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THE PENTANGLE

Prog Folk • United Kingdom


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The Pentangle biography
PENTANGLE was formed in 1967 by John Renbourn and Bert Jansch two guitarists who had both already recorded as solo artists since 1965. Both musicians had recorded together 'Bert and John' in 1966 for 'Transatlantic'. Jacqui Mc Shee who joined the band on vocals had already worked with John Renbourn on his first solo record. The rhythm section was formed by Danny Thompson on double bass and Terry Cox on drums and percussion, both former sidemen of Alexis Korner in his band ALEXIS KORNER BLUES INCORPORATED.
PENTANGLE played a mixture of Jazz and Folk with Blues-elements, influences that the band integrated in their debut record 'The Pentangle' which was produced by Shel Talmy. The same year PENTANGLE released their second record 'Sweet child' a double LP consisting of live and studio tracks and containing among others two compositions by Charlie Mingus 'Haitian Fight Song' and 'Goodbye Pork Pie hat'. In 1969 they released their masterpiece 'Basket of Light' , a commercial success including the single 'Light Flight' which served as the theme song to the UK television series 'Take three girls'. PENTANGLE released three other records, 'Cruel sister' in 1970, 'Reflection' in 1971 and 'Solomon's seal' in 1972, before breaking up in 1973. While Bert Jansch and John Renbourn continued as solo artists, the latter with singer Jacqui Mc Shee in the JOHN RENBOURN BAND, Danny Thompson and Terry Cox returned to session work. The original line up reformed in 1982 for a European and Australian tour. John Renbourn left before the release of the 1985 record 'Open the door' and was replaced by Mike Piggott. For the next ten years the band continued to record with changing outfits, 'So Early in the Spring' (1988), 'Think of Tomorrow' (1991), 'One More Road' (1991) and a live record in 1994 'Pentangle Live 1994'. In 1995 Jacqui Mc Shee recorded together with Gerry Conway, Spencer Cozens and guest musicians 'About Thyne. This record was the starting point for JACQUI MC SHEE'S PENTANGLE a refreshed PENTANGLE that released 'Passe Avant' in 1989, the live record 'At the Little Theatre' in 2000 and 'Feoffee's Land' in 2005.

The PENTANGLE records recorded between 1968 and 1972 are highly recommended.

: : : Martin 'Alucard' Horst, FRANCE : : :

