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BERT JANSCH

Prog Related • United Kingdom


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Bert Jansch biography
Herbert Jansch - November 3, 1943 (Glasgow, Scotland) - October 5, 2011

BERT JANSCH was a pivotal Scottish folk-rock musician who rose to prominence during the modern folk revival period of the mid- and late-sixties. He was a founding member of THE PENTANGLE as well as a prolific solo artist, and collaborated widely with such folk-rock luminaries as ANNIE BRIGGS, JOHN RENBOURN, MARTIN JENKINS, DAVEY GRAHAM, VASHTI BUNYAN, ROD CLEMENTS and next-generation folkers like DEVENDRA BANHART and HOPE SANDOVAL.

Jansch was a multi-instrumentalist, playing banjo, dulcimer, recorder, piano, electric guitar and concertina live and in the studio at various times, but was most known for his work on acoustic guitar and a huge portfolio of original compositions as well as innovative arrangements and interpretations of traditional and contemporary folk music.

Jansch lost a long battle with cancer on October 5, 2011, less than two months after his final live performance at the Royal Festival Hall in London. His influence lives on in the form of new folk-rock and neo-folk courtesy of scores of modern 21st century folk artists.

>> Bio by Bob Moore (aka ClemofNazareth) <<

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A Rare ConundrumA Rare Conundrum
Remastered
Emd Int'L 2009
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Santa Barbara HoneymoonSanta Barbara Honeymoon
Remastered
Emd Int'L 2009
$5.11
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L.A. Turnaround [Enhanced] [Remastered]L.A. Turnaround [Enhanced] [Remastered]
Remastered
Emd Int'L 2009
$4.75
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A Man I'd Rather Be Part 2A Man I'd Rather Be Part 2
Earth Recordings 2018
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Live at the 12 BarLive at the 12 Bar
Earth Recordings 2015
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From The OutsideFrom The Outside
Earth Recordings 2016
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A Man I'd Rather Be (part I)A Man I'd Rather Be (part I)
Earth Recordings 2018
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Best of Bert JanschBest of Bert Jansch
Shanchie Records 1992
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Rosemary LaneRosemary Lane
Sanctuary 2016
$7.40
$8.66 (used)
Birthday BluesBirthday Blues
Sanctuary 2016
$8.03
$11.25 (used)
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BERT JANSCH discography


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

BERT JANSCH top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.26 | 13 ratings
Bert Jansch
1965
4.05 | 3 ratings
It Don't Bother Me
1965
3.67 | 8 ratings
Jack Orion
1966
4.85 | 6 ratings
Bert Jansch & John Renbourn: Bert And John [Aka: Stepping Stones]
1966
3.23 | 4 ratings
Nicola
1967
3.17 | 3 ratings
Birthday Blues
1969
4.27 | 9 ratings
Rosemary Lane
1971
4.00 | 5 ratings
Moonshine
1973
4.00 | 4 ratings
L.A. Turnaround
1974
2.31 | 4 ratings
Santa Barbara Honeymoon
1975
5.00 | 1 ratings
Poor Mouth
1976
3.50 | 2 ratings
A Rare Conundrum
1977
4.34 | 15 ratings
Bert Jansch & Martin Jenkins: Avocet
1978
4.50 | 2 ratings
Bert Jansch Conundrum: Thirteen Down
1980
4.09 | 2 ratings
Heartbreak
1982
4.09 | 2 ratings
From The Outside
1985
0.00 | 0 ratings
Bert Jansch & Rod Clements: Leather Launderette
1988
0.00 | 0 ratings
Sketches
1990
4.50 | 2 ratings
The Ornament Tree
1990
2.27 | 2 ratings
When The Circus Comes To Town
1995
4.09 | 2 ratings
Toy Balloon
1998
3.17 | 3 ratings
Crimson Moon
2000
5.00 | 1 ratings
Edge Of A Dream
2002
4.08 | 4 ratings
The Black Swan
2006

