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|Studio album by|
|Released||27 November 1970|
|Recorded||Sound Techniques, London|
|Genre||Folk, folk rock|
Cruel Sister was an album recorded in 1970 by folk-rock band Pentangle. It was the most folk-based of the albums recorded by the band, with all the tracks being versions of traditional songs. Whereas their previous album had been produced by Shel Talmy, and featured quite a heavily produced, commercial sound, Cruel Sister was produced by Bill Leader, noted for his recordings of folk musicians.
"Lord Franklin" is a version of the traditional ballad, also known as "Lady Franklin's Lament", which describes Sir John Franklin's ill-fated expedition to discover the Northwest Passage. John Renbourn sings the lead vocal and plays both acoustic and electric guitar.
"Cruel sister", the song which provides the title for the album, is a traditional ballad (known in some versions as The Twa Sisters), telling the story of the violent rivalry between two sisters for the love of a knight.
The whole of side two of the album is taken up with an extended version of the ballad "Jack Orion", previously recorded by Jansch on his own Jack Orion album. "Jack Orion" is a version of the Child ballad "Glasgerion". The arrangement on Cruel Sister develops through several sections with different rhythms and instrumentation.
The album cover features engravings by Albrecht Dürer. The front cover displays his "The Men's Bath" (Das Männerbad) (date unknown). The picture on the back cover is his The Sea Monster (Das Meerwunder), dating from 1498.
|Christgau's Record Guide||C+|
Allmusic gave the album resounding approval in their retrospective review, applauding its "dense, layered sound that is woven within the fabric of each song like a tapestry" and praising Jacqui McShee's vocal work in particular. While they criticized the track "Jack Orion", commenting "one has difficulty imagining what possessed Pentangle to record a folk song that took up an entire side of an album", they concluded that the album as a whole "shows Pentangle at their artistic height".
All songs are public domain and arranged by Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Terry Cox, except where noted.
|1.||"A Maid That's Deep In Love"||McShee||5:30|
|2.||"When I Was In My Prime"||traditional||McShee||2:57|
|3.||"Lord Franklin"||arranged by Jansch, McShee, Renbourn||Renbourn||3:27|
|5.||"Jack Orion"||Jansch, Renbourn and McShee||18:38|
Cruel Sister was released as a UK LP on 27 November 1970, as Transatlantic TRA228. The U.S. release was Reprise RS6430. In 1977, it was re-released on the XTRA label as Xtra 1172. A CD version (sourced from vinyl) was released in 1992 as Line TACD900S and in 2001, a digitally remastered version was released as Castle CMRCD206.
Pentangle are a British folk-jazz band with an eclectic mix of folk, jazz, blues and folk rock influences. The original band was active in the late 1960s and early 1970s, and a later version has been active since the early 1980s. The original line-up, which was unchanged throughout the band's first incarnation (1967–1973), was: Jacqui McShee (vocals); John Renbourn ; Bert Jansch ; Danny Thompson ; and Terry Cox (drums).
Herbert Jansch was a Scottish folk musician and founding member of the band Pentangle. He was born in Glasgow and came to prominence in London in the 1960s, as an acoustic guitarist, as well as a singer-songwriter. He recorded at least 25 albums and toured extensively from the 1960s to the 21st century.
John Renbourn was an English guitarist and songwriter. He was best known for his collaboration with guitarist Bert Jansch as well as his work with the folk group Pentangle, although he maintained a solo career before, during and after that band's existence (1967–1973).
Jacqueline 'Jacqui' McShee is an English singer. Since 1966 she has performed with Pentangle, a jazz-influenced folk rock band.
Jack Orion is the third album by Scottish folk musician Bert Jansch, released in 1966. It contains a number of traditional songs, including the epic "Jack Orion": a ten-minute adaptation of the Child ballad "Glasgerion" which tells of a court fiddler’s attempt to seduce a countess and his servant's treachery in successfully impersonating him. A number of songs are performed with friend and fellow guitarist John Renbourn, who would later join him in the group Pentangle. "The Waggoner’s Lad" has Jansch unusually playing the banjo with Renbourn supplying the guitar part.