The Pentangle official website

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PentanglePentangle
Import · Remastered
Sanctuary UK 2008
Audio CD$5.48
$4.63 (used)
Basket Of LightBasket Of Light
Extra tracks
Sanctuary 2008
Audio CD$4.68
$20.00 (used)
Sweet ChildSweet Child
Import · Remastered
Castle Music UK 2005
Audio CD$7.51
$24.39 (used)
Light Flight: The AnthologyLight Flight: The Anthology
Import
Castle Music UK 2006
Audio CD$6.76
$5.15 (used)
Cruel SisterCruel Sister
Import
Castle Music UK 2008
Audio CD$4.49
$3.21 (used)
Solomons SealSolomons Seal
Sanctuary 2008
Audio CD$5.73
$12.99 (used)
Pentangling: CollectionPentangling: Collection
Import · Remastered
Sanctuary UK 2008
Audio CD$36.15
$11.99 (used)
Light FlightLight Flight
Recall Records UK 1997
Audio CD$16.20
$4.79 (used)
Early ClassicsEarly Classics
Shanachie 1992
Audio CD$10.78
$7.98 (used)
One More Road & Live 1994One More Road & Live 1994
Hux Records 2007
Audio CD$12.87
$11.42 (used)
Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Pentangle Basket Of Light - 1st - EX UK vinyl LP album record TRA205 USD $60.38 Buy It Now 5h 3m
PENTANGLE - THE COLLECTION, CASTLE CCS LP 184, 1988 DOUBLE LP COMP. USD $12.39 Buy It Now 9h 46m
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PENTANGLE Think of Tomorrow / ORIGINAL 1991 Lp SEALED! MINT! USD $39.98 Buy It Now 23h 16m
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BEST OF BRITISH FOLK MUSIC Various LP 12 Track Featuring Pentangle, Steve Tilsto USD $9.75 Buy It Now 1 day
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Pentangle, The Self-Titled Original Label USD $1.28 [2 bids]
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PROMO 60s ROCK 45 RPM - THE PENTANGLE - REPRISE PRO 391 - "LIGHT FLIGHT" USD $10.00 Buy It Now 2 days
Folk 2 LP LOT: PENTANGLE "OPEN THE DOOR" "SOLOMON'S SEAL" USD $19.99 Buy It Now 2 days
## VG ## PENTANGLE - REFLECTION LP FOLK ROCK 1971 REPRISE USD $3.99 Buy It Now 2 days
John Renbourn.Pentangle Guitarist. Times Obituary dated 31.3.15 USD $1.53 [0 bids]
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Pentangle History Book 1972 UK 1st A1/B1 Press, Near Mint, ULTRASONIC CLEANED USD $25.20 Buy It Now 2 days
Pentangle - Light Flight (2xCD) USD $17.04 Buy It Now 2 days
PENTANGLE REFLECTIONS VERY RARE FULLY HAND SIGNED TRANSATLANTIC UK LP USD $241.84 Buy It Now 2 days
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THE PENTANGLE * 7" VINYL *TRAVELLIN' SONG * 1968 * BIG 109 USD $1.55 [1 bids]
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PENTANGLE - CRUEL SISTER CD NEW+ USD $15.21 Buy It Now 2 days
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LP ALBUM THE PENTANGLE BASKET OF LIGHT JAPAN OBI USD $7.74 [1 bids]
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PENTANGLE Cruel Sister JAPAN AUTHENTIC SHM MINI LP CD NEW OOP UICY-94644 USD $39.99 Buy It Now 2 days
PENTANGLE SOLOMAN'S SEAL ENGLISH FOLK LP ON REPRISE MS-2100 WITH INSERT! USD $24.99 [0 bids]
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So Early in the Spring by Pentangle (CD, Jul-1990, Green Linnet) USD $5.00 Buy It Now 3 days
THE PENTANGLE reflection JAPAN mini lp SHM CD SEALED USD $14.99 Buy It Now 3 days
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PENTANGLE Light Flight 7" Demo B/w Market Song And Time Has Come UK Transatlant USD $11.38 Buy It Now 3 days
PENTANGLE-SOLOMON-JAPAN MINI LP SHM CD 72 Incredible String Fairport Convention USD $14.99 Buy It Now 3 days
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PENTANGLE 'AT THEIR BEST' UK DOUBLE LP USD $30.99 Buy It Now 3 days
VARIOUS '40 FOLK FAVOURITES' UK DOUBLE LP PENTANGLE JANSCH GRYPHON RENBOURN USD $13.94 Buy It Now 3 days
Pentangle - Reflection JAPAN MINI LP SHM-CD SEALED USD $3.99 [0 bids]
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PENTANGLE REFLECTION JAPAN AUTHENTIC SHM MINI LP CD NEW OUT OF PRINT UICY-94645 USD $14.99 Buy It Now 3 days
LISTEN HERE LP Transatlantic Sampler TRA SAM2 A1/B1 Pentangle Jansch McTell FOLK USD $9.22 Buy It Now 3 days
THE PENTANGLE solomon's seal JAPAN mini lp SHM CD John Renbourn Bert Jansch SEAL USD $22.99 Buy It Now 3 days
