Shirley Collins
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )

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Shirley Collins was a pivotal figure in the English folk revival movement. Collins' pure voice lent itself to interpret old English songs in a mesmerizing tone, as proven by her early albums Sweet England (Argo, 1959) and False True Lovers (Folkways, 1960), and countless EPs.

Her third full-length album, Folk Roots New Routes (Decca, 1964), a collaboration with guitarist Davy Graham, marked a bold departure for the folk movement, as Collins embraced jazz. Accompanied by sister Dolly on piano (as opposed to the guitar, the instrument of choice at the time), Shirley Collins returned to traditional material on The Sweet Primeroses (Topic, 1967), trying to capitalize on the boom of the folk revival.

However, her creative peak was reached with The Power Of The True Love Knot (Polydor, 1968), that featured Mike Heron and Robin Williamson of the Incredible String Band, and with the concept album Anthems In Eden (Harvest, 1969). The latter was arranged in an almost orchestral fashion, but using ancient instruments.

After Love Death & The Lady (Harvest, 1970), whose songs sound like classical leaders, Collins put together the Albion Country Band by assembling 25 of the most respected folk-rock musicians of the time, and released No Roses (Pegasus, 1971). That experience was continued on the vastly inferior The Prospect Before Us (1977), credited to the Albion Dance Band.

Shirley Collins closed her career with the relatively conventional collections of A Favourite Garland (Deram, 1974), Adieu To Old England (Topic, 1975), Amaranth (Harvest, 1976).

For As Many As Will (Topic, 1978) was credited to both sisters. Shirley was tired of the music business and soon retired, while Dolly Collins became a classical composer. The Albion Band still recorded Rise Up Like The Sun (Charisma, 1978) and Lark Rise To Candleford (Charisma, 1979) and will continue to exist in the 1990s.

Fountain Of Snow (World Serpent, 1992) collects songs recorded for the Topic label.

Within Sound is a 4-cd set compilation.

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