show and loved her voice so much. I searched the net to find her CDs (I knew she had made about 5 from reading bits on the net). If you like a good pure voice with amazing real-life lyrics - then buy this CD - you won't regret it!! I have played it to visiting friends and they also thought it was amazing.
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on 2 May 2014
I am so very very happy I purchased this cd. If I hadn't seen this superb artist Sally Barker on The Voice tv programme, I probably would never have had the most extreme pleasure of hearing her haunting voice and playing this great cd over and over. I had to stop driving my car whilst playing this cd as track 4 reduced me to tears - it was so emotional. Anyone who has not bought this cd should do so immediately - to me it's the best cd I have ever purchased and I have several hundreds in my collection of vinyl and cd's. Thanks so much Sally Barker, you are a beautiful singer and I am extremely pleased you came back to the business after raising your boys. Also many thanks to Tom Jones for picking her to be on his team. Incidentally, I received the cd very quickly indeed after purchase. Thanks very much.
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on 13 April 2014
I wish I had known about Sally before The Voice, but then it is always fun to discover a new enthusiasm. I listened to a few of these tracks on Youtube, then decided to start my purchases with this compilation and I am delighted that I did. It includes several really good songs, many written by Sally, all beautifully sung and produced, with excellent sound quality. Sally has a wonderful voice that is surely equal to that of some of the world's great singers like Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins and Carole King. Not only is the tone of her voice exquisitely clean, but it effortlessly straddles the worlds of folk, pop and rock ; on this album there is even a track with a Reggae beat. She is also one of the best storytellers in song, conveying different moods and communicating emotion with ease. I know that I will play this album a lot and I can't wait to see her perform live!
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on 22 July 2014
My wife Sue wanted this album for her birthday. She calls Sally magnificent and could listen to her all day regardless of the material. I liked Sally's voice but on first hearing I was unimpressed by some of the songs here. Then we listened again and I revised my opinion. Not every track is great but she has an undoubtedly affecting voice and uses it in a variety of styles. We both love the blues number Alexis Korner (Still Sings the Blues in Heaven), where Sally lets rip and combines gutsy power with her trademark sensitivity. I'd give it three stars because some of the songs are a little too soft-focus for me, but Sue would say five, so this is a compromise score. She's a genuine talent.
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on 9 February 2013
Sally Barker has a heart wrenchingly beautiful voice, perhaps more suited to jazz than folk music; having said that, the music on this album is a thoughtful mix of folky, jazzy, mildly rocky crossover.Unfortunately,about half of the material is a bit weak and short of strong musical ideas. Exceptions are "Elephants " and "We Built Fires", which on their own are worth the price of the album.
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on 14 April 2014
I bought this cd having loved Sally's songs on The Voice. My general impression is that she is talented but the songs on this album aren't really ticking the same boxes she ticked on the programme. Having said that, it is always good to listen to a different genre.
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on 20 May 2014
I watched The Voice right from the start and was rooting for Sally from the moment I heard her sing. I was shouting at the telly for all the judges to turn-around and felt such relief when Tom did. If you have not yet listened to this lady sing - start now. Please please someone help Sally make a new album and also please do a full cover version of the Dear Darlin song; the emotion you put into the words is breath taking. I wish you all the best for the future and hope you finally get the recognition that you deserve. Just don't stop singing.
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on 6 November 2014
Love Sally, have seen her perform live with The Poozies & like that this is slightly different material to the folk songs she does with them. This is more bluesy & a good sample of her pre-The Voice career.
Bought it as an anniversary gift for my husband & he is thrilled with it.
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