on 23 August 2006
Glad to see this reissued along with "In the Round." These '80's albums are somewhat unjustly overlooked. There's a nice 'nature' theme to several songs, & adept arrangement of Milton Nasimento's "Mother Earth" (if Jansch's voice very different). Mike Piggott rather different sound than John Renbourn, but he brings his own abilities. Even the 'baroque folk' instrumental, "Dolphin" sweetly does recall earlier Pentangle instrumentals, if perhaps not quite the quiet assurance JR brought to these. MacShee's singing is very good throughout, if lyrically maybe some songs not quite so compelling. "Sad Lady" though is very interesting, cool sexy underated Jacqui song, with nearly a bit of 'Latin' vibe in arrangement. And some other 'near' standard Pentangle songs here like "Dragonfly" and fine take on traditional one "Yarrow" (if personally I like also the live version of that on "Live '94" and BJ's version on his "Moonshine"). "Lost Love" is good 'jazzy blues' Jansch; "Taste of Love" a good more ballady one of his. Solid if maybe not quite the distinctive magic of the original '60's/early '70's group IMO.
on 21 August 2006
I've no idea why it's taken 20 years since the original vinyl release for this superb album to become available on CD, but it is worth the wait. What marks this out from other Pentangle albums and many other albums of the genre is an enchanting suite of songs with an almost mystical love of nature at their core, what would have been side one of the LP. 'Child of Winter' is particularly spellbinding. The sound quality is good, but the packaging does not say if the album has been digitally remastered from the original master tapes - I'd have thought this would be something to brag about if it had. Also, the booklet, though containing song lyrics, is somewhat sparse. I'd have liked a bit of biographical info, or perhaps some notes to put some context to the music. Someone plays violin on several songs - who? It does not say. but these are minor quibbles. the main thing is that now at last we have the opportunity to appreciate this great music on CD.
on 9 July 2013
On this early recording, John Renbourn co-opts Bert Jansch and Jacqui McShee to assist him with duets that presage the music of the 'supergroup[. they later formed with Terry Cox and Danny Thompson. I actually saw these individuals perform separately and in various combinations as well as Pentangle's first jam together. Aside from bringing back wonderful memories of my teenage years this is a record of great musical standing and will worth adding to your Pentangle collection along with other discs by the individuals on their own and variously combined both before and after their group phase.
on 5 April 2015
This is a fine album that fans of the group really should acquaint themselves with , if they haven't already done so !
I actually purchased ' Open the Door' with a slight trepidation because John Renbourn had left the band at this stage but I needn't have worried because his replacement Mike Piggott brings his own formidable musicianship to the group. Piggott contributes some fabulous electric lead guitar lines and he and Renbourn are quite easy to identify between due in no small part to their contrasting tones ; whereas John played a Gibson 335 , Mike plays a Fender Telecaster here .
The standard of the songs is strong and Jacqui McShee's vocals sound wonderfully rich and accomplished throughout the course of the album. I find her skilful vocal phrasing on 'Sad Lady' to be extremely impressive ! Some of my other favourite songs here include the beautiful ' Child of the Winter' , the sole instrumental 'The Dolphin' , 'Lost Love' and the gentle 'Taste of Love'( sang by Bert Jansch) , whilst the Jansch penned ' Lost Love' is also a stand-out track for me.
The original Pentangle had split up in 1973 but by the 1980s the group made a come back. However by the time of this new album Open the Door John Renbourn had left the band to continue his studies. So the original line up for the band did not make it to a new recording. However Mike Piggott replaced Renbourn and the remaining original members made this recording.
So the new formed Pentangle were Bert Jansch, Jacqui McShee, Danny Thompson, Terry Cox and Mike piggot.
This new album is really good despite some critics at the time giving it a hard time. The album has a great version of Mother Earth and there is a wonderful instrumental called Dolphin.
Jacqui McShee’s vocals keep everything together with her beautiful voice. There is also a group version of Yarrow the traditional piece that Bert Jansch had covered before on his Moonshine album.
The familiar Folk Rock, jazz, blues sound is there and the album does have much to offer.
Terry Cox is on drums, percussion and vocals, Bert Jansch on acoustic guitar and vocals, Jacqui McSee on vocals, Mike piggot on violin, acoustic and electric guitars and Danny Thompson on double bass.
The album is really good for a come back album despite the absence of Renbourn and it does make a good album in its own right
The album is from 1985