Shirley Collins & The Albion Country Band, Murder Of Maria Marten: We need your help!
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No Roses was the album they made together, and Shirley still remembers it with pleasure: “It was my first venture into folk/rock and I suppose initially I didn't think my voice was right for it. Whatever accompaniments I've used, I've always sung in my own style, my natural singing voice, which is an extension of my speech. So it was the arrangements that overlaid the songs that gave the record it folk/rock feel. I've always been willing to experiment providing I believe I can keep the integrity of the music intact. That's paramount. I have a great love of English traditional music, and along with it a great respect for those people of the labouring classes who kept the songs going through the centuries as their only means of expressing themselves. It is an extraordinary feat, especially as many of them were illiterate. They've never been given enough credit or respect for their art. Instead, they've been scorned, despised and largely ignored. It's one reason why I've always named my sources. I trust that No Roses had that integrity, as well as strength and beauty in some of the arrangements and a great sense of fun and charm in others.”
Looking at No Roses with the benefit of hindsight, one presumes that Ashley and Sandy (Roberton, co-producer with Hutchings) were determined to make an epic album. “No, we didn't set out with that intention, but as the album progressed, the possibilities of what we could do became more and more apparent. At the start we didn't anticipate having 26 musicians on it, but that's how it finally turned out. There was never any conflict between the Fairport people and the other musicians. They were open-minded and interested in what others were doing anyway, and there was certainly a good feeling in the studio (Sound Techniques). The place was full of people who kept dropping in and staying on and asking to play on songs - just happy to be there. Nobody seemed baffled by what anyone else was doing, just a bit bemused perhaps by the variety of esoteric instruments that were coming in and out of the studio.”
“The critical reaction was pretty good - on the whole! One or two snipers, of course.” No Roses marked the debut of The Albion Country Band. The Albion Band continues to be the name used by bands led by Ashley Hutchings, although it was a name coined for use on this album. “We realised that with all those musicians it would probably be a good idea to give them a collective name and that was the one we came up with.”
So why was there never a second album? “I had two children from my first marriage, and we'd all moved to Etchingham in the Sussex countryside. I'd been touring all my singing life, away from home too much, and I wanted to be with Polly and Robert more, so I let my own career slip a bit, for the best of reasons. Ashley had formed a touring bend with the first of many line-ups and used the Albion name, and all our efforts went into trying to keep that going. When Ashley and I eventually parted, he took the Albion Band with him. No Roses stayed with me.”
- Shirley Collins
Murder Of Maria Marten 0:00 / 7:25
Shirley Collins & The Albion Country Band Track 1/20
by Shirley Collins & The Albion Country Band
We have lyrics for these tracks by Shirley Collins:
Bonnie Boy I once loved a boy, a bonny, bonny boy And I…
False True Love Come in come in you old true love And chat for…
Space Girl My mama told me I should never venture into space. But…
Streets of Derry And after morning there comes an evening, And after evening…
The False True Love Come in come in you old true love And chat for…
The Streets Of Derry And after morning there comes an evening, And after evening…
Turpin Hero On Hounslow Heath as I rode o'er I spied a lawyer…
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