Top positive review
10 people found this helpful
Classic Folk Rock album re-issued on Fledg'ling Records
on 20 January 2004
For too long this superb record has been confined to the 'great but lost classic' files. The good news is it is once more freely available having just (late 2003) been re-released on Fledg'ling Records, P.O.Box 547, London SE26 4BD. Replete with four outtakes, fulsome liner notes by David Suff & John Tobler with additional personal reminisces courtesy of John Tams it's a landmark album every true folk-rocker should own. A heady mix of Traditional airs and original songs the album swings with great melodies, pin-sharp ensemble playing and rousing harmony singing. No wonder really when one realises that Albion stalwarts appearing on the record include founder member Ashley Hutchings on bass, his ex-Fairport cohorts Simon Nicol & Dave Mattacks, keyboard king Pete Bullock, fiddle ace Ric Sanders, wind instrumental virtuoso Phil Pickett, percussion man Michael Gregory and guitarists Graeme Taylor and Michael Gregory all ably supported by a veritable who's who of Seventies Folk-Rock: Richard Thompson, Kate McGarrigle, Linda Thompson, Martin Carthy, Julie Covington and ex-Amen Corner lead singer Andy Fairweather-Low. Most important of all and heading up this mighty crew was the one and only John Tams - at the time (1978) a relative newcomer. (As Ashley Hutchings graciously concedes in the liner notes - " 'Rise Up Like The Sun' has far more of John Tams's stamp on it than it has of mine, and he deserves far more credit for that album than I do.") Together with legendary record producer Joe Boyd, Tams was somehow able to keep the stellar cast of players firmly on task - staying within the moment of each song they fashioned a sublimely cohesive whole that has well stood the test of time. Tender, strong and true the original eight songs make for a heartfelt, muscular piece of music-making that resonates with genuine passion. Standout tracks include the cheekily humourous, immensely catchy 'Poor Old Horse', the wistfully beautiful 'Ampleforth/Lay Me Low' and the groundbreaking, epic interpretation of the Traditional broadside ballad, 'Gresford Disaster'. The latter track alone is worth the price of admission and opened the doors for others to follow including Tams' own Home Service. Only the twee bonus track 'Postman's Knock' requires skipping while everything else has endured to confirm 'Rise Up Like The Sun's' reputation as one of the all-time great UK Folk-Rock records up there with the transcendant 'Liege & Lief'.