Your Garage botysf16 Amazon Fashion Learn more nav_sap_plcc_ascpsc Adele Fire TV Stick Subscribe & Save Patriotic Picks Shop-by-Room Amazon Cash Back Offer WienerDog WienerDog WienerDog  Amazon Echo  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Echo Dot  Amazon Tap  Amazon Echo Starting at $49.99 All-New Kindle Oasis Segway miniPro

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars14
Format: Audio CD|Change
Price:$12.59+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on September 12, 2007
Not only was Bert Jansch (pronounced Yahnsh) one of the biggest names in the 1960's British folk revival, he was also one of the most influential guitarists of any genre, and to this day is one of the most enduring figures of the scene. He sits primarily alongside Davy Graham, and perhaps his Pentangle bandmate John Renbourn as one of the 60's British folk movement guitar heroes, covered by and influencing the great Roy Harper,Donovan,Ralph McTell,Tudor Lodge, and, yes, Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page. This album, his 1965 debut, was indeed recorded in a kitchen on guitars that didn't belong to Jansch, but after one listen you'll realize that this record's humble beginnings belie the fantastic playing and music within.

Unlike John Renbourn, who was something of a "lead" folk guitarist, and Davy Graham, whose uncanny guitar skills fluidly shift from fingerpicked rhythm guitar to lead without effort, Bert Jansch's style is primarily of the unaccompanied rhythm/lead combo fingerstyle variety. That is, the guitar on this album weaves fingerpicked chord progressions to accompany Jansch's vocals while simultaneously playing a guitar melody--like 2 guitars playing at the same time! Jansch's trademark style is dizzying in its fluidity, melodiousness, and originality. Not only that, but he shows himself to be a pretty competent songwriter and singer at the same time!

On many of the album's cuts, Jansch sings in a rough Scottish-inflected brogue about the sort of itinerant lifestyle lived by many folk artists of the day. The topics run the gamut from hitchhiking ("Strolling Down the Highway"), rambling ("Rambling's Going To Be the Death of Me"), rustic/agrarian lifestyle ("I Have No Time"), and the romantic exploits of a rambler ("Courting Blues"). Outside of these sorts of traditional folk subjects, though, Jansch's songwriting also stretches to reach some compelling heights with the cautionary heroin song, "Needle of Death" (one of his most well-known), and the anti-war protest song "Do You Hear Me Now?" Throughout, Jansch's voice, though rough, has a great propensity for expression and won't be a taste too hard to acquire for fans of Bob Dylan and the like.