BERT JANSCH Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Live at La Foret (w/ Martin Jenkins)
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
BBC Radio One Live in Concert
1993
4.00 | 1 ratings
Live at the 12 Bar: An Authorised Bootleg
1996
0.00 | 0 ratings
Young Man's Blues - Live In Glasgow 1962-1964
1998
4.00 | 1 ratings
Downunder: Live in Australia
2001
4.00 | 1 ratings
The River Sessions
2004
0.00 | 0 ratings
Fresh as a Sweet Sunday Morning
2007
0.00 | 0 ratings
An Acoustic Hour With Bert Jansch
2010
4.00 | 1 ratings
Sweet Sweet Music
2012

BERT JANSCH Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Fresh As a Sweet Sunday Morning
2007

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Lucky Thirteen
1966
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Bert Jansch Sampler
1969
0.00 | 0 ratings
Box of Love: The Bert Jansch Sampler Vol. 2
1972
0.00 | 0 ratings
Bert Jansch
1973
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Guitar of Bert Jansch
1977
0.00 | 0 ratings
Anthology
1978
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Best of Bert Jansch
1980
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Gardener: Essential Bert Jansch 1965 - 1971
1992
0.00 | 0 ratings
After the Dance (w/ John Renbourn)
1992
0.00 | 0 ratings
Three Chord Trick
1993
0.00 | 0 ratings
The Collection
1995
0.00 | 0 ratings
Blackwater Side
1998
0.00 | 0 ratings
An Introduction to Bert Jansch
2001
0.00 | 0 ratings
Dazzling Stranger
2002
0.00 | 0 ratings
Legend: the Classic Recordings
2003
0.00 | 0 ratings
Running From Home: An Introduction to Bert Jansch
2005
3.00 | 1 ratings
The Essential Bert Jansch
2009
0.00 | 0 ratings
Angie: The Collection
2011

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

0.00 | 0 ratings
Needle of Death
1966

BERT JANSCH Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Jack Orion by JANSCH, BERT album cover Studio Album, 1966
3.67 | 8 ratings

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Jack Orion
Bert Jansch Prog Related

Review by SteveG

4 stars The third part of the archetype for the sound of future folk rock band The Pentangle, along with John Renbourn's Another Monday and the Jansch/Renbourn collaboration tilted Bert & John. The solo Jansch album Jack Orion, to me, may be the least accessible but the most important. By this time Bert Jansch hit upon adding musical accompaniment to traditional British folk songs using alternate guitar tunings such as DADGAD to create droning pseudo Celtic musical atmospheres. Employing his future Pentangle band mate John Renbourn to supplement his singing and playing on songs like 'Pretty Polly', 'The Wagoner's Lad', 'Henry Martin', and the stunning 9 minute long title track. Indeed, 'Jack Orion' may seem like a song with overlong verbiage but it is a long detailed Shakespearian-like drama that rewards close listening as the lyrics deal with deceit, betrayal, revenge, murder and suicide. All the key musical and lyrical elements that would soon find its way into the Pentangle's sound and make the band so great and so unique. Other album highlights include an acoustic reading of Ewan MacColl's 'The First Time Ever I saw Your Face' and Jansch's seminal adaption of the evergreen traditional song 'Blackwater Side'. 4 stars.
 It Don't Bother Me by JANSCH, BERT album cover Studio Album, 1965
4.05 | 3 ratings

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It Don't Bother Me
Bert Jansch Prog Related

Review by SteveG

3 stars If an album could be described as suffering the dreaded 'sophomore blues' its this follow up album to Bert Jansch's legendary debut. Sporting better production values but not better material, It Don't Bother Me seems a rushed affair and probably was at the time it was recorded and released. After all, who knew that Jansch's eponymous debut would be so popular in the British folk circles of the mid 1960s. Songs that stand out on It Don't Bother Me are 'Anti Apartheid', 'Harvest Your Thoughts Of Love' and the album's dark and moody title track. John Renbourn guests on the wonderful instrumental 'Lucky Thirteen' while Jansch does a solo on the cyclical sounding instrumental titled 'The Wheel'.

