Pentangle – Basket Of Light (1969)

AllMusic Review: “Basket of Light” is a tender selection of 9 folk tunes from the British band Pentangle showcasing those jazz-influenced vocals by Jacqui McShee and the baroque [almost harpsichord sounding] guitar strums, with an appearance of the banjo, glockenspiel, and sitar [on “Once I Had a Sweetheart” is a great example]. The music is very calming and peaceful, like a sunny springtime hippy day, [“Trees and grass and bushes green again; The sky so blue, I don’t remember when the cold days of winter took the sun away;”]. The liner notes share that “Springtime Promises” was composed “after a ride on a number 74 bus from Gloucester Road to Greencroft Gardens on an early spring day”. This third album highlights the pinnacle of the group’s commercial success thanks to the opening track which was used as the theme music for a BBC TV Series, “Take Three Girls”. The followup, “Cruel Sister” was a total flop. The band still acquired a large following, with their first public concert selling out at Royal Festival Hall in 1967 [and this is where the album cover shot is from]. We probably won’t hear from them again.

Track Listing:

All tracks are written by Bert Jansch, John Renbourn, Danny Thompson, Terry Cox and Jacqui McShee, except as noted.

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. “Light Flight” McShee 3:14
2. “Once I Had a Sweetheart” Traditional, arranged Jansch, Renbourn, Thompson, Cox, McShee McShee 4:37
3. “Springtime Promises” Jansch 4:04
4. “Lyke-Wake Dirge” Traditional, arranged Jansch, Renbourn, Thompson, Cox, McShee Renbourn, Cox and McShee 3:32
5. “Train Song” Jansch and McShee 4:43
Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Lead vocals Length
1. “Hunting Song” McShee, Jansch, Renbourn and Cox 6:41
2. “Sally Go ‘Round the Roses” Lona Stevens, Zell Sanders Renbourn and McShee 3:34
3. “The Cuckoo” Traditional, arranged Jansch, Renbourn, Thompson, Cox, McShee McShee 4:26
4. “House Carpenter” Traditional, arranged Jansch, Renbourn, Thompson, Cox, McShee Jansch and McShee 5:27

 

Schill Score: 6/10

 

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