Bill Leader is an English recording engineer and record producer. He is particularly associated with the British folk music revival of the 1960s and 1970s, producing records by Paddy Tunney, Davey Graham, Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Frank Harte and many others.
Raymond Ronald Jones, better-known as Wizz Jones, is an English acoustic guitarist, singer and songwriter. He was born in Thornton Heath, Surrey. England and has been performing since the late 1950s and recording from 1965 to the present. He has worked with many of the notable guitarists of the British folk revival, such as John Renbourn and Bert Jansch.
Glasgerion is Child ballad 67,, existing in several variants.
Basket of Light is a 1969 album by the folk rock group Pentangle. It reached no. 5 on the UK Albums Chart. A single from the album, "Light Flight", the theme from BBC1's first colour drama series Take Three Girls, reached no. 43 on the UK Singles Chart. Another single from the album, "Once I Had a Sweetheart", reached no. 46 in the charts.
Sweet Child was a 1968 double album by the British folk-rock band Pentangle: Terry Cox, Bert Jansch, Jacqui McShee, John Renbourn and Danny Thompson.
The Pentangle was the 1968 debut album of the band Pentangle: Terry Cox, Bert Jansch, Jacqui McShee, John Renbourn and Danny Thompson. It brought together their separate influences of folk, jazz, blues, early music and contemporary songwriting. One of the band's most commercially successful albums, it reached number 21 in the British charts.
Reflection was an album recorded in 1971 by folk-rock band Pentangle.
Solomon's Seal is an album recorded in 1972 by folk-rock band Pentangle. It was the last album recorded by the original line-up, before the band split in 1973. Jacqui McShee has stated that it is her favourite Pentangle album. The album title refers to the Seal of Solomon — a mythical signet ring with magical powers, sometimes associated with the pentagram symbol adopted by Pentangle.
Open the Door is an album by Pentangle. The band had split in 1973 and reformed in the early 1980s. By the time this album was recorded, John Renbourn had left the band to enroll in a music degree course and his place was taken by Mike Piggott. The other band members were unchanged from the original Pentangle line-up: Terry Cox, Bert Jansch, Jacqui McShee and Danny Thompson. It was produced by John Chelew.
In the Round is an album by Pentangle, jointly produced by Doug Beveridge, Roger Wake, and Pentangle. It was issued in 1986 on Spindrift SPIN 120 in 1986 and on Varrick CDVR026 (CD) VR026 (LP) and CVR026 (cassette) in 1990. There is a typo on the sleeve, as it credits the licence to "Jackie" McShee, not Jacqui McShee. There is also a widespread use of the name "Vanick", a mistake for "Varrick". It was reissued in 1988 on Plane CD88505. It was reissued in 2006 on Talking Elephant. Nigel Portman Smith replaced original bassist Danny Thompson.
So Early in the Spring is the ninth album by Pentangle. It was issued in 1989 in the USA on Green Linnet CS1F3048 (cassette), 51F3048 (LP) and GLCD3048 (CD). In the UK it was issued on Pläne 88648, and in 1996 on Park PRK CD 35. It was reissued in 1997 on Spindrift.
Think of Tomorrow is the tenth album by Pentangle. It was released on Ariola/Hypertension 883 697/HYCD 200 112 in 1991. Green Linnet released it in the same year on GLCD-3057. Hypertension re-released it in 2005. The notable change in personnel was Peter Kirtley who replaced Rod Clements.
Live 1994 is a live album by Pentangle, released in 1994. It was reissued along with One More Road on CD in 2007.
Bert Jansch was a Scottish folk musician. His discography consists of 24 studio albums, 8 live albums, 36 compilations, 5 videos, 2 EPs, and 12 singles. In addition, his compositions and guitar work have been featured on a number of albums by other artists.
John Renbourn was an English guitarist and composer. His discography consists of 20 studio albums, 5 live albums, 19 compilations, and 2 videos. In addition, his compositions and guitar work have been featured on a number of albums by other artists.