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The Definitive Collection

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Audio CD, June 30, 2003
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 30, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Highpoint UK
  • ASIN: B00009WNA7
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #222,803 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. The Manchester Angel
2. To The Beggin' I Will Go
3. Sheepcrook And Black Dog
4. Fourpence A Day
5. Oh Dear Me
6. The Collier Laddie
7. The Carlton Weaver
8. Morrisey And The Russian Sailor
9. Turpin Hero
10. Jimmy Wilson
11. The Black Velvet Band
12. Hughie The Graeme
13. The Baron O'Brackley
14. Whae's Me For Prince Charlie
15. The Sheepstealer
16. Farewell To Sicily
17. The Young Trooper Cut Down In His Prime
18. The Press Gang
19. The Sweet Kumadie
20. Homeward Bound

Editorial Reviews

20 track compilation from Kirsty's husband, drawn from his recordings for the Topic label from the late 60's onward. Features Peggy Seegar and Alf Edwards.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Peter Durward Harris HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on May 24, 2005
Format: Audio CD
You won't find his singles and albums in any pop charts, but Ewan MacColl is one of folk music's legends. He did much to preserve traditional British folk songs, many of which he recorded. He also wrote many songs, one of which (The first time ever I saw your face) was inspired by Peggy Seeger, sister of America's legendary folk singer, Pete Seeger. The song eventually became a major international pop hit for Roberta Flack, by which time Ewan and Peggy were married. One of Ewan's earlier marriages produced Kirsty MacColl, a great pop singer of the eighties.

Like his eventual brother-in-law, Ewan saw the hardships caused by the depression of the thirties and became committed to left-wing causes, which sometimes affected his choice of material. Ewan often song about the problems of ordinary working people - miners, sailors, weavers and troopers are among the subjects of songs here. The most thought-provoking song here is Four pence a day. Even allowing for inflation, that was never a lot of money.

Peggy is credited on some songs, playing banjo or guitar. Peggy also sings on some tracks, usually providing backup vocals though occasionally more prominently. The songs here are almost exclusively traditional - you must look elsewhere for examples of Ewan's songwriting.

Though this is called the definitive collection, no single CD of Ewan's music can ever really be that, especially as it doesn't include Ewan's own version of The first time ever I saw your face. Nevertheless, this collection provides a wonderful introduction to Ewan's music.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By William E. Adams on August 27, 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I hate to disagree with prior reviewer Peter Durward Harris of Great Britain, whose writing I have followed since I got on the computer in the summer of 2001. We have similar tastes, considering that I am a Yankee, and have reviewed the same music many times. However, this Ewan MacColl CD only gave me sporadic pleasure. The first time I listened, I only liked six of the 20 tracks...the uptempo ones, the ones with the most accompaniment, the most familiar songs. The second play, I found I liked four more, 50 percent of the disc. I have been a folk fan for 45 years, and I am as Anglo-Saxon as any NJ-born guy could ever be. I heard ABOUT Ewan MacColl ever since the very early '60's, but never actually heard much BY him. I knew he wrote the ubiquitous "First Time Ever I Saw Your Face" and was married to Pete Seeger's sister. Then when I became a fan of the Pogues, I discovered his daughter Kristy, in her incredibly beautiful guest vocal on one of their CD's. Now I have "discovered" Ewan at last, but the selections on this release, overall, seem too sparse, slow and funereal for my taste. I think I will like him better when I can afford to buy discs of his sea songs or those he wrote or co-wrote.
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By Bruce L. Wagner on January 15, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This collection of Ewan MacColl's songs may or may not be "definitive," but it is comprehensive and varied. For MacColl fans it is exciting to hear him singing in the very richest ranges of his voice and singing versions of songs he has recorded elsewhere but here are different--neither better nor worse, just different. The album is like hearing both a familiar MacColl and a new one. On top of that, many of the tracks are extremely well recorded--can you imagine being in a pub listening to him sing and filling the room?
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