It Don't Bother Me is by no means a bad album, it just doesn't improve on Jansch's debut. That would come pass on Jansch's third solo offering coming up quickly titled Jack Orion and, off course, with the debut album of the Pentangle that followed close behind. 3 stars.

 Bert Jansch & John Renbourn: Bert And John [Aka: Stepping Stones] by JANSCH, BERT album cover Studio Album, 1966
4.85 | 6 ratings

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Bert Jansch & John Renbourn: Bert And John [Aka: Stepping Stones]
Bert Jansch Prog Related

Review by SteveG

5 stars Another wonderful and necessary record to accompany listening to the early Pentangle canon is this 'folk baroque' classic collaboration by Bert Jansch and John Renbourn that is a powerhouse recording of mostly titillating and jaw dropping instrumentals that runs the gamut of Arabic scales raga (East Wind) to psychic call and response playing on blues, jazz, Elizabethan styled songs (Piano Tune, Good Bye Pork Pie Hat, Orlando)and exciting self penned songs that show off the duo's virtuoso playing chops (Tic-Tocative, No Exit and Stepping Stones). The record also contains two songs that were sung numbers by Jansch, the dark and brooding 'Soho' and the Anne Briggs penned 'The Time Has Come'. 'Soho' is an instant classic while 'The Time Has Come' is less successful and would be reinterpreted by The Pentangle a few years later with greater success. Indeed, The Pentangle would also remake 'Pork Pie Hat' and 'No Exit' on their second album Sweet Child and comparing the development of these songs is part of the fun for Pentangle aficionados.

The Castle remaster sports the best sound ever heard for this recording and is, as usual, graced with detailed liner notes by noted Jansch biographer Colin Harper and also sports some never before seen pics of our heroes. If you've run out of early Pentangle albums to savor, then this disc is the place to fill that void. 5 Stars.

 Bert Jansch by JANSCH, BERT album cover Studio Album, 1965
4.26 | 13 ratings

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Bert Jansch
Bert Jansch Prog Related

Review by SteveG

5 stars Beyond the hype, music, sweet music.

It's easy to place Bert Jansch's and his Pentangle partner John Renbourn's early solo albums as a type of addendum to their Pentangle canon. A type of unofficial 'immersion' material, if you will, as many of the 'folk baroque' trademarks that the duo pioneered presage the trademark Pentangle sound as well as posting a crossover of solo songs onto later Pentangle albums where fans can track their development.

However, Jansch's first solo album, while being hailed as a British folk rock icon, goes well beyond that. To put it simply, beyond it's ground breaking fill of self penned songs and dexterous guitar instrumentals, the music and voice of the man soars to a height that Jansch rarely bettered in his entire recorded lifetime. That's mainly because Jansch was so well versed in this material, probably for years, before they were immortalized in black vinyl. When the album starts with the bucolic 'Strolling Down The Highway' not only is this beautiful song sung pitch perfect, but every slight and secondary guitar note was meticulously thought out and accompanies the song's dominant chords and melodies in a way that makes the music always sound so much more than just a man recorded with a single acoustic guitar. Jansch's oft celebrated song for a passed friend 'Needle of Death' with it's heart tugging lyric seems to have all the sweep and grandeur of an orchestra that simply isn't there. But Jansch makes you think it, feel it and believe it. And this, along with his definitive ligatos, pull offs, slurs, string pulls and all other tricks that are hard to define by his slight of playing hand , as on the Davy Graham instrumental standard 'Angi', not only made Jansch a musician's musician, it put him into a category of British folk artist that was heretofore unknown.

But again, aside form the accolades of Jansch's solo debut, it's the music that delivers more than 50 years since it was first recorded. And with that, it really deserves more accolades than just being an addendum to a folk rock super group. 4.5 stars rounded up 5.