THE PENTANGLE SWEET CHILD Japan mini lp 2 CD Bert Jansch John Renbourn sealed USD $17.99 Buy It Now 3 days
Pentangle - The Time Has Come 1 (NEW 4CD) USD $61.99 Buy It Now 3 days
PENTANGLE one more road CD BERT JANSCH SEALED BH86 USD $14.44 Buy It Now 3 days
TRANSATLANTIC FOLK BOX 3 CD PENTANGLE MR FOX DECAMERON USD $13.99 Buy It Now 3 days
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TRANSATLANTIC GROUP CATALOGUE Oct. 1968 Bert Jansch John Redbourn Pentangle etc. USD $6.51 [3 bids]
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John Fahey & Pentangle 1969 The Dome, Brighton ticket stub USD $27.90 Buy It Now 3 days
THE PENTANGLE Cruel Sister 1970 Reprise Gatefold w/slv VG+/VG+ LP Record USD $10.99 Buy It Now 3 days
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PENTANGLE LIGHT FLIGHT THEME FOR TAKE THREE GIRLS /COLD MOUNTAIN VINYL 7" SINGLE USD $11.30 Buy It Now 3 days
Pentangle Time Has Come 1967-73 Promo Only 10 song CD From Box Prog Folk Brit USD $9.99 Buy It Now 3 days
John Renbourne "The Lady and the Unicorn" LP Bomb pentangle USD $4.99 [0 bids]
USD $8.99 Buy It Now
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Contemporary Guitar Sampler - 1969 U.K. LP - Pentangle, John Rendbourne USD $18.99 Buy It Now 4 days
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PENTANGLE reflection Japan MINI LP SHM-CD USD $28.00 Buy It Now 4 days
Pentangle 1969 The Dome, Brighton ticket stub USD $23.25 Buy It Now 4 days
Pentangle - Passe Avant CD USD $17.69 Buy It Now 4 days
BEST OF BRITISH FOLK 1992 CASTLE CD-PENTANGLE,DUBLINERS,HUMBLEBUMS etc USD $7.74 Buy It Now 4 days
45rpm Record "The Pentangle Once I Had A Sweetheart" Dated 1969 On Big T Lable. USD $13.95 Buy It Now 4 days
PENTANGLE: A MAID THAT'S DEEP IN LOVE, 1987 SHANACHIE COMPILATION USD $11.94 Buy It Now 4 days
Reflection Pentangle UK vinyl LP album record TRA240 TRANSATLANTIC 1971 USD $60.38 Buy It Now 4 days
JOHN RENBOURN - THE SOHO YEARS LP NM RARE TRANSATLANTIC FOLK VINYL Pentangle USD $34.87 Buy It Now 4 days
5 FOLK BADGES. SANDY DENNY, PENTANGLE, NICK DRAKE, DONOVAN, FAIRPORTS. USD $7.74 Buy It Now 4 days
LP Psych Record Pentangle Cruel Sister on Reprise USD $15.00 [0 bids]
4 days
Pentangle History Book UK vinyl LP album record TRASAM23 TRANSATLANTIC 1972 USD $34.03 Buy It Now 4 days
JOHN RENBOURN GROUP the enchanted garden CD PENTANGLE USD $7.99 Buy It Now 4 days
Cruel Sister Pentangle vinyl LP album record New Zealand PCSM6102 PARLOPHONE USD $122.39 Buy It Now 4 days
Vintage 1970 /70s Vinyl record 7" THE PENTANGLE /TRAVELLIN'SONG USD $35.00 Buy It Now 4 days
THE PENTANGLE SWEET CHILD Japan mini lp 2 CD Bert Jansch GENUINE SEALED USD $13.99 [0 bids]
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The Pentangle Reflection Vinyl RS 6463 USD $15.00 Buy It Now 4 days
THE PENTANGLE SWEET CHILD +11 Remast. JAPAN Mini Lp CD Bert Jansch John Renbourn USD $26.99 Buy It Now 4 days
THE PENTANGLE SOLOMON'S SEAL Remast. JAPAN MINI Lp CD Bert Jansch John Renbourn USD $20.00 Buy It Now 4 days
PENTANGLE Pentangling LP USD $15.50 Buy It Now 4 days
HAROLD McNAIR ~ THE FENCE ~ UK B&C LP 1970 ~ KEITH TIPPETT PENTANGLE BRANSCOMBE USD $104.64 Buy It Now 4 days
LOVELY FOLK CD FOR PENTANGLE FANS * SWEET PROSPECT * TREES USD $4.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Sealed BERT JANSCH & JOHN RENBOURN New CD pre-Pentangle UK Transatlantic MINT USD $39.99 Buy It Now 5 days
1968 Advert 15x7 Pentangle album USD $10.85 Buy It Now 5 days
Advert 7x7 The Pentangle At The Royal Albert Hall 6/1/1971 USD $10.85 Buy It Now 5 days
PENTANGLE one more road &live 94 JAPAN 2 CD BERT JANSCH USD $24.99 Buy It Now 5 days
JOHN RENBOURN so early in the spring CD PENTANGLE SEALED NEW USD $19.99 Buy It Now 5 days
GARDEN OF DELIGHTS CD PENTANGLE DUNCAN BROWNE GRYPHON USD $5.99 Buy It Now 5 days
Pentangle 1970 The Dome, Brighton ticket stub USD $18.60 Buy It Now 5 days
PENTANGLE KEEF HARTLEY Vintage Music Press article/cutting 1970 USD $15.42 Buy It Now 5 days
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THE PENTANGLE discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

