Shirley Collins. Classic. Dud is not an option here, I'm afraid.

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I mean Shirley set out to redeem traditonal ballads from the preciousness and feyness of contemporary (1950s) modes of interpretation and in some ways the route she chose to do so was as radical (if not moreso) as the nearly-contemporaneous experiments of Bob Dylan (who also wished to tap into the power of the traditional music of his country without fallying prey to some of the same traps*). They both excite me for similar reasons, I think.

*for a good example--and I do actually mean "good" as in worth hearing--of the sort of folksong presentation both were running from, see the records of Richard Dyer-Bennett.

amateurist (amateurist), Thursday, 10 July 2003 06:18 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I find her voice quite irritating.

Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 10 July 2003 11:21 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Piss off, you dreary little pedant.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Thursday, 10 July 2003 11:27 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

...Oscar Wilde lives and breathes

Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 10 July 2003 11:29 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

What's the best starting point for a S+ D Collins virgin? Tell me one recd to get and I'll get it.

Dr. C (Dr. C), Thursday, 10 July 2003 11:58 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

either the albion country band's "no roses", which is really good folk-rock, i think as good as "liege & lief" (ymmv) or "anthems in eden" which is the collins sisters' folk song suite, arranged for early music instruments. Possibly try to hear one of her records first, b/c i think she's the sort of artist you'll either like or dislike straightaway.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Thursday, 10 July 2003 12:02 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i think she's the sort of artist you'll either like or dislike straightaway.

One hates to be dreary and pedantic about these things but I neither liked nor disliked Shirley Collins straightaway. As it is, I love her albums but I find it difficult to listen to her voice over an entire album - I think it's the fact that she sings slightly out of tune all the time.

Dadaismus (Dada), Thursday, 10 July 2003 13:08 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i'll be the first to admit that her voice is an acquired taste! as is dylan's!

amateurist (amateurist), Thursday, 10 July 2003 13:42 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Does anyone happen to have the Love, Death and the Lady CD with bonus tracks? I think it came out on EMI. I have the previous BGO reissue. If you have the newer CD might I trade a copy for a copy of any of her other LPs--I believe I have all the others, save for the box set.

amateurist (amateurist), Friday, 11 July 2003 18:46 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I have that one amateurist, mail me, and i'll do a copy of the extra tracks.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Friday, 11 July 2003 22:13 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

ten months pass...
sorry i never mailed you!

i think i've come around to thinking that the first side of "anthems in eden" is her best work overall. though there are things on "power of the true love knot," "adieu to old england" (this is the one that no one ever seems to mention), and "for as many as will" (and several others, though not the first two 59/60 lps) that are magnificent.

amateur!st (amateurist), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 05:53 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Love, Death & the Lady is my fave.

Alex in SF (Alex in SF), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 05:57 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

A heads-up on Shirl's new book that's just been published...

A heart-rending emotional journey into the cultural roots of traditional American Music with legendary archivist Alan Lomax. Highly respected English folk singer Shirley Collins describes her year long stint as Lomax's assistant and their diligent work uncovering the traditional music of America's heartland. They covered Virginia, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas and Georgia - along the way encountering Mississippi Fred McDowell, Muddy Waters and many others.

NickB (NickB), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 07:49 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

wow! well, i'm buying that then. still haven't managed to send shirley a mash note but i'm not sure how.

i wish she'd write about her own music and her relationship to traditional english music and its various revivals. that interests me as much if not more (if only because the america stuff has been covered so well by so many).

ok i have a noisy cat begging for my attention...be back later.

amateur!st (amateurist), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 08:08 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

btw the title of her book comes from something an american woman (in appalachia i believe) asked of shirley: "you come from england? england over the water?"

amateur!st (amateurist), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 08:17 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I've sort of met Shirley a couple of times through a mutual friend, and I got the impression that she's such a quiet and shy and, above all, modest person that I didn't feel like she even wanted to talk about her own music, much less write about it. Mind you, I didn't really want to bother her with all that, so I could be wrong...

NickB (NickB), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 08:25 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Shirley has a voice that's both powerful and innocent.
I have 'Folk Routes..' and 'No Roses' and love them both.
For some fathomless reason 'No Roses' only gets 3 stars on amg, when as amateurist says it's possibly beter than 'Leige and Leif'.
I know Shirley's not on it, but would anyone on this thread recommend 'Rise up like the sun' to me, because obv. if it even approaches the goodness of 'Roses' I'd like to own it.

de, Tuesday, 18 May 2004 12:34 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"No Roses" is genius. "Rise Up Like the Sun" is the best folk rock album released after 1973. There is one crap Morris dancing tune on it but the rest of it is brilliant: "Poor Old Horse", "Ampleforth/ Lay Me Low" (which is almost as good as "Meet On the Ledge"), "The Gresford Disaster".