 Rosemary Lane by JANSCH, BERT album cover Studio Album, 1971
4.27 | 9 ratings

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Rosemary Lane
Bert Jansch Prog Related

Review by Warthur
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Cutting against the grain of popular trends in folk music, whilst electric folk was at the high water mark of its fashion Bert Jansch put out this acoustic, classically-tinged album of much more traditional material, Captivatingly emotional, with an unabashedly romantic bent, there's a certain timelessness to the material here. With impeccable performance and production standards, and a complete independence from fashionable trends, the album sounds like it could have been made at any point in the last four or five decades - provided, of course, you had a Bert Jansch handy to pull off the heartfelt sincerity of the performance. Four stars sounds right.
 From The Outside by JANSCH, BERT album cover Studio Album, 1985
4.09 | 2 ratings

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From The Outside
Bert Jansch Prog Related

Review by SteveG

4 stars "Who are you gonna kill now? Please let me know. Is it a Arab or a Jew? Or a child on his way to school? Who are you gonna kill now? Cause I sure want to know. Who are you gonna kill now?"

Between the years 1983 to 1985, Bert Jansch was in the throes of alcohol addiction, was overweight and puffy, and looked far from the dashing troubadour figure that he cut in the late 1960's. He maintained a working relationship with the revamped Pentangle and, oddly, started writing some of the best songs of his career. Perhaps it was not so odd. If not a cry for help, Jansch at least starting barring his soul on a myriad of personal as well as social problems on these songs, with a few ending up on the excellent Pentangle album In The Round. The remainder, featuring only Jansch and his guitar (and just a banjo on one track) appeared on this odd little album from 1984(5?) titled From The Outside. It was originally a limited run of 500 that Jansch sold at his concert appearances.

Often referred to by fans as Jansch's "dark album", this collection of introspective and sometimes angry songs would be nothing less than his best for many, many years to come. There's no trad. folk on this album, but Jansch does elevate the mood with some folky reminiscing about roses and lost loves (Sweat Rose and Still Love Her Now That She's Gone), before he tells everyone to get angry and "shout to stop the bomb" on the track simply titled Shout. Penultimate song I Sure want To Know (available on the latest CD reissue with bonus tracks) features the lyrics stated in the opening of this review and are self explanatory, as well as being a terrifically catchy song.

Jansch would go on to recover from his alcoholism a short time after this album was released but, oddly, he would never write songs as good as these again. Perhaps that's not so odd. This album is currently available from Earth on both CD and Vinyl in 2016 with the Castle CD track listing and bonus tracks.

 Crimson Moon by JANSCH, BERT album cover Studio Album, 2000
3.17 | 3 ratings

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Crimson Moon
Bert Jansch Prog Related

Review by SteveG

3 stars The first of the "appreciation of Bert Jansch by younger fans" albums, Crimson Moon, recorded at Bert's new digital home recording studio in 2000, is a warm, mellow, and extremely atmospheric album that conjures up images of Scotland (Caledonia), lovelorn ex lovers (Crimson Moon and Looking for Love) and a few good old tales of murder (the traditional song Omie Wise). There's even a rare comment from Bert about the ecology on the song Neptune's Daughter, about a mermaid-like woman who relates the tales of her dead relatives that were killed by a black plague (an oil slick that poisons their ocean.)

What makes Crimson Moon different from other later era Jansch albums is the more liberal use of electric guitar played by Jansch himself along with guests like Johnny Hodge and Bernard Butler. There's no "shred fests" going on here, but it is a welcome change from Jansch's amazing run of acoustic guitar based albums up until this point. The electrics help to add mood and texture to the ever present acoustics. As others have stated, Jansch has nothing more to prove in regard to his guitar playing skills, but has focused on his songwriting, which has always been his strong suit when he's been inspired. And it seems that the appreciation of younger artists like Johnny Marr and Beth Orton has done just that with his compositions on Crimson Moon. Not an essential for Jansch fans, but Crimson Moon is quite an enjoyable and easy listen. 3 stars.