THE PENTANGLE top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.87 | 39 ratings
The Pentangle
1968
3.64 | 35 ratings
Sweet Child
1968
4.11 | 88 ratings
Basket Of Light
1969
3.39 | 43 ratings
Cruel Sister
1970
3.43 | 22 ratings
Reflection
1971
2.99 | 21 ratings
Solomon's Seal
1972
3.91 | 14 ratings
Open The Door
1984
3.43 | 8 ratings
In The Round
1986
2.68 | 9 ratings
So Early In The Spring
1990
2.69 | 8 ratings
Think Of Tomorrow
1991
3.30 | 7 ratings
One More Road
1993

THE PENTANGLE Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.00 | 3 ratings
Live At The BBC (aka On Air)
1995
3.00 | 3 ratings
The Lost Broadcasts 1968-1972
2005
0.00 | 0 ratings
One More Road & Live 1994
2006

THE PENTANGLE Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

3.98 | 4 ratings
Captured Live
2003

THE PENTANGLE Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.04 | 6 ratings
Pentangling
1973
3.00 | 4 ratings
A Maid Deep In Love
1974
3.05 | 3 ratings
The Collection
1988
3.73 | 13 ratings
The Time Has Come: 1967-1973
2007

THE PENTANGLE Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

THE PENTANGLE Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Cruel Sister by PENTANGLE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.39 | 43 ratings

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Cruel Sister
The Pentangle Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

3 stars Left turn, Clyde.

No early Pentangle album split fans as much as 1970's studio offering titled Cruel Sister. After the relative success of 1969's Basket Of Light that featured the British chart hit Light Flight, several member's of the group were actually disturbed by their relative success, as if Basket Of Light with it's stunning interplay of jazz rhythms, guitar pyrotechnics and exquisite singing was no more than a bubblegum pop album. As silly as that sounds and owing to the rival success of Fairport Convention's 1969 hit album Liege and Leif, The Pentangle decided to go in FC's pure English folk rock direction and jettisoned their jazz influences and dynamic acoustic guitar interplay, which had been a staple of the group up until that time. Indeed, this is the first studio album to feature John Renbourn on electric guitar, albeit in a very toned down delivery.

This resulted in the quick departure of uber producer Shel Talmy, who was critically influential to the band's recorded sound, as well as helping in editing and arranging the band's songs. Talmy saw no future in the band's new direction and decided to call working with The Pentangle a day.

The result is this self produced album. While critics bemoan the fact that a lot of the traditional songs on this album reek of doom and gloom, with murder, deceit, and mistreatment being the main themes, it's more of the restrained musical and vocal delivery that really lets the album down.