Dadaismus (Dada), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 12:36 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Ah thank you. Btw I own 'Morris On', and I love it, so I might like that crap tune.....
(How I've managed to resist buying 'Son of Morris On' and 'Grandson of Morris On' thus far I'm not sure....a Neitzchan control of my will prob.)

de, Tuesday, 18 May 2004 12:41 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I have "Morris On" and "Son of Morris On"! Still think that "Rise Up Like the Sun" could do without the Morris tune.

Dadaismus (Dada), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 12:42 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Now I trust your judgement fully :-)

de, Tuesday, 18 May 2004 12:44 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

uh-oh.

"dada is correct abt "rise up like the sun". "poor old horse" is probably worth the price of the album on its own.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 12:47 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Martin Carthy did a really good version of "Poor Old Horse" on one of his albums too

Dadaismus (Dada), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 12:50 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"as amateurist says it's possibly beter than 'Leige and Leif'."

did i say that? i dunno.

i don't like shirley with drums really. i don't like "amaranth" much, largely because of the echoey production.

i like shirley with dolly's arrangements, basically.

amateur!st (amateurist), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 15:57 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Ha, it was me, right at the top, who said that "no roses" is superior to "liege and lief" and even though i think "liege & lief" is one of the best rekkids EVER, I like "no roses" better.

Amaranth is probably the worst (read least great) shirley collins music I have. I like the folk-rock arrangements on "no roses" tons, but I think it's probably enough of shirley w/that type of sound. Have you got the "etchingham steam band" cd amateurist? That's kind of...interesting, but not great.

Pashmina (Pashmina), Tuesday, 18 May 2004 16:03 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

sorry dudes

de, Tuesday, 18 May 2004 16:19 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

two months pass...
has anyone read her book? I keep meaning to buy it.

amateur!st (amateurist), Wednesday, 4 August 2004 21:58 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

five months pass...
still haven't bought it.

you know i'm sort of suspicious of english folk-rock (i've really lost the taste for fairport/sandy denny/et al) in part because it's admirers don't seem to be critical at all; i've hardly read a bad review of a british folk-rock album. it doesn't seem like a world that encourages really serious musical experimentation, as opposed to kitschy "ambitious" stabs (like peter bellamy's "transports," arr. dolly collins, which i'm really NOT getting into).

all this to say that "no roses" sounds like a failure to me, in fact it almost pains me to listen to. but damned if i can find a single negative review of it.

i really don't think shirley has the audience she deserves.

Amateur(ist) (Amateur(ist)), Tuesday, 18 January 2005 21:28 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
Hi amateurist.

Have you read the (rather lengthy) interview she did Johan @ perfect sound forever? real interesting read. i want to hear more of her albums. we had a copy of anthems in eden at the store and it was great. the only one i own is power of the true love knot. greaaat stuff. i wanna read her book, also.

electro-acoustic lycanthrope (orion), Thursday, 27 April 2006 00:19 (twelve years ago) Permalink

you know i'm sort of suspicious of english folk-rock (i've really lost the taste for fairport/sandy denny/et al) in part because it's admirers don't seem to be critical at all; i've hardly read a bad review of a british folk-rock album.


ha, try criticizing Steely Dan or Tusk on here and let the hate roll down on you. Also, post thompson/denny Fairport gets lots of criticism, especially from the 80s on (and most of it is deserved)
I think part of the reason it gets a free pass to the extent that it does is because it's so small & insular a scene, I mean I don't care for polka, but I'm not going to spray hate on amazon reviews and such. If Brit folk-rock had ever broken in a big way, non-believers would go out of their way to take it down. This music really just appeals to a small section of the public, those who get it love it, those who don't pay it little mind.

it doesn't seem like a world that encourages really serious musical experimentation, as opposed to kitschy "ambitious" stabs (like peter bellamy's "transports," arr. dolly collins, which i'm really NOT getting into).

well it is FOLK music, to an extent, the "bold" experimentation was to deviate from the acoustic norm and dip into the "tainted" rock scene. Trad based things are rarely open to too much tinkering, part of the weakness, also part of the charm.

all this to say that "no roses" sounds like a failure to me, in fact it almost pains me to listen to. but damned if i can find a single negative review of it.