Unlike on some of his later albums, nearly half of the songs on Jansch's debut are instrumentals. These are some of my favorites on the album, since he gets to stretch out his guitar chops a bit more with the absence of vocals. The mysterious "Alice's Wonderland" and the hypnotic "Casbah" are a couple of my favorites. Throughout the entire album, though, his playing is ear candy that is worth the price of admission even without the lyrics and vocals. Anyone who's a fan of the above-mentioned artists should check out Jansch, since he's of the same caliber and earned their endorsement as an influence. Also, fans of American folk who are interested in what was happening across the pond owe it to themselves to check out one of Britain's most legendary guitarists. In any case, Jansch's debut a classic and a necessary part of any folk, guitar, or folk-rock fan's collection. Enjoy the magic.
review image
11 comment|10 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 29, 2004
Bert Jansch is a genius. He recorded this album in someone's kitchen with borrowed guitars nearly forty years ago, never expecting it to sell. It's influence is amazing, and in Jansch's music you can see just where Jimmy Page's roots originated (his acoustic roots that is to say).
I first bought "It don't bother me" and have fallen in love with everything else this guy did. If you're into British folk and artists like Nick Drake, Donovan, etc. (many more could be named, but my knowledge base is limited) then you would love this album. Maybe Nick Drake was a bad example though, because honestly he wrote some of the most beautiful music I have ever heard, and I wouldn't call Bert Jansch a "beautiful" musician. He is great though. Neil Young even cited Jansch as the Hendrix of the acoustic guitar. He plays so hard and so clearly, and so well, that I honestly cannot think of anything better to do with fifteen bucks than to buy this album (unless you feel like buying some food for some homeless people). And if you do end up buying it, then save up some more money and buy the rest of his stuff. That of course all depends on whether or not you like the guy.
You should though, because his voice is deep and hits hard, and the folk style acoustic blues that he plays does the same. I am very suprised no one has reviewed this CD before, but am hopeful that someone will come back with their opinion. His playing contains a quality of skill and percision that is lacking in mainstream music today. If you think you know of someone who can play the acoustic guitar well, then you owe it to your sense of what is right to listen to Jansch and make your judgement afterwards. I'm sure there have been and are better guitarists out there, and maybe I'm wrong, but nevertheless his talent cannot be underestimated. I've said enough.
0Comment|17 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 28, 2001
Considering the fact that this is one of the very most important albums of contemporary acoustic guitar music ever recorded, it is not terribly well known in the U.S.A. Nor is Jansch in general. Some people are aware of him in his role as group leader of the influential folk band Pentangle; others vaguely connect him with John Renbourn for their work together both as a duo and in that band. Renbourn is much better known in the U. S. at this point, and in truth the material he has put out through the years has been of a more consistent excellence than has Jansch's. But in terms of sheer creative importance and influence, there can be little question as to who gets the nod. A few years back a poll was taken in England among musicians to rate the most important acoustic guitarists of the twentieth century. Jansch came out second, behind only blues legend Robert Johnson. Jansch was to Britain's folk-rock genesis what Dylan was to the American one; only with Jansch the emphasis was on the role of the guitar rather than the role of voice and lyrics. Those who are aware of what was being played before the issue of this 1965 recording in the way of acoustic guitar will understand what an effect this work had on the scene. Countless musicians on both sides of the Atlantic immediately gained a sense of dramatic inspiration from Jansch's blues-inspired, but ultimately more elaborately contrapuntal, play. Listen on this album to Jansch's version of Davy Graham's famous instrumental 'Angie,' then listen to Paul Simon's version of the same work on "Sounds of Silence"; it is pretty obvious who Simon was trying to emulate here (and in fact Simon and Jansch shared an apartment in England for a while in late 1965 or early 1966). Or listen to 'Mrs. Robinson' after reviewing the first album by Pentangle, which contains rhythm guitar work by Jansch exhibiting exactly the same kind of style and power. Other musicians strongly influenced by Jansch include Renbourn himself, Nick Drake, Pierre Bensusan, Neil Young, Jimmy Page, and Donovan; he is also gaining some attention among the younger generation of musicians.
Jansch hasn't much of a voice, and he doesn't look very pretty, but it would be a pity if this leading light from the Beatles generation revolution in popular music passed from the scene without getting the recognition he deserves. I'm not sure I would even consider this first album of his his best in absolute terms: my vote would go either to "Jack Orion" or "Rosemary Lane."
0Comment|18 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 23, 2015
You can read about this 2015 remaster from the original tapes on Bert's official website. I have four different CD editions of this (plus the original vinyl that I bought back in 1966). The four CD editions are 1993 (Demon label); 1996 (Castle label); 2001 (Sanctuary label) and this new 2015 (Sanctuary/BMG/PIAS label). Each new edition added something special, but this one offers the purest, well rounded sound (for a solo guitar and singer!).

I did a synched A/B comparison of the 2015 remaster with the 2001 remaster. The new 2015 does sound better, more noticeable on the guitar solos, less hiss (though I usually prefer hiss!), somewhat fuller sound. I do believe that casual listeners will be satisfied with any edition, the upgrade is not overwhelming and it may take a little listening to appreciate the upgrade.

The 2015 edition does not include the two non-studio bonus tracks that are on the 2001 edition (Sanctuary label), but those have a "bootleg" very rough audience tape sound...so not a huge loss. The 2015 and 2001 editions have entirely different liner notes; both are excellent and the 2015 edition adds a short interview with producer Bill Leader. Both editions have different photographs in the booklet, with the 2015 edition adding two rare outtake photos from the cover shoot. Serious Bert fans will want both editions. The 2015 edition has a digipack gatefold cover with plastic CD holder tray, with the 12 page conventional CD booklet in a pocket.

Now wouldn't it be nice if there were a slip-cased box that would hold the entire series of Transatlantic label recordings of Bert Jansch? And then another box for all the rest of Bert? Overall, I am very pleased and hope that this remaster series proceeds rapidly and does not take 5-10 years to complete the classic Bert albums. I assume that the 2015 vinyl edition is the same exact mastering as the 2015 CD edition. I tend to prefer true original vinyl pressings, so I skipped that one (and my vinyl is signed by Bert).

Many people argue endlessly about how Bert's name should be pronounced. He made it very clear that it rhymes with "Bird", but replace the "d" with a "t". Bert was always very shy, and never said a thing when people mispronounced it..
0Comment|2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on November 29, 2007
Not only was Bert Jansch one of the biggest names in the 1960's British folk revival, he was also one of the most influential guitarists of any genre, and to this day is one of the most enduring figures of the scene. He sits primarily alongside Davy Graham, and perhaps his Pentangle bandmate John Renbourn as one of the 60's British folk movement guitar heroes, covered by and influencing the great Roy Harper,Donovan,Ralph McTell,Tudor Lodge, and, yes, Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page. This album, his 1965 debut, was indeed recorded in a kitchen on guitars that didn't belong to Jansch, but after one listen you'll realize that this record's humble beginnings belie the fantastic playing and music within.