Jacqui McsShee does a good turn on the unaccompanied traditional song (all of the album's 5 songs are traditional English folk songs) When I was In My Prime. However, It's far from a riveting "is it live or Memorex?" moment. In other words, don't expect any of your glassware to break on this or any of the album's songs.

Lord Franklin is a pleasant song sung by Renbourn in a pleasant monotone, but it easily displays his vocal limitations as does the album's one true progressive rock song, the 20 minute long Jack Orion, of which a majority of the vocal duties is handled by the almost equally limited Burt Jansch. The song meanders into many different themes and is actually quite interesting the first time around. But I'm afraid that's were the interest, time wise, ends.

Cruel Sister is by no means a bad album, it just happens to follow three of the best folk rock albums ever produced by a British band, which just happens to be themselves, and for better or worse, it shows. 3 stars.

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 Basket Of Light by PENTANGLE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.11 | 88 ratings

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Basket Of Light
The Pentangle Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

5 stars The Pentangle's Basket of Light album from 1969 is adorned by great PA reviews and that's for many good reasons.

First off, it's leadoff track Light Flight is a prog lover's dream with it's incredible time changes (7/8, 5/8 and 6/4) with electrifying playing from all involved, which includes incendiary acoustic guitar playing from the vaunted duo of Bert Jansch and John Renbourn. What is often overlooked in reviews is the incredible range of lead vocalist Jacqui McShee, that was only hinted at in The Pentangle's two subsequent albums . Indeed, Basket of Light contains some of McShee's best vocal work be it in counter vocals, jazz like scat accompaniment or atmospheric vocalize that seems to predate Annie Haslam's many vocalise stylings on both Renaissance live and recorded songs.

Light Flight was indeed even a minor hit in the UK and propelled the group to commercial stardom with some ugly results, such as some members of the group questioning their musical authenticity, and would result in the band going into a more straight forward folk rock sound devoid of jazz elements on future albums. But that's a story for the next album review.

After the stunning Light Flight, the band present the traditional English folk song Once I Had A Sweetheart that's enchantingly melodic, before lauching in to one of the album's highlights Springtome Promises, that features Jansch doing one of his best recorded vocals on this group penned tune.

Lyke-Wake Dirge is just what the name implys and is a true medieval English Dirge song by all except double bass player Danny Thmpson and features some trick overdubbing by McShee in a layered sound that predates Enya's new age recordings by decades.

The album's second highlight Train Song is up next and again showcases McShee doing ultra melodic scat vocals to accompany Jansch's second lead vocal on the record. This song also features a wonderful mid song time change that sees McShee doing an ethereal vocalise while Jansch and Renbourn trade guitar licks and Thompson add great bass runs.

Producer Shel Talmy (Kinks, Who, Roy Harper) has to be given credit for not only his clear spacious recording of all instruments but also for his great skills as a music editor and arranger. It's hard to imagine anyone else making this album sound as good.

The haunting English traditional The Hunting Song is next, again featuring impressive guitar work and is followed by a cover of a sixties' girl group song Sally Go Round the Roses that was originally recorded by the Jaynettes. Renbourn does some wonderful call and response type vocals with McShee as she is the glue that hold this newly transformed into a bluesy sounding rocker together. The song again features some incendiary guitar playing primarily by Jansch as his signature percussive string pops are quite evident. There are also two alternate takes on the 2001 Castle CD reissue of this album that showcases some different but equally good leads by Jansch. It must have been difficult for the band and producer to pick the best take as they're all stellar. The original album ends with the traditional tunes The Cookoo Bird and House Carpenter. House Carpenter features a duet with Jansch and McShee and bogs the album down a bit. However, the Castle reissue also includes two wonderful tracks that were easily good enough to make the album and I'm surprised that the second song I Saw An Angel, which features a fantastic siren call from McShee in the song's chorus, was not.

