pentangle The Albums 1968-1972 (7 CD boxed set, £49.95)label: cherry red
When they formed in 1968, Pentangle were hailed as Folk’s first supergroup, fusing elements of jazz and underground music and comprising the twin guitar/songwriting talents of Bert Jansch and John Renbourn with bassist Danny Thompson, drummer Terry Cox and singer Jacqui McShee. Between 1968 and 1972, Pentangle issued six albums – five on legendary Folk label Transatlantic and a swansong release on Reprise. Their debut, The Pentangle (1968), was hailed as a Folk Rock classic and charted in the UK at No. 21. Sequel Sweet Child (also 1968) was an ambitious double album coupling live and studio discs. Third LP Basket Of Light (1969) was their most commercially successful, peaking at No. 5, fuelled by the success of lead track ‘Light Flight’ (the theme to TV series Take Three Girls). Cruel Sister (1970) allowed Pentangle to reinterpret traditional folk songs. Reflection (1971), their last Transatlantic LP, was also among their most adventurous. Solomon’s Seal (1972) proved to be their last album with the original line-up. For the first time ever, these albums are available as a deluxe box set to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the band’s formation. Each record has been remastered from the best available sources, referencing original tapes and vinyl where relevant. Each album has been expanded with a wealth of bonus material, including choice selections from contemporaneous solo LPs by Bert Jansch and John Renbourn, out-takes and live tracks. Across the package, there are an impressive 22 recordings which are previously unreleased. Each album is presented in a miniature card sleeve replica of the original vinyl artwork. These are housed in an attractive box set alongside an 88-page book awash with rare images and over 20,000 words of sleeve-notes, which include: a Q&A culled from past interviews by author Mick Houghton with Bert, John and Jacqui; essays about each album by a variety of music journalists (Stuart Penney, Trevor Leeden, Nigel Cross, Colin Irwin, Lois Wilson and Jim Wirth); a lengthy chronology; and track-by-track details. Pentangle’s first three albums and three singles were produced by the legendary Shel Talmy (The Who, The Kinks, etc.) while Peter Blake designed the sleeve for Sweet Child (one of only three such commissions in the 60s). The band also enjoyed popularity in America and toured there. Alongside Fairport Convention and the Incredible String Band, Pentangle define Folk’s flowering in the late 60s, melding jazz, rock, traditional folk and other styles.
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