Well the Murder of Maria Marten is anything but a failure, it is just a MONSTER track. The rest doesn't quite excite as much, but it is certainly above average folk-rock.

timmy tannin (pompous), Thursday, 27 April 2006 02:17 (twelve years ago) Permalink

all this to say that "no roses" sounds like a failure to me, in fact it almost pains me to listen to

Sounds like it's not that you're "suspicious" of English folk rock so much as you just don't like it!

you know i'm sort of suspicious of english folk-rock in part because it's admirers don't seem to be critical at all

I think a lot of people who discovered it (esp. outside the UK) and were just extremely enthusiastic about it and some of their critical faculties may have gone out the window temporarily

Kids Will Eat Them Till the Cows Come Home (Dada), Thursday, 27 April 2006 09:38 (twelve years ago) Permalink

No Roses is amazing! And I say that as someone who is always willing to criticise the UK folk scene.

Raw Patrick (Raw Patrick), Thursday, 27 April 2006 10:27 (twelve years ago) Permalink

four months pass...
amateurist, did you buy the book?

joan vich (joan vich), Monday, 18 September 2006 14:01 (twelve years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

had never heard her, but picked up the new Harvest Years comp as an introduction...have to admit, took a little while to "adjust" my ears (some of this stuff is so archaic as to make Fairport Convention sound like dubstep..I know, I know: what did I expect?), but now that I'm into it, I'm into it!...(she was quite the looker, too)...

henry s, Monday, 27 October 2008 19:34 (ten years ago) Permalink

Yeah I don't know how that comp is sequenced (or what exactly is on it) but I could see some of her stuff being a bit "unadorned" for ears trained by folk rock. I have almost every album (not the boxed set though.) Love, Death & The Lady is my favorite, probably.

Alex in SF, Monday, 27 October 2008 20:13 (ten years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Happy birthday Shirley! 75 today.

an outlet to express the dark invocations of (La Lechera), Monday, 5 July 2010 13:38 (eight years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Happy birthday Shirley!

Fa la la (La Lechera), Tuesday, 5 July 2011 18:59 (seven years ago) Permalink

eleven months pass...

Tomorrow is Shirley's birthday!!

Jul 5th * �7.00 * SHIRLEY COLLINS' BIRTHDAY PARTY

Now here is something really special!
In the first half, Shirley will be presenting a shortened version of her latest multi-media show, You Never Heard So Sweet.
In the second half she will introducing performances by friends including some of the best known names on the folk scene:-
THE COPPER FAMILY
MARTYN WYNDHAM-READ & IRIS BISHOP
RATTLE ON THE STOVEPIPE
NAOMI BEDFORD & PAUL SIMMONDS
IAN KEAREY & DAN QUINN (of DUCK SOUP)

Happy happy happy happy birthday, Shirley!

nicest bitch of poster (La Lechera), Wednesday, 4 July 2012 19:30 (six years ago) Permalink

Oh shit, that's my friend Ian. Whereabouts is this thing happening?

gonna send him to outer space, to hug another face (NickB), Wednesday, 4 July 2012 21:11 (six years ago) Permalink

ROYAL OAK
3 Station Street,
Lewes
BN7 2DA

If you go, please tell Shirley happy birthday for me!

nicest bitch of poster (La Lechera), Wednesday, 4 July 2012 23:38 (six years ago) Permalink

listening to love, death & the lady: happy birthday shirley collins and may there be many more!

no lime tangier, Thursday, 5 July 2012 01:27 (six years ago) Permalink

That venue is only about 3 miles away from where I'm sat right now, which makes me feel all the more lame for inevitably not going.

gonna send him to outer space, to hug another face (NickB), Thursday, 5 July 2012 09:46 (six years ago) Permalink

When I lived in Brighton I used to go there quite a lot for the folk nights with Shirley, the Copper Family, Martin Carthy and so on. Great little place.

my father will guide me up the stairs to bed (anagram), Thursday, 5 July 2012 09:49 (six years ago) Permalink

Never been! The thought of bowling up by myself to that sort of cosy, intimate space gives me the willies.

gonna send him to outer space, to hug another face (NickB), Thursday, 5 July 2012 09:56 (six years ago) Permalink

http://www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~tinvic/intro.jpg

"Here, budge up a bit Norma would you..."

gonna send him to outer space, to hug another face (NickB), Thursday, 5 July 2012 09:56 (six years ago) Permalink