Unlike John Renbourn, who was something of a "lead" folk guitarist, and Davy Graham, whose uncanny guitar skills fluidly shift from fingerpicked rhythm guitar to lead without effort, Bert Jansch's style is primarily of the unaccompanied rhythm/lead combo fingerstyle variety. That is, the guitar on this album weaves fingerpicked chord progressions to accompany Jansch's vocals while simultaneously playing a guitar melody--like 2 guitars playing at the same time! Jansch's trademark style is dizzying in its fluidity, melodiousness, and originality. Not only that, but he shows himself to be a pretty competent songwriter and singer at the same time!

On many of the album's cuts, Jansch sings in a rough Scottish-inflected brogue about the sort of itinerant lifestyle lived by many folk artists of the day. The topics run the gamut from hitchhiking ("Strolling Down the Highway"), rambling ("Rambling's Going To Be the Death of Me"), rustic/agrarian lifestyle ("I Have No Time"), and the romantic exploits of a rambler ("Courting Blues"). Outside of these sorts of traditional folk subjects, though, Jansch's songwriting also stretches to reach some compelling heights with the cautionary heroin song, "Needle of Death" (one of his most well-known), and the anti-war protest song "Do You Hear Me Now?" Throughout, Jansch's voice, though rough, has a great propensity for expression and won't be a taste too hard to acquire for fans of Bob Dylan and the like.

Unlike on some of his later albums, nearly half of the songs on Jansch's debut are instrumentals. These are some of my favorites on the album, since he gets to stretch out his guitar chops a bit more with the absence of vocals. The mysterious "Alice's Wonderland" and the hypnotic "Casbah" are a couple of my favorites. Throughout the entire album, though, his playing is ear candy that is worth the price of admission even without the lyrics and vocals. Anyone who's a fan of the above-mentioned artists should check out Jansch, since he's of the same caliber and earned their endorsement as an influence. Also, fans of American folk who are interested in what was happening across the pond owe it to themselves to check out one of Britain's most legendary guitarists. In any case, Jansch's debut a classic and a necessary part of any folk, guitar, or folk-rock fan's collection. Enjoy the magic.
22 comments|5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 5, 2012
This is a great debut album from a master of fingerstyle guitar.

In response to the one star review by Philip S. Walker, all I can say is this. His guitar is not out of tune. He uses the DADGAD tuning that is generally associated with traditional Celtic music as opposed to the more common EADGBE tuning that most acoustic and classical guitarists use. I can see how you wouldn't appreciate Bert Jansch if you're just not into this type of music, but otherwise your criticisms are a little ridiculous.
0Comment|4 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on April 30, 2016
An incredibly beautiful, and somewhat stark record. The guitar playing and singing are superlative, and the remastering is first rate. Listen closely to the first track, "Strolling Down the Highway," and you can hear the beginning lick to the Beatles' "For You Blue." Listen further into the album, and you can hear licks that are very similar to those found in several acoustic tunes on Jethro Tull's "Aqualung." Plainly, John, Paul, George, Ian, and Martin were listening to Bert long before they crafted some of their best work. This is just a wonderful collection of songs and is an essential part of any serious collection. Also, check out Bert's "L.A. Turnaround," produced by Michael Nesmith. It's another amazing record.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 16, 2004
If you are new to Jansch, this is a good place to start. Except for 'Black Water Side', it contains most of his famous songs. If you are interested in Jansch because youve heard his name slung around by some big guitarists (see Jimmy Page, Neil Young, the guy from Suade, Johnny Marr) - that is, if you are interested in only his guitar playing, i would suggest you instead buy one of his collaborations with John Renbourn. However, if you want some Good Ol' British Folk Music then... well, i can't very imagine the genere without him.
0Comment|5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 13, 2015
I absolutely adore the solo guitar work on Casbah, Smokey River, Finches, and the other selections, but some of the lyrical content sounds just a little too traditional for my tastes compared to some of his other selections. I think he branched out on the second album in a very good way and continued to do so throughout the 70s. You can't go wrong here at any rate; it's definitely an album that turned a lot of people on to this style of folk. A very solid and great album.

It contains more solos without singing than the second album as well. But to me it is also a little less cohesive and has worse production--Do You Hear Me Now seems a touch out of place on this record, and a couple of the songs are a little monotonous. At 15 tracks it does very well with its time on the whole. I do think that people will really love the various guitar solos sprinkled throughout, and that alone is worth the purchase as there are quite a few of them. Jansch is a pioneer that should be automatic listening for any music lover. Highly Recommended.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 29, 2009
This album is really great to have. It has a lot of good songs with haunting guitar work. It was what I discovered Jansch with, and thats enough to keep it in my collection for life.

Throughout his career he touched many amazing places, with many different albums. To me, this albums seems like the small, but modest and entertaining start for Jansch before he really perfected his craft.

Either way, it's a great buy, but don't think that this is all there is to Jansch ;) that is a very large and deep pond.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Customers also viewed these items


Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.