Five stars for this truly progressive folk rock milestone, as it's an album that simply should be every prog fan's collection

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 Sweet Child by PENTANGLE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.64 | 35 ratings

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Sweet Child
The Pentangle Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

4 stars The Pentangle's follow up album to their self titled debut, titled Sweet Child, does not suffer from the usual "sophomore jinx" that plague many other followers of a debut album. Perhaps except that the shock of the group's musical formula may have worn off on some listeners along with some surprise that the double album follow up contains a new live material recorded at the London Festival Hall, with the second disc comprised totally of new studio songs.

I can only surmise that the band's touring schedule may have cut into their studio time. However, the first disc is excellently recorded in front of a rapt and extremely quiet audience. At least during the performances that is.

The group once again mine material from traditional English folk, Charles Mingus penned jazz classics, original folk/blues compositions as well as Elizabethan era dances played on a glockenspiel from drummer Terry Cox.

John Renbourn plays electric guitar as was he's want during live performamces and this steals a little bit of thunder from the usual guitar interplay between himself and Bert Jansch. Howerever, fear not, as the two resume their acoustic guitar dueling on several tracks of the studio disc along with some brilliant outtakes that have been added as bonus tracks to the 2 CD Castle Records reissue.

Aside from making marginal vocalists like Renbourn and Jansch actually sound good, producer Shel Talmy deftly recorded both guitarists in wide separation stereo which really shows off their breathtaking improvisational playing. As one guitarist starts a lead section on one channel, the phrase is telekinetically answered by the guitarist on the other and when both play intricate leads together, it simply sounds like one guitarist has filled the sound stage and is a testament of the extraordinary playing skills of both.This is extremely prevalent on the instrumentals In Time and Hole In The Coal, as well as their alternate versions.

Double bass great Danny Thompson struts his stuff on the above mentioned Mingus songs while the incredible Jacqui McShee again shows her vocal prowess both traditional songs like So Early In the Spring (sung unaccompanied ) on the first live disc, as well as soulful jazzy originals like the stellar I've Got A Feeling from the second studio album.

I've felt a need to review this album again in light of the current Indie folk rock (Nu folk?) resurgence as well the current trend of modern rockers like Mark Knoplfler to produce albums exploring American Roots and Folk music.

The Pentangle still defy classification almost fifty years after releasing their debut album and their collective musical skills have still not been equaled to this day. Four stars for another of The Pentangle's landmark albums. The Castle CD re-master has fantastic sound quality as well as the wonderful bonus tracks that also include live versions all of material that was released on groups' self titled debut and is featured on the first live disc.

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 The Pentangle by PENTANGLE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.87 | 39 ratings

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The Pentangle
The Pentangle Prog Folk

Review by SteveG

5 stars Time Stand Still.

While my appreciation of Prog-folk came much later than my baptism into Prog-rock proper, it's artistic merits always seem to be more profound. Perhaps that's is because the artists are doing considerably more with less. More notes, less volume. More style fusions, less instruments . All acoustics, no electrics.

And so it is with Pentangle's 1968 self titled debut. Eschewing the Dylan or Guthrie songbook, the incredible Jacqui McShee, already famous acoustic folk guitar heroes John Renbourn and Bert Jansch together with double bass jazz great Danny Thompson and precision drummer Terry Cox launch into a traditional arrangement of the familiar English folk song Let No Man Steal Your Time. With the song's double entendre still as relevant as ever, you are seduced into thinking this is going to be a museum trip into the folk world of merry old England until the next song Bells appears, an a bluesy instumental with rhythmic circling acoustic guitars that appear separately from the left and right speakers and seem as if they are dueling with each other as the bass and drums are involved in their own separate conversation while keeping astride of the the two guitars.

