Author Topic: Anthems in Eden  (Read 5753 times)


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Anthems in Eden
« on: March 05, 2012, 03:18:40 PM »
From Wikipedia.

Anthems in Eden is a 1969 album by Shirley and Dolly Collins, with the Early Music Consort of London, directed by David Munrow. The album originally consisted of a 28-minute set of folk songs plus 7 other individual pieces performed by the same group. The musical arrangements for these 8 pieces included early music instruments, such as viols, recorders, sackbuts and crumhorns. In 1976, 6 new songs were recorded with a different assortment of accompanists, to replace the original 7 individual songs. This 1976 album consisting of the 28-minute set plus the 6 new songs was released by Harvest Records under the title "Amaranth". Subsequent releases have combined all 14 pieces under the original title, "Anthems in Eden".

Contents [hide]
1 Recording history
2 Musical content
3 Musicians
3.1 Original 1969 album
3.2 1993 CD
4 Track listing
4.1 Original 1969 tracks
4.2 Additional tracks recorded in 1976

[edit] Recording historyThe original recording of eight tracks was made in 1969 and was released as the original vinyl album. Track one is a suite, "A song-story", lasting 28 minutes, 7 seconds and is the centrepiece of the album.

In 1976, a further six tracks were recorded with musicians mainly from the Albion Band and a new version of the album was released, with the original "A song-story" suite on one side and the new recordings on the other. This album was issued under the name "Amaranth".

In 1993, a CD with all the tracks was issued. This whole album lasts 69:56.

[edit] Musical contentSide 1 of the original album consists of "A song-story", a suite of folk songs which depict the changes in rural England brought about by the First World War, and the disconnection that this created with folk traditions. Recorded with an ensemble of early music instruments, it was a completely unique approach to recording English folk music and was to be influential on bands such as Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span in the way that they addressed the traditional folk repertoire. The importing of early instruments into popular recordings is believed to have influenced other bands such as Amazing Blondel and Gryphon.

[edit] Musicians[edit] Original 1969 albumTracks 1 to 8: Settings by Dolly Collins, directed by David Munrow.

Shirley Collins - vocals
Adam Skeaping - bass viol
Roderick Skeaping - rebec, treble and bass viol
Oliver Brookes - bass viol
Michael Laird - cornett
Richard Lee - descant and treble recorder
Alan Lumsden - sackbut
Christopher Hogwood - harpsichord
Dolly Collins - portative organ
Gillian Ried - bells
David Munrow - soprano and alto crumhorn, bass rackett, tenor sordun, treble recorder
Chorus: on "The Home Brew": Michael Clifton, Ray Worman, John Fordham plus Royston Wood, Steve Ashley and John Morgan.
[edit] 1993 CDTracks 1 to 8 as above.

Tracks 9 to 14:

Shirley Collins - vocals
John Rodd - anglo-concertina
Christopher Hogwood - virginals
Simon Nicol - acoustic and electric guitar
Pat Donaldson - electric bass guitar
Dave Mattacks - regal, drums
Roger Brenner - alto suckbut
Colin Sheen - tenor sackbut
Paul Beer - tenor sackbut
Martin Nichols - bass sackbut
John Sothcott - vielle, recorder
John Kirkpatrick - melodeon, button accordion
Terry Potter - mouth organ
Ashley Hutchings - acoustic and electric bass guitar
John Watcham - anglo-concertina
Chorus and bells by Albion Morris Men (David Busby, Mike Clifton, Dots Daultry, Stuart Hollyer, Roger Rigden, Ada Turnham).
[edit] Track listing[edit] Original 1969 tracks1- "A song-story" (A Beginning/ A Meeting/A Courtship/ A Denying/ A Forsaking/ A Dream/ A Leaving-taking/ An Awakening/ A New Beginning)
The songs are: "Searching for Lambs", "The Wedding Song", "The Blacksmith", "Our Captain Cried", "Lowlands", "Pleasant and Delightful", "Whitsun Dance", "The Staines Morris" All traditional apart from "Whitsun Dance" (words by A J Marshall)

2- Rambleaway (Trad)
3- Ca' The Yowes (Robert Burns)
4- God Dog (Robin Williamson)
5- Bonny Cuckoo (Trad)
6- Nellie The Milkmaid (Trad)
7- Gathering Rushes In The Month Of May (Trad)
8- The Gower Wassail (Trad)
[edit] Additional tracks recorded in 19769- Fare The Well My Dearest Dear (Trad)
10- C'Est La Fin/ Pou Mon Cuer (Anon French 12th/13th Cent)
11- Bonny Kate (Trad)
12- Adieu To All Judges and Juries (Trad)
13- Edi Beo Thu Hevene Quene (Anon Eng 13th Cent)
14- Black Joker/Black, White, Yellow & Green (Trad)
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Re: Anthems in Eden
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2012, 07:47:22 AM »
I haven't heard this album.  Do you think it's good?


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Re: Anthems in Eden
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2012, 01:33:27 PM »


        It depends on what you call good...I may have heard a bit of it , and it seemed to be quite interesting.



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Re: Anthems in Eden
« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2012, 09:12:41 AM »
It's an incredibly important album; I think it had its genesis in a project originally recorded for John Peel's show at the time - either Top Gear or Night Rides; what it represents is the very first attempt to marry folk song with renaissance/mediaeval instrumentation - and bearing in mind how many ancient instruments survived into recent times in the folk orbit, it makes complete sense.
       Shirley had the best voice for English traditional song, not operatic, untrained, an instinctive interpreter. She comes from a family of traditional singers, as well as having been a collector and performer in her own right. Her late sister Dolly had a big reputation as aplayer of the portative organ, and they recorded as a duo for about 15 years; All their albums are worth seeking out - original copies fetch large amounts these days. Throughout the early seventies Shirley experimented equally with rock-band and early music accompaniments, and even mixed them; Phil Pickett was part of those experiments. If you enjoy Anthems in Eden, next seek out No Roses from the early 70's, another landmark album.


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Re: Anthems in Eden
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2012, 03:44:56 PM »
Philip Pickett and Shirley Collins both appeared (together occasionally, but mostly separately) in various permutations of Ashley Hutchings' Albion Band of the 1970s/1980s. Again, the idea, so it seemed, was to marry diverse early instrumentation with folk music, although the end product was also a Folk Rock chimaera. I fear that Ms Collins' creative output dried up considerably after she was taken from her own milieu and placed into these more rocking contexts tho'.

I'm divided on the matter of Folk Rock. I have no problem with Folk Rock as a cross-pollinating genre, as it proves that a good tune's a good tune irrespective of the setting, but sadly, I have to say that too much of Mr Hutchings' output relies on a four-to-the-floor rock drummer booting the songs up the backside, with little thought for dynamics or interest. The end products tend to be rather homogenous, rather samey, much like a lot of the worst kind of 1950s rock'n'roll. It takes a band with decent sensibilities in both camps to 'do' Folk Rock well. Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span have both shown how well it can be done, and Ashley Hutchings was a founder member of both groups, before marrying Shirley Collins.