Topic are really spoiling us on Record Store Day this Saturday 18th April. As if the Martin Carthy 50th Anniversary Edition wasn’t enough (read about it here) they have announced a limited vinyl reissue of a seminal folk album, Anne Briggs’ self-titled LP, originally issued by Topic in 1971.
A major influence on many great singers and guitarists, Juno Tabor, Bert Jansch, Richard Thompson and Jimmy Page among them. Anne Briggs was a mercurial presence in the second folk revival of the 1960s, travelling the British Isles and touring the folk clubs, recording an EP, The Hazards of Love’, for Topic in 1963 and appearing on essential folk collections ‘The Iron Muse’ and ‘The Bird in the Bush’.
Her self-titled album for Topic is a haunting combination of traditional material and two Anne Briggs originals – ‘Go Your Way’ and ‘Living by the Water’. Like Shirley Collins, Anne has been a big influence on many contemporary artists today, many of whom we feature on Folk Radio UK such as James Yorkston, The Owl Service and Nancy Wallace.
This release, like the Martin Carthy release, is on luxury 180g vinyl and sounds superb. From the moment I dropped the needle to hear Anne sing her unforgettable version of ‘Blackwater Side’ I’m in heaven.
The album features the original liner notes which starts: “Getting Anne Briggs into a recording studio is like enticing a wild bird into a cage. Nor is she best at ease when she’s trapped there. Walls don’t suit her as well as the woods…”
The story is that Richard Thompson’s Beeswing was based upon Anne Briggs, that’s so believable. You just can’t beat that beautiful voice, there’s no one quite like her.
Also included on the inner-sleeve is an article from the New Statesman (1971) by Wilfrid Mellers on the Folk Revival in which Anne is described as a phenomenon…
She still is.
The snow it melts the soonest
Willie o Winslbury
Go your way
Living by the water
Maa bonny lad
12T2207 : 12″ vinyl LP, 180g Release date : 18th April 2015