PENTANGLE – ” The Pentangle ” Classic Folk Albums

Posted: August 4, 2021 in Classic Albums, MUSIC
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Pentangle are to have three of their first four albums, along with a 1970s compilation, reissued on deluxe heavyweight vinyl.

As a result of new deal with US specialist label Renaissance Records, the band’s 1968 debut album “The Pentangle”, 1969’s ‘breakthrough’ third album “Basket Of Light” and 1970’s fourth album “Cruel Sister”, are all to be reissued, along with the 1973 compilation album “Pentangling“.

The third full length studio album, “Basket Of Light” was released in 1969 and was their most commercially successful. The song Light Flight became a popular hit single after it was placed as the theme song for the television series “Take Three Girls“. The album reached No. 5 on the UK album charts. the peak of The Pentangle’s long career.

The Pentangle” was the 1968 debut album of the band featuring John Renbourn, Bert Jansch, Jacqui McShee, Danny Thompson and Terry Cox. It brought together their separate influences of folk, jazz, blues, early music and contemporary song writing. Renbourn and Jansch were already popular musicians on the British Folk scene, with several solo albums each and a duet release “Bert And John”. Their use of complex inter-dependent guitar parts, referred to as Folk Baroque, had become a distinctive characteristic of their music. The two also shared a house in St John’s Wood London.

Jacqui McShee had begun as an (unpaid) “floor singer” in several of the London Folk Clubs, and then, by 1965, ran a folk club at the Red Lion in Surrey, establishing a friendship with Jansch and Renbourn when they played there. Thompson and Cox were well known as jazz musicians and had played together in Alexis Korner’s band Although nominally a ‘folk’ group, the members shared catholic tastes and influences. McShee had a grounding in traditional music, Cox and Thompson a love of jazz, Renbourn a growing interest in early music, and Jansch a taste for the blues and contemporaries such as Bob Dylan.

The Pentangle by British folk-jazz band The Pentangle available on 180 gram vinyl

Pentangle started out in 1967 with the original line-up of Jacqui McShee (vocals), John Renbourn (vocals and guitar), Bert Jansch (vocals and guitar), Danny Thompson (double bass), and Terry Cox (drums). The band’s unique sound was an eclectic mix of folk, jazz, blues, and rock influences. “They did bring together these elements, rather like a rock supergroup, like Cream, except they came from folk and jazz backgrounds rather than blues and rock”

Pentangle signed up with Transatlantic Records and their eponymous debut album was released in May 1968. This all-acoustic album was produced by Shel Talmy, who has claimed to have employed an innovative approach to recording acoustic guitars to deliver a very bright “bell-like” sound.

June of that year they performed at Royal Festival Hall in London. Recordings from that concert formed part of their second album, “Sweet Child” (released in November 1968), a double LP comprising live and studio recordings.

“They didn’t have a long time together, but particularly with their first album, They weren’t big on the loud and more rhythmic sense of it, but they did bring together these elements, rather like a rock supergroup, like Cream, except they came from folk and jazz backgrounds rather than blues and rock.

“I think they were important and they were much respected, particularly in America.”

Renaissance Records will start with the release of their debut album, “The Pentangle”, “Basket Of Light” and “Cruel Sister” onto deluxe 180g gram vinyl in late August of 2021. The remaining greatest hits album, “Pentangling” will be released in September of 2021. These albums will include extra incentives such as trading cards of the original band members, lyric sheets, lost photos, and more when you purchase them exclusively with Renaissance Records.

Basket Of Light by British folk-jazz band The Pentangle available on 180 gram vinyl

“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. 180 gram deluxe package features gatefold, trading cards, photos, lyric sheets and more. “Basket of Light”, which followed in mid-1969, was their greatest commercial success. By 1970, they were at the peak of their popularity, recording a soundtrack for the film “Tam Lin” making at least 12 television appearances, and undertaking tours of the UK (including the Isle of Wight Festival) and America (including a concert at the Carnegie Hall).

“They had the tag of being folk jazz at the time but in fact their influences were very broad. In a way they were the first super group of unlikely musicians that came from backgrounds not conventionally allied.

Cruel Sister by British folk-jazz band The Pentangle available on 180 gram vinyl

Cruel Sister” was an album recorded in 1970 by folk-rock band The 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. 180 gram deluxe gatefold vinyl.

Package features trading cards, lost photos and lyric sheets. Each of the five LPs released during Pentangle’s first and best period is a different shade of brilliant, deceptively showcasing the talents of its instrumentalists (guitarists Bert Jansch and John Renbourn, bassist Danny Thompson and drummer Terry Cox), who gave the perfect framework for vocalist Jacqui McShee to gently break hearts and warm souls. As all good boxed sets do, this new Cherry Red Records collection graciously expands the original albums within. Tacked on to the end of each disc is a smattering of studio outtakes, alternate versions and live material, much of it unreleased until now. The CD of Pentangle’s 1971 LP “Reflection” also includes a few tracks from Renbourn’s solo album “Faro Annie”, which featured Cox and Thompson. All of it provides an essential glimpse for anyone interested in the history of the U.K. folk scene.

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