A Review of the 4 CD Set
"Never The Same"
by Various Artists
"Never The Same"Honest Jons HJRCD19
Honest Jons Records
by Various Artists
278 Portobello Road
This review is written by Dai Woosnam, firstname.lastname@example.org,
This compilation CD has a secondary title of “Leave-Taking From
The British Folk Revival 1970-1977”. It is a raid on the archives of
Bill Leader and his Trailer label.
Now we will gloss over that questionable description (for the fact is
that possibly by 1970, and CERTAINLY by 1977, it had become a case of
“reviving the previously-revived”, for the original Revival of the 50s
and early 60s had run out of steam). We will instead get straight down
to the nitty-gritty.
The artistes featured are some of the most stellar names to have
appeared on the label. Having originally bought as vinyl LPs
all-bar-one of the CD tracks featured, I have to say how pleasant it is
to get pristine versions of tracks I have long ago worn out.
Of course, when you are choosing 14 tracks from such a glorious back
catalogue, you are on a hiding-to-nothing with the critics. And yes,
you've guessed, I might have chosen other cuts from these very
artistes, (forget whether I would have different artistes featuring in
my compilation: the fact is that licensing agreements can be
complicated in such matters).
But whilst I probably would have come up with a 70% different list of
numbers, at the same time, I am not unhappy with John Williams's choice.
I was delighted to see Nic Jones' s deeply atmospheric and perhaps
greatest -ever track, “Annan Water” is here. It was from his wondrous
“Ballads and Songs” LP: an album he never bettered.
My own copy has been virtually unplayable for many years as I wore it
through. But it is a funny thing: I can still recall the batting
“Annan Water” closed side A: and so often I would sit in stunned
silence as the song finished and the needle just kept making scratching
noises going around and around (the arm refusing to automatically
return to “switch off” mode, like it too was in awe at what it had just
(Ah those young readers who only know CDs! You don't know what you missed!)
And then there is the great Dick Gaughan with perhaps HIS finest ever
track, his version of marvellous ballad (with words by Sir Walter
Scott) “Jock O'Hazeldean”. And Dave Burland with his oh-so-poignant “A
Dalesman's Litany”. In addition there's Dorothy Elliott's “Adieu To
Judges and Juries”. I had forgotten just how good Dorothy was.
So in closing this review, let me say that Honest Jon Records have done
something of a service to both old fogeys like me and to the younger
generation not even BORN in the 1970s. Plus, they have provided an
added bonus is that the CD is available in LP form for those vinyl
junkies still out there.
And let me also add that the liner notes from the aforementioned Mr. Williams, really do cut the mustard.
And that, come to think of it, is most apposite. For as far as Bill
Leader's Trailer label is concerned, nothing less than quality liner
notes would do. After all, Bill had set the benchmark all those years
Copyright © 1998-2015 Kevin & Maxine’s Celtic & Folk Music CD Reviews. All rights reserved.
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