Shirley Collins - An Introduction To... LP
Price: £14.16 (£16.99 Including VAT at 20%)
Each volume contains 1 exclusive track not on the CD edition
Released 8th December 2017
The first of our vinyl editions that delve into the Topic Records archive to bring you a selection of works from the catalogue of some of the most influential and respected musicians in the English folk scene. With its rich heritage this Introduction Series from the Topic Records catalogue serves only to emphasize Topic's place at the forefront of traditional folk music.
Each album is pressed on 180g vinyl and features a newly designed heavyweight sleeve and subsequent release will mirror this format to build into a unique collection. Each edition will also feature a unique track not to be found on the CD version.
During the 1960s and '70s Shirley Collins was regarded by many as the first lady of folk music, the subsequent decades have only served to enhance that reputation. Between 1955 and 1978 she recorded for the Folkways, Argo, Harvest and Topic labels. After the release of 'For As Many As Will' in 1978 she withdrew from performing and the music world after developing dysphonia. Shirley recently returned to recording after a very long hiatus and is still widely acknowledged as one of the finest singers and ambassadors to have emerged during the Folksong Revival of the 1960s.
Shirley, and her older sister Dolly, grew up in the Hastings area of East Sussex. Their Mother's family kept alive a great love of traditional song. Songs learnt from their Grandfather and Aunt Grace continued to be important in the sister's repertoire throughout their career. Their uncle, F C Ball - the author of 'A Breath Of Fresh Air' - encouraged the sisters to listen to a wide variety of music, especially the work of Monteverdi and Purcell. Shirley recorded a few solo albums and e.p's as well as recording with Davy Graham, David Munrow's Early Music Ensemble, the No Roses band and the Albion Dance Band. Shirley and Dolly also recorded an album in 1969 with The Young Tradition called 'The Holly Bears the Crown' which sadly was shelved at the time due to the Young Tradition splitting up. Two tracks from this recording session feature on this compilation 'March The Morning Sun' and 'The Cherry Tree Carol'. The classic Shirley Collins Topic album 'The Sweet Primeroses' also features on this compilation with tracks 'Polly Vaughan' and 'A Blacksmith Courted Me'.
"I think to call Shirley's voice angelic is to do it a disservice. There's no denying the high, pure beauty of her voice, but there's too much earth, too much dirt in it to call it angelic. It's also a voice completely its own; there's no other voice to match it. The folk revival on both sides of the Atlantic produced a lot of imitations, but Shirley's voice is a touchstone." Colin Meloy of The Decemberists
Few singers of the English folk revival have attempted as much on record as Collins - an extraordinary combination of fragility and power. "I like music to be fairly straightforward, simply embellished - the performance without histrionics allowing you to think about the song rather than telling you what to think."