Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Magna Carta - Songs From Wasties Orchard CD (album) cover

SONGS FROM WASTIES ORCHARD

Magna Carta

Prog Related


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Bookmark and Share
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Don't pick this one

This, Magna Carta's third album, was one of their least progressive efforts. Founding member Lyell Tranter left the band to return to Australia for romantic reasons. His place was filled by a young Davey Johnstone who had appeared as a guest musician on the previous "Seasons" album. After just one studio album, Johnstone would leave Magna Carta to join Elton's John's band, where he has remained ever since.

For "Songs from Wasties orchard", the band retreated into their folk roots, even touching at times on country. The opening two tracks, "Time for the leaving" and "Isle of Skye" both sound like traditional songs, but are in fact Chris Simpson compositions. Their pleasant understated acoustic nature follows on naturally from the second side of "Seasons". Davey Johnstone contributes two songs, and co-writes a third. Of these, "Sponge", an acoustic guitar workout, would sit well on any Fairport Convention album, especially "Angel Delight" (which it sounds like an outtake from).

There are a couple of upbeat numbers ("Good morning sun" and Parliament Hill") where the Simon and Garfunkel sound of Magna Carta is very much to the fore. They are pleasant but very lightweight. "Home groan" and "Country jam" see the band venturing into country rock, a misguided and fortunately brief foray.

"Songs from Wasties orchard" is a relatively prosaic and uninspired offering from Magna Carta. It lacks the originality of the albums released both before and after it. The guest musicians, who include of Rick Wakeman and Ron Chesterman, are woefully under exploited, indeed it is all but impossible to identify their contributions. While much of the music, especially the soft reflective numbers, is pleasing to the ear, there is little here to get excited about and certainly nothing to enhance the band's prog credentials.

Report this review (#107700)
Posted Wednesday, January 17, 2007 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
2 stars With this second album (to the best of my knowledge), Magna Carta fails to confirm whatever the fans where expecting from them. All the more when this writer thought that their debut album lacked energy and self-involvment (in terms of virtuosity, power and songwriting), they more than proved me right with this album.

Again with a five star-studded cast of guests (Potter, Wakeman and Thompson!!!!) , Magna Carta fail to deliver the goods and obviously there is more than one rotten apple in this crate (makes you wonder about the Wastie's Orchard ;-). Maybe I am slmightly exagerating , but this is to get my point across more clearly. again, the group seems happy to settle for a Simon And Garfunkel-type of sound and harmonies, but unfortunately often come to mimick the mythic duo rather than built upon their greatness.

Even if not everything is bad in this album, (most tracks are still pleasannt to hear as background music), it is hard to be enthousiastic about this. so I will not try to entice. Best avoidedreally.

Report this review (#113102)
Posted Thursday, February 22, 2007 | Review Permalink
3 stars 3.5 stars.

One of the only things that irks me about this great website is that a fine album like this that would certainly merit 4/4.5 stars from me elsewhere, can only get a 3 from me here because of the lack of progressive influence. Outside my prog collection, this is one of my very valued albums. Every song on the album is a great laid-back folk-rock song. The entire album has a calming effect that no other album I've listened to can parallel. Unfortunately, this also happens to have likely the least prog influence out of any of the Magna Carta albums I've listened to. It is still present, but its barely there.

I'd recommend this to fans of light folk-rock, who don't mind if there's a lack of prog here and there. If you're going to get one Magna Carta album though, make it Seasons. It offers much more to the crowd here than this one does.

Report this review (#125106)
Posted Thursday, June 7, 2007 | Review Permalink
5 stars This is Magna Cartas stronges effort. Gone is the serious song cycles from the previous effort and insted we get a selection of beautiful shorter tunes. The interplay between Johnston and Simpsons acoustic guitars is a wonderful web of of rare beauty. And Simpsons and Stuarts singing is nothing less than stunning. There is only one weak tune on the album and that is the closer "Country Jam", And let's not forget the cast of session players that grace the album. The beautiful contrabas from Danny Thompson (as well as Ron Chesterman from an early Strawbs line up). And for the proggers you even get Rick Wakeman on a few songs. In short, a splendid album!
Report this review (#249850)
Posted Tuesday, November 10, 2009 | Review Permalink
kenethlevine
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog-Folk Team
2 stars "Songs from Wasties Orchard" was actually my introduction to MAGNA CARTA via a friend in the 1980s. It was framed as their classic album. While that may or may not be true for fans of soft, even country inflected folk rock, it is assuredly not the case for progressive aficionados. But for those whose ears perked up, this is not even the hard country approach of LINDISFARNE, but a genteel music hall in a barn type of country, that consumes about half the disk.

The presence of Strawbs standbys Rod Chesterman, Rick Wakeman and Tony Visconti does not translate to any of the musical sophistication or potency one might expect; instead we have the more typical MAGNA CARTA of "Time for the Leaving", "Isle of Skye", and "Sunday on the River". Lead guitar here and there is more prominent but not at all distinctive. The upbeat surprises of "Good Morning Sun", "Home Groan", "Parliament Hill" and "Country Jam" are not particularly welcome if they do change the pace, as they just sound like MAGNA CARTA trying to do country, that is, restrained and self consciously.

Probably the best work here is in "Knaresborough Town" with its sitar accompaniment and old Englishe melody, and the pretty "White Snow Dove", which manages to sound as progressive as anything here, and in less than 150 seconds.

If you want to start with MAGNA CARTA, this probably isn't the place; whatever your musical preference, the prior or subsequent orchards will offer you more if limited pleasures for the picking.

Report this review (#257907)
Posted Saturday, December 26, 2009 | Review Permalink
2 stars A star studded guest list (including Rick Wakeman) should secure a good Magna Carta album.

Unfortunate, the result is a pedestrian folk rock album pretty far removed from anything Rick Wakeman has been involved in up to then. The songs here are simple, vocals based and the type of songs you do sitting around a camp fire somewhere in the forest/on the prairie/ anywhere but indoors. It is also pub folk rock which is very effective in that setting, but not particular exciting on a record. It is not effective either when the reviewer, that's me in third person, is stone cold sober either. Put me in a pub and give me ten (...5....) pints of beer and I may add a star. I think you get my drift.

The songs are not that good either. But the vocals and the instrumentations, which unfortunate is tilting towards a typical country & western set up, is not too bad. But I am not that amused by this album. Hence my lack of enthusiasm.

2 stars

Report this review (#358998)
Posted Monday, December 20, 2010 | Review Permalink

MAGNA CARTA Songs From Wasties Orchard ratings only


chronological order | showing rating only

Post a review of MAGNA CARTA Songs From Wasties Orchard


You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.

MEMBERS LOGIN ZONE

As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives