#MC50 : Carthy & Swarbrick 1988 BBC Session

1 June 2015

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 1 June 2015

June’s #MC50 YouTube video, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Martin Carthy’s debut solo album, is a session recorded by Martin and Dave Swarbrick in October 1988 at the BBC Pebble Mill studios for the BBC Folk On Two show.

The session was recorded half way through their First Farewell Tour – their first major set of gigs since they had split in 1969 – and includes a number of rare or unique recordings. It was broadcast on 12 October 1988 on BBC Radio 2 and the photos are from their gig in Rotherham the following night (not Sheffield, as the broadcast suggests).


#MC50 : 1976 Peel Session

2 May 2015

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 2 May 2015

This month’s #MC50 video features tracks from a 1976 BBC Radio 1 session for John Peel. This would have been Martin’s seventh Peel session (he would do two more) and includes a unique performance of Searching For Lambs that Martin hasn’t yet recorded officially and which hasn’t appeared on any of his recent live albums. It also includes a solo version of The Unfortunate Tailor, thirty years before Martin would record it officially with Swarb for Straws In The Wind. The remaining songs are from his then current album Crown Of Horn.


#MC50 : Comparing Topic’s ‘Martin Carthy’ 50th anniversary re-issue with the Fontana original

19 April 2015

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 19 April 2015

Topic Records issued their 50th anniversary edition of Martin Carthy’s debut album in a limited edition of 750 copies as one of their 2015 Record Store Day releases.

I thought it would be interesting to compare this edition with my original 1965 Fontana records copy (mine is the mono edition) so what follows are a series of compare and contrast photographs of the 1965 and 2015 editions.

Front Cover

The immediately obvious difference with the 2015 edition is the removal of the Fontana logo from the top right corner which has been handled very well compared with previous re-issues which either cropped the entire section of the cover (the 1970s vinyl re-issue) or blocked out the logo in black (the CD re-issue). This works so much better. Otherwise the cover is a faithful reproduction of the original although the new edition has a slightly more prominent blue hue whereas the original tended towards green in places (I accept that this could be due to the age of my copy). On closer inspection the image on the new edition is reproduced a little darker with higher contrast and saturation but slightly lower image definition and the text in the top right appears to have been re-set.

Back Cover

Again, this is a faithful reproduction of the original but with some slight alterations. The MARTIN CARTHY text has been re-set in a different (but similar) font. The track listing and main sleeve notes on the new edition appear to be the same font as the original but have again been re-set so there are a few discreet changes in layout and text placement. The necessary addition of the Topic logo, copyright notices and barcode are slightly less discreet changes. The main difference between the two editions is in the manufacturing method – the original 1965 mono edition features the then-standard ‘foldback’ sleeve with paper label pasted on top whereas the new edition is ‘fully-laminated’ (some later ’60s Fontana editions were also ‘fully laminated’ so arguably this is a ‘faithful’ reproduction but it obviously differs from my early copy).

Inner Sleeve, label and spine

The 1965 edition only included a plain (blank) inner sleeve but the new edition has an attractive picture inner sleeve that reproduces a Karl Dallas review of Martin’s first two albums (no date given) and a transcript of his classic arrangement of Scarborough Fair. The labels are completely different by necessity and it’s nice to see one of Martin’s albums featuring the now-classic blue and silver Topic label design. Finally, the title and catalogue number on the spine differs from the original.


#MC50 : 50th Anniversary Record Store Day release

5 April 2015

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 5 April 2015

Topic Records are to release a limited-edition version of Martin Carthy’s debut album for UK Record Store Day. The edition will carry the catalogue number 12TS2015 and will be limited to 750 copies with audio remastered for 180g audiophile vinyl that has been pressed at Optimal in Germany. It will be available initially in-store only at participating record shops on Saturday 18 April but it’s likely that Topic will make any remaining copies available via their website in the following weeks, as they have with their previous RSD releases.

Previous Topic RSD releases have reproduced the original sleeve notes, artwork and production techniques (foldback sleeves, etc). So far I’ve been unable to determine if that is the case here although Topic have released this cover image showing that they have finally made a decent job of dealing with the old Fontana logo that appeared in the top-right corner of the original release. I’ll post more details once I get my hands on a copy.

MC50 Cover1

View Martin Carthy in DISCOGRAPHY

View list of #MC50 posts in Come Sing It Plain…


#MC50 : 2004 Kershaw Session

3 April 2015

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 3 April 2015

Here’s April’s #MC50 YouTube video featuring tracks from Martin’s 2004 session for the BBC Andy Kershaw Show. #MC50 features rare and unreleased tracks from Martin’s career in a series of videos celebrating the 50th anniversary of Martin’s debut album.

The original show also included an extended interview with Martin and you can hear the complete session here:


 

Photo Gallery: Martin Carthy, 13 March 2015

15 March 2015

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 15 March 2015

A few shots from Martin’s recent gig at the Roots Music Club in Doncaster.


#MC50 : ‘Nothing Rhymed’ with Jools Holland

2 March 2015

Posted by Kevin Boyd, 2 March 2015

The third of my #MC50 YouTube videos, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Martin’s debut album, is a unique recording from 2011 featuring Martin singing his version of Gilbert O’Sullivan’s Nothing Rhymed with Jools Holland and his orchestra. This one-off recording comes from a 2011 edition of Jools’ BBC radio 2 show:

The original show also included an extended interview with Martin that you can listen to here:


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