This is by no means a ‘complete’ Martin Carthy discography but it does include all of his original solo and duo releases, every known Carthy-specific compilation and any various artists collections that include significant amounts of original material unavailable elsewhere. As a general rule, any compilation that contains more than one Carthy track that’s unavailable elsewhere has been included. All releases from of his major group projects are here, but only those groups or ensembles who have more than one release are afforded their own separate listing in the Discography by Artist. Ensembles with just one release are grouped together under Other Significant Releases alongside important ‘guest’ appearances on other artists’ albums and compilations with more than one Carthy contribution. I’ve omitted quite a few various artists compilations that include material (both solo and group) that is easily available elsewhere and a number of albums where Carthy appears as a guest artist but where his contribution isn’t significant or essential. The only major exception to this broad rule is the inclusion of four 1960s Watersons albums (and one 90s compilation) that don’t feature Carthy at all but are included for the sake of completion and, given the later family connections, because it just feels right!
This process of omission and selection is, of course, highly subjective and I realise there may be one or two (but hopefully no more) instances where others may feel a major work has been omitted or a relatively minor release included without sufficient merit. I can only say in response that I don’t think any release of major significance has been omitted and if a few ‘minor’ works have slipped through the net then I don’t see this as too much of a concern. Rather this than be accused of the sin of omission.
Sources for the discography are wide and varied. Dates of the major solo and group releases have entered my consciousness almost by osmosis over a period of 20-plus years but, of course, details still have to be checked and verified. The two major sources for this process have been the booklet that accompanies the Carthy Chronicles box set and Reinhard Zierke’s Carthy/Watersons website. It should be noted here that Reinhard’s site is easily the most comprehensive Carthy/Watersons discography available and includes all the compilations and guest appearances that I’ve chosen to omit plus a wealth of other related material. When needing to check release dates or catalogue numbers for rare or obscure releases I rarely have to look any further than this site and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Reinhard and his predecessor Garry Gillard for the immense effort they have put into this invaluable resource.
Despite these efforts to check and verify information, mistakes will inevitably occur with such a wealth of material to consider. If you notice a mistake or omission please feel free to leave a comment on the relevant page with any amendments or additional information. Alternatively, email me using the “Get In Touch” button on the top right of any page.
Manchester, 30 December 2010