I only ever went on my own, primarily because no-one else would go with me...

my father will guide me up the stairs to bed (anagram), Thursday, 5 July 2012 09:58 (six years ago) Permalink

Damn, you should've given me a shout.

gonna send him to outer space, to hug another face (NickB), Thursday, 5 July 2012 10:02 (six years ago) Permalink

Not going = not cool

Lil' Kim Philby (Call the Cops), Thursday, 5 July 2012 11:41 (six years ago) Permalink

If I had a zillion dollars, I would fly across the ocean to celebrate Shirley Collins' birthday with her and the Copper family in a tiny intimate venue.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SHIRLEY!

nicest bitch of poster (La Lechera), Thursday, 5 July 2012 13:15 (six years ago) Permalink

She's 77 today btw.

nicest bitch of poster (La Lechera), Thursday, 5 July 2012 13:35 (six years ago) Permalink

don't know if people saw the news of a new memoir:

We’ll soon be announcing details of Shirley Collins’ long-awaited memoir ‘All in the Downs: Reflections on Life, Landscape and Song’.
In the meantime please do see the wonderful 'The Ballad of Shirley Collins', which is on UK release this month. https://t.co/gSyVE0J5AT pic.twitter.com/aZvPH3GCJi

— Strange Attractor (@strangepress) January 5, 2018

faust apes (NickB), Tuesday, 9 January 2018 15:43 (one year ago) Permalink

I did see it!!!

Cannot wait to read

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 9 January 2018 15:46 (one year ago) Permalink

yeah that'll be great ...
some info

‘The Ballad Of Shirley Collins’ film continues to screen across cinemas in the UK early next year and the film will be free-to stream on the Lush Player in the UK for 20 days only from January 20th 2018.

We will also shortly be announcing the official DVD release. This will come as a deluxe bookback that will feature a range of extras including deleted scenes, audio commentary, behind the scenes footage and an unreleased short film by the filmmakers along with CD of the soundtrack that will include bonus tracks.

Track list
Side A
1. “All I Ever Wanted”
2. Shirley Collins – Cavalry Hill
3. Ishman Williams & The Williams Singers – Got On My Travelling Shoes
4. “Do You Want Me To Start Again, Alan”
5. Texas Gladden – I Never Will Marry
6. Sid Hemphill and Lucius Smith – Come On Boys, Let’s Go To The Ball
7. Horton Barker – A Rich Irish Lady
8. Ian Kearey – The Poor Drowned Sailor
9. Sidney Hemphill Carter – Pharaoh
10. “I Used To Could Sing”
11. Outtake (London, 1959)

Side B
1. “There’s Never Been A Merry England”
2. Andy Hemsley and Hastings Jack In The Green – Seeds Of Love
3. N.J Brothers & The United Sacred Harp Musical Association – Cavalry
4. Lucius Smith – Make Lulu Behave Herself
5. Ruby Vass – Single Girl, Married Girl
6. “I Can’t Really Forget Them”
7. George Stoneman – Sally Anne
8. Michael J York & Ossian Brown – The Cloud House / Cyclobe – Sons Of Sons Of Light / George Collins - Dolly
9. Dolly Collins – Missa Humana (excerpt)
10. Shirley Collins – Wondrous Love

Pre-order link:
https://earthrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/the-ballad-of-shirley-collins

tylerw, Tuesday, 9 January 2018 15:56 (one year ago) Permalink

it's UK-only? :(

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 9 January 2018 17:41 (one year ago) Permalink

I think they mean the DVD is in PAL format, not that they won't let people in the US buy the DVD/CD set. Easy enough to rip a PAL DVD and watch it on a computer.

erry red flag (f. hazel), Tuesday, 9 January 2018 17:51 (one year ago) Permalink

i've heard they're working on getting it to the states sometime soon-ish.

tylerw, Tuesday, 9 January 2018 18:04 (one year ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

The documentary looks to be streaming on the Lush website: http://player.lush.com/channels/lush/tv/ballad-shirley-collins-film-tim-plester-rob-curry

Not a sentence I ever imagined typing.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Wednesday, 24 January 2018 21:41 (one year ago) Permalink

Lush like the beauty products store?