 Bert Jansch & Martin Jenkins: Avocet by JANSCH, BERT album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.34 | 15 ratings

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Bert Jansch & Martin Jenkins: Avocet
Bert Jansch Prog Related

Review by Matti
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The listeners of classic British folk-rock remember guitarist Bert Jansch as a key member of PENTANGLE (which, by the way, I consider musically more competent than Fairport Convention or Steeleye Span). Jansch was a respected musician already before that band, and has expanded his solo output for decades. This well received instrumental album from 1978 was recently re- released by Earth Records. All ornithologists will be delighted by the colour drawings and Latin names of the birds that gave their names for the tracks. Als the album cover is new, with more linear graphics.

The title composition that fills an entire vinyl side (17:59) is the obvious main dish, magnum opus. It's a harmonic, beautiful, very naturally flowing Folk Prog piece. Notice that the whole album is percussionless. There really is no need for them, as the trio -- the composer Bert Jansch on guitars and piano, Martin Jenkins on mandocello (!?), violin and flute, and the mighty, unmistakable Danny Thompson on jazz-rooted bass -- use their Instruments to create dynamic, organic and absolutely pure & honest music that breathes like nature itself.

The five shorter tracks aren't bad either, if not as impressive. 'Lapwing' is a brief, piano centred tune in minor key. 'Bittern' (7:49) has the richest arrangement of these, highlighting a tasty combination of acoustic and electric guitars. 'Kingfisher' with its guitar tapping and violin has a "swampy" atmosphere, and the violin takes even bigger role on 'Osprey'. 'Kittiwake' (the drawing reveals that the bird belongs to the seagull family) ends the album in a light-hearted manner.

This was my first acquaintance to Bert Jansch's solo vast discography, but I'm interested to find some more, both instrumental and vocal music. Listen to this music with an open mind and you'll enjoy its natural beauty even if it at first may appear as slightly boring. But despite acknowledging the high musical quality, my real subjective rating is only 3˝ stars, since in the end there wasn't very much emotions involved in the listening.

 Bert Jansch & Martin Jenkins: Avocet by JANSCH, BERT album cover Studio Album, 1978
4.34 | 15 ratings

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Bert Jansch & Martin Jenkins: Avocet
Bert Jansch Prog Related

Review by GKR

5 stars I've always been a regular listener of early Bert Jansch - especially Nicola, Birthday Blues and Rosemary Lane. Already in the first seconds of Avocet, I knew this was a whole different album.

The violin, cello an the flute in the great first track (a whole epic of 17min in 1978!) gave a breath to Bert's guitar that was never present in his early albums. Celtic folksy atmosphere is also news - and a good one, certainly. The distorted guitar (is that right?) in the second song also shows Bert going places with his chords wuthout really moving too much. He repeat formulas that were succeded in early albums with a different approach. Almost minimalistic revolutionarie changes (is THAT right?). Even when Bert do a more basic base to the violin and cello solo, the instruments are married as I would never dream... I guess I have a new favourite Bert Janch album.

So... 4,5 stars rounded to 5? Yeah, I guess thats it.

 L.A. Turnaround by JANSCH, BERT album cover Studio Album, 1974
4.00 | 4 ratings

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L.A. Turnaround
Bert Jansch Prog Related

Review by SteveG

4 stars L.A. Turnaround from 1974 was supposed to be the album that turned Bert Jansch's career around after the dissolution of The Pentangle one year earlier. Sadly, it was not, but not due to a lack of trying.

Signed to Charisma by the eccentric Tony Stratton Smith, Jansch finally felt free to shake off the chains that he perceived had creatively bound him up at his tenure with the Pentangle. Where Pentangle co-founder John Renbourn found strength in group numbers, Jansch found himself increasingly marginalized and frustrated.

Both Smith and Jansch had a shared vision of casting Jansch as one of the then popular west coast singer songwriters, and Jansch was armed with an array of beautiful songs and a couple of stellar instrumentals to set off on his new journey. Smith employed ex Monkey Mike Nesmith as producer, which