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4.8 out of 5 stars
111
4.8 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 6 June 2003
Being a young lad of only 23 Years, I never knew Jake at the hight of his fame, goodness only knows why i had to accidentally stumble over his music to hear anything by him. He should be a national tresure. He manipulates the English language in a way words can't really do justice to describe. The more up tempo songs i particularly enjoy 'the lodger' 'billy kershaw' 'gypsy' & 'on again!' spring to mind, but they are all good, apart from 'molly metcalf' which shouldnt really be on a very best of collection.
Given the chance i would have put the 'castleford ladies magical circle' and 'family tree' on this collection.
RIP Jake
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VINE VOICEon 20 May 2003
This is a far better and more definitive selection of Jake's finest work than the previous "Best of" although that is also great and the two complement each other quite nicely. Thackray has written THE FUNNIEST songs in the English language, from jokes put to music, topical satire, risque chansons to the downright rude and Sister Josephine, Billy Kershaw, The Lodger and The Kiss are classic examples included here. But he was also a genuinely talented folk singer in the English tradition and this aspect of his work is perfectly represented here with the poignant Poor Sod and Rain on the Mountainside. Musically, hand picked nylon strung guitar dominates with Jake's jaunty rhythms accompanied by jazz tinged acoustic guitar ornamentation and warm double bass. These allow the brilliant lyrics of an amazing wordsmith and poet to weave their own magic. A few of the songs have more complete orchestration and these sound a bit dated. Jake is responsible for one of the most wonderful opening lines of a song - "I love a good bum on a woman, it makes my day" (On Again, On Again) and indeed his lyrics are good enough to read on their own. While I would have liked to have Family Tree, Worried Brown Eyes and Country Bus included, I would not have left out any of the existing 21 songs in an amazing collection. Thanks to EMI for this timely release in memory of Jake who, sadly, died recently. But as Jake sings in his own "Last Will and Testament":
'Lady, if your bosom is heaving, don't waste your bosom on me
Let it heave for a man who's breathing
A man who can feel, a man who can see.'
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on 19 May 2017
A man and a guitar with songs that will grab your funny side.
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on 14 July 2017
Bought for playing on car journeys. What a joy and so entertaining.
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on 22 April 2017
Great stuff - a brilliant buy.
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on 29 March 2017
the very best
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on 5 May 2017
Great. I have listened to this about a dozen times since purchase
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on 17 March 2004
Some classics which many will know, along with some hidden gems which stand up straight of their own accord and give you a proper Northern slap in the face as if to say, "give those pretentions a rest and try to digest this if you will." You will laugh and be touched in equal parts by these songs, from the blacksmith's happy end to the song for the river swale. Beautiful, try it.
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on 21 February 2006
It is impossible to know and hear the very best of Jake Thackray without hearing him speak as well as sing. I had the privilege of seeing Jake perform live on three seperate occasions during the late 70's and early 80's. Whilst his musical talent was (and still is) unique, this fine compilation is missing the vital ingredient that made him so special - his words. Occasionally you can get a little of the atmosphere with the live tracks when he introduces a song but to really appreciate how good he was you had to be there. For every song there was a story and these represented at least half of the show and were a major reason why people went to see him.
So come on Music Publishers lets try to find a recording of one of Jake's gigs and publish it without any editing - only then will you really get "the very best of Jake Thackray".
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on 26 May 2003
A fine collection of the songs of the late and sady missed Jake, this collection, with a fan selected running order, is about as good as it gets. Here is Jake at his very best, performing his own unique songs in his own way and mostly, and mercifully, free of the orchestrations which, in my opinion at least, marred his early albums. Most of the performances here are drawn from his later albums, the magnificent "On Again! On Again!" being particularly well represented. If you know Jake's work then you should get this without delay: if you don't know him - go on, give him a try.
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