I preordered her book!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 24 January 2018 22:21 (one year ago) Permalink

This video is restricted from playing in your current geographic region
:(

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Wednesday, 24 January 2018 22:22 (one year ago) Permalink

I am giving a short presentation about Shirley to my music appreciation class tonight. In addition to general excitement at talking about her music with a captive audience, I can't wait to show them the connection between the Lomax recordings and her recordings and listen to the two different versions of "Death and the Lady"

I feel like she is with me! <3

http://www.thebeesknees.com/wp-content/uploads/sc-3080-web.jpg

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 6 February 2018 23:46 (one year ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Could have got free tickets for her appearance at the British Library but had to go back to Scotland for my sister's birthday ;_; Friggin' families, who needs 'em?

Video reach stereo bog (Tom D.), Friday, 23 February 2018 12:52 (one year ago) Permalink

four months pass...

¡¡¡¡¡happy birthday shirley!!!!!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 5 July 2018 14:49 (eight months ago) Permalink

Christ, don't do that to me!

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Thursday, 5 July 2018 15:22 (eight months ago) Permalink

I'm just reading her memoir. Hadn't taken in what her Birthday is.
Book is really good as was America Over the Water.

Stevolende, Thursday, 5 July 2018 15:48 (eight months ago) Permalink

83 years old, HBSC

I'd Rather Kecak (NickB), Thursday, 5 July 2018 15:51 (eight months ago) Permalink

i am allowed to wish shirley a happy birthday because she is still with us! celebrate, don't have a heart attack :)

she is a living treasure. i have been saving her new book for a special time to focus on it. i did the same thing with america over the water and read it on a trip. perfect!!!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 5 July 2018 16:11 (eight months ago) Permalink

her set in Birmingham a fortnight ago was my favourite musical performance of 2018 so far

Pardew to Megson: "you've stolen my New Orleans bounce" (DJ Mencap), Thursday, 5 July 2018 16:20 (eight months ago) Permalink

i heard rumours there might be another album on the way btw

I'd Rather Kecak (NickB), Thursday, 5 July 2018 16:23 (eight months ago) Permalink

awweeeeesoooommmeeee

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 5 July 2018 16:30 (eight months ago) Permalink

her set in Birmingham a fortnight ago was my favourite musical performance of 2018 so far
more details please!

who did she play with/who was in her band and what did they play
what songs did she sing
venue?

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 5 July 2018 16:49 (eight months ago) Permalink

setlist is here https://www.setlist.fm/setlist/shirley-collins/2018/the-crossing-birmingham-england-1bea15b0.html

there were I think five musicians onstage inc the Cyclobe guys who produced Lodestar? or poss just Ossian. also a morris dancer who gamboled across the stage intermittently

there was also a live interview type thing earlier in the day which was good (esp the part where she named Ewan McColl as an historical sex pest) and wrt Nick's post did mention upcoming recording sessions for a new album!

sorry not as detailed as you wanted but yeah it was was wonderful

Pardew to Megson: "you've stolen my New Orleans bounce" (DJ Mencap), Thursday, 5 July 2018 17:30 (eight months ago) Permalink

that is more than i had before, thank you!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 5 July 2018 17:39 (eight months ago) Permalink

Yeah it was a Lodestar run through, but the ?mandolin? couldn't get the right tuning for Sur le Borde de l'Eau despite it having had the full intro from Shirley. Thousands Or More was a nice easy sing-along to fill the gap.

Bimlo Horsewagon became Wheelbarrow Horseflesh (aldo), Saturday, 7 July 2018 01:28 (eight months ago) Permalink

I've just come to the part of All In The Downs where she says she loathes jazz. God, I guess everybody can't be perfect but did hope she might enjoy some of the decent stuff.
Oh well, she did look amazing in the 60s.
Sounded quite good too, but would have loved to hear some more jazz in her sound.
BUt I guess that goes against her singing style.

Stevolende, Monday, 9 July 2018 11:22 (eight months ago) Permalink

six months pass...

I finally decided it was time to start reading All in the Downs (I was saving it) and it is such a gigantic treat to hear/read/spend time with Shirley's voice again. I am loving every single minute of reading it. Her writing style reminds me so much of her singing style -- straightforward, unembellished, yet still very distinctively hers. I love her so much!!!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Monday, 28 January 2019 19:26 (one month ago) Permalink

i heard a story about a jane doe ("mountain jane doe") whose body was never claimed the other day and it reminded me of this song. i had not realized the live version with intro was on youtube but here it is <3 <3 <3 to infinity
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BpGfQ0EUgWk

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 29 January 2019 16:40 (one month ago) Permalink

who knows -- looks like it has been there since 2009? that was sort of past my prime shirley-obsessed years
i love the spare arrangement of this version

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 29 January 2019 16:49 (one month ago) Permalink


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