Friday, 17 July 2009

Jake Thackray - La-Di-Dah (1991 collection)


A real treat for yuz here. To celebrate my purchasing of the Jake In A Box retrospective, I present here a 22-track compilation of Jake Thackray recordings, taken from his tenure at EMI in the late 60's and early 70's with a couple of live tracks from later in the 70's. To my mind he's at his best as you see him on stage: solo with an acoustic guitar; but I was pleasantly surprised by the producers' restraint in embellishing his songs in the studio - all of them are gold. So - no flies on me!



Thackray's bawdy, verbose and often hilarious folk songs don't at all betray his reputed stage fright, a fear which eventually led to his premature retirement from performing. However this wasn't before he completed many sessions for the BBC, played the Royal Variety show and recorded his debut in 1967, a door down from the Beatles at Abbey Road... (although he's not always exactly wholesome family entertainment).

'So, what makes him so damn great?', I hear the voices in my head cackle.

Over an idiosyncratic finger-picking style, Jake tells quirky and satirical stories with whimsy, wit, raunch (always in good taste) and the occasional dash of absurdism, all in an exquisite Yorkshire brogue. Not unlike Nick Drake with a sense of humour (Nick was a fan apparently). He's been called 'the North Country Noel Coward', but this doesn't do him justice at all. Thackray taught in France for many years, and was essentially responsible for introducing the chansonnier tradition to these shores. The video below is his translation of George Brassens' 'Le gorille'.



I was introduced to the songs of Jake Thackray after seeing a 2006 BBC Four documentary aired to mark the revival of interest following his death in 2002. Shamefully, it's taken me this long to properly exploit my curiosity. He is all the more appealing for his detatchment from that contemporaneous music scene of psychotropics and Eastern mysticism; right up there with 60's traditionalists like Ivor Cutler and the Kinks circa 'the Village Green Preservation Society'.

'The Thack' just wrote great down-to-earth songs with a mastery of the English language we don't often see in this day and age; his pastoral songs always put me in a rustic frame of mind and almost make me proud to live in the countryside (see: 'North Country Bus', probably the most impenetrably colloquial song on here, or not? Non-Brits leave yer feedback!).

Ripped@320 mit artwerk
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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

rThank you so much again for this posting.
Link Jake Thackray - La-Dah Pt.1.rar dead :-(