on 12 May 2011
The McGarrigles' eponymous first album from 1975 must rank as one of the finest debuts of all time, and the fact that 1977's follow-up "Dancer With Bruised Knees" was almost every bit its equal makes this an essential purchase for anyone not already smitten. Or for anyone seeking the improved audio quality of the remastered versions.
Pick a track, any track, and be converted.
The extras on the third disc - largely a collection of piano demos - whilst good on their own terms inevitably pale by comparison with the sparkling gems on the two remastered albums. Indeed, it seems like the label made a policy decision to empty out the whole cupboard, what with three versions in total of "Heart Like A Wheel" and three of "(Talk To Me Of) Mendocino" but none of the demos comes close to the beauty and pathos of the released versions.
Whilst unquestionably of historical and musical interest, the previously unreleased tracks aren't in the same league as those on the recent "Odditties" album. Notable among these, though, are "The Work Song", originally written for Maria Muldaur and included on her debut album, "Over The Hill" and "Oliver, Remember Me".
Kate & Anna recorded a third album, "Pronto Monto", for Warners in 1978. Whilst not quite scaling the same heights, it was nonetheless another very fine body of work. Mystifyingly, it has never been released on CD and so it's strange, if not downright perverse, that Nonesuch have passed up an ideal opportunity of righting that particular wrong. Unless, of course, they have other plans for it.
After that, the McGarrigles went on to record for other labels (including producer Joe Boyd's own Hannibal imprint). One day, someone will release a comprehensive "Best Of" collection spanning their entire career, but in the meantime these first two releases could reasonably stake a claim to that monicker all for themselves. Sublime.
on 18 May 2011
This box set is a rare delight. I have been familiar with Kate and Anna's work since 1975 and their first two albums have been constant and much loved companions. The idea of getting the demo tapes was exciting, but I was unprepared for their excellence. The third CD on previously unreleased work is awesome and Kate and Anna at the top of their game. There are songs here that are unfamiliar and one has to ask why work of this quality was cast aside. I wasn't expecting to find much of interest in the first two remastered CDs, I was so wrong. These works have been remastered by Joe Boyd. The clarity is wonderful. I am hearing things for the first time in 36 years. Thanks Anna and the family for this project. Everthing about it is perfect. I hope it sells well enough to inspire more releases and more demo recordings ... 'Cool River' and '(Land of the) Shining Birch Tree' are still hidden in a vault. The acclaim this duo deserve is long overdue!
on 21 September 2011
It is nothing short of a crime that this beautiful music was somehow hidden from the most of us, save for the lucky connoisseurs. If you ever cared for Sandy Denny, Nick Drake or Ann Briggs and if you would decide to buy only one disc this year, do yourself good and take this beauty.
on 25 June 2012
It still makes me cry, the writing, singing, playing and recording of the 1st LP is absolute. It is wonderful. Sisters singing together, my mother was one of ten,five boys and obviously five girls, they could all sing, play and dance.
Harmonies of the spheres.
These recordings remind me , on a deep, deep level of my childhood.
I was man when I bought them and loved them. This is music that I love. I am speechless and unable to deliver enough respect and enthusiasm for this collection. Again it replaces my vinyl copy, bought the day of release in the UK .Buy it.
on 19 June 2011
This is a wonderful collection of Kate & Anna McGarrigle from the 1970's when I saw them perform live with their band at the Cambridge Corn exchange shortly after their first TV appearance on ITV'S late night arts programme So It Goes, presented by the late Tony Wilson (Anthony Wilson of Factory Records)
This collection is an ideal introduction to their marvellous song writing skills with their wry lyrics ie. 'Southern Boys' and 'NaCL Sodium Cloride'(McGarrigle Hour) and combined their incredible harmonies are a delight to the ears.
I'm sure like me anyone who enjoys this 3CD set will be anxious explore their music further.I went on to buy Oddities and the McGarrigle Hour both very varied and enjoyable listening that frequently tugs at the heartstrings!
on 4 February 2015
how the hell did i ever miss the release of these LP's the first time around....timing perhaps. i've got a copy of the first LP but am just about to order "tell my sister" set from amazon. i just can't stop listening to the first LP. absolutely wonderful & that's coming from somebody who has the likes of bombay bycycle club, alien ant farm, maria callas, burial, marvin gaye/tammi terrel, iron butterfly etc on my car's hard disc drive. i have a 128gb iphone 6 with over 600 cd's on it & another 1000 cd's & vinyl at home. you get my drift........BUY THIS CD IT IS ONE OF THE VERY BEST IV'E HEARD SINCE I BOUGHT MY FIRST RECORD AGED 12............a long time ago........in a distant universe..