Wait, maybe this not old folk after all? You think to yourself as Thompson's jazzy descending bass notes introduce the third song, Hear My Call, and McShee's launches into a yearning sultry vocal that will never make you guess in a million years that this sexy siren song is a contemporary spiritual written by the Staple Singers.We are into full blown jazz/folk/blues fusion here and the part is that it's only just started. This will come to a full climax with the following song, the 7 minute long (an eternity for a folk rock song in 1968!) Pentangling, with it's improvisational middle section showing off both Thompsons and Cox's chops to great dramatic effect due again to the excellent use of stereo panning. Sung jointly by McShee and Jansch, the song shift gears near the end from a slow trot to brisk gallop with Renbourn conluding the piece with an electifying flourish. The group then swing into Behind the Sun, a slow paced sultry bluesy number that features McShee crooning about finding a man for some rough bed time fun while Renbourn and Jansch throw smoldering hot guitar notes back forth at one another from speaker to speaker. Then is on to the brief song Mirarge were all members trade licks back and forth again. To give their jazz chops a break and a chance to let their hands cool down, the band revert back to a traditional folk song, Bruton Town, before ending with another clinic to Jansch and Renbourn's acoustics called The Waltz, a song no inspired by Jansch's facination with circular guitar chord rhythms and agan it features his percussive finger pulls and any other sounds he get from his strings without actually braking them.

Classified as Folk Rock, this is one of those truly rare albums that is both genre defining as well as being genre breaking and so ahead of it's time that it sounds like something created yesterday let alone 45 years ago. An absolute essential staple for any Prog collection. While the modern rock world is busy putting the petal to the metal, these acoustic giants remain like lost stone monuments just waiting fo new civilizations to rediscover them.

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 Sweet Child by PENTANGLE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1968
3.64 | 35 ratings

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Sweet Child
The Pentangle Prog Folk

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Pentangle's second album of 1968 is perhaps my favourite of the albums I've heard by the band to date. Double albums are usually tricky to justify, but here Pentangle avoid that issue by not making this a double *studio* album. Whilst the second disc consists of new studio tracks, the first disc is a release of a warm, intimate performance at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Ably teasing out the electric folk, traditional folk, and jazz influences on their sound both in the live performance and in the studio. the Pentangle treat the listener to a true tour de force here.

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 The Time Has Come: 1967-1973  by PENTANGLE, THE album cover Boxset/Compilation, 2007
3.73 | 13 ratings

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The Time Has Come: 1967-1973
The Pentangle Prog Folk

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I'd say Pentangle is one of the rarest of british folk-groups. Not in the sense their albums are rare to find but rare meaning outstanding. Their blend of progressive, folk and rock sensibilities are unmatched, as far as I'm concerned. The first six albums they made are all worth having, containing utterly beautifl, haunting and engaging music.

If you're looking for simply a compilation I'd recommend Light flight, a great collection of some of their best material. But if you're alreadya serious fan like me this box set is mandatory. It walks the thin line between the greatest hits and rarer stuff, like live recordings and music from the screen. Now, I'm not sure about devoting one entire disc to one single concert. I'd rather have seen more live stuff from their entire career but there you go. Is that any reason to complain? No, not really. The box is easily worth 4,5 stars. Besides, the box is visually stunning and really gives me goose bumps just looking at it. Wondrous stuff!

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 Basket Of Light by PENTANGLE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.11 | 88 ratings

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Basket Of Light
The Pentangle Prog Folk

Review by GruvanDahlman
Prog Reviewer

5 stars Easily the bestalbum they made, though I feel all albums from the 70's are worth at least a listen, lest you're like me obsessed with british folk and Pentangle in particular, wanting to own them all. "Basket of light" is THE album where everething merged together. The traditional folk meets rock and prog like never before. My particular favorites being "Hunting song", "House carpenter" and well... The entire album is my favorite songs. It's a masterpiece of utter beauty, grimness and haunting tales, instrumentation to die for and vocals of un-earthly qualities. If you want one single folk album from the early 70's, this is the one.

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 Basket Of Light by PENTANGLE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1969
4.11 | 88 ratings

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Basket Of Light
The Pentangle Prog Folk

Review by friso
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The Pentangle - Basket of Light (1969)

After the momentum of songwriters folk music of the mid sixties the second halve of the sixties would facilitate a wave of traditional and rock influenced folk groups in England. The Pentangle is one of those groups, reinventing and rewriting folk classics and writing new songs with intelligent arrangements.

The Pentangle uses mainly string-instruments, but sometimes we can hear the pleasant glockenspiel. The band focusses on English traditional folk, but the use sitar and other eastern string-instruments sometimes evokes the feel of world music. Some tracks have a pastoral feel, are more like up-tempo folk tracks. All tracks dwell in a layer of reverbs, as if the album was recorded in a church.

Female vocalist Jacqui Mc Shee has a voice reminding us of Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span, but she sings a bit more 'noble' - the reason for which my brother gave me this record; "folk should be folky and for the people". And indeed, it's all very serious. The male vocals on some tracks sound a bit Canterbury like, reminding me of Caravan.

On this particular record of The Pentangle the arrangements very well developed, evoking that intelligent progressive feel. It also makes the record quite intensive to listen to and not as accessible as other folk rock albums. The multiple layers of guitar lines and bass sound a bit like how Gentle Giant would later arrange its folk parts.

Conclusion. Great folk rock album that's recommended to those interested in the more traditional sounding acoustic folk rock. Let's not forget that this is a very early effort and it's quite far ahead for it's time. Four stars.

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 Cruel Sister by PENTANGLE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1970
3.39 | 43 ratings

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Cruel Sister
The Pentangle Prog Folk

Review by Sinusoid
Prog Reviewer

4 stars I thought that BASKET OF LIGHT was an instant breath of fresh air in the prog-folk realm; have a strong folk base but allow jazz and rock to creep into the structure of the band giving a fresh and progressive take on an otherwise very traditional genre of music. The followup CRUEL SISTER doesn't feel quite as fresh, but still a tremendous album nevertheless.

What I don't like about CRUEL SISTER is how the jazz and rock framework from the previous album gets marginalised here. Other than Denny Thompson's basslines, we're mostly in the folk business here. And I understand that Jacqui McShee is a good folk singer, but the acapella piece ''When I Was in My Prime'' is unnecessary.

There's a lot to like about CRUEL SISTER, like the cold and haunting title track whose bassline is rather chilling. ''A Maid That's Deep in Love'' and ''Lord Franklin'' are good enough folk songs for what they're worth. But a lot of the weight of this record is on the sidelong epic ''Jack Orion'', an epic that more than delivers on its length. The pacing of the piece is near perfect, seamlessly flowing from one idea to the next yet giving the audience ample time to digest each theme properly. There's no going overboard with this piece; it's better than advertised.

I still find CRUEL SISTER to be a slight letdown from its predecessor immediate, but that doesn't stop it from being a fantastic folk album in its own right.

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 Think Of Tomorrow by PENTANGLE, THE album cover Studio Album, 1991
2.69 | 8 ratings

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Think Of Tomorrow
The Pentangle Prog Folk

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Baby, now it's over?

Out of the five albums that the re-united Pentangle produced since their return to the music business in 1984, Think Of Tomorrow is the least interesting to my ears. The opening track sets the mood, which is slow, lazy, and lacking in energy. I miss the rockier side they showcased on the other albums from this period. What they did in the 80's and 90's is generally electrified and a much rockier affair with a broader instrumental palette than anything they did in the 60's and 70's. I might be quite alone in my opinion, but I definitely prefer the more recent incarnation(s) of Pentangle over the early incarnation. Put the present album is rather weak in comparison with 1984's Open The Door and 1993's One More Road, for example.

Those who enjoy Folk Rock in general, and likes bands such as Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span, will be well advised to check out Pentangle's 80's and 90's output, but make sure you don't start with the present album.

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Thanks to ProgLucky for the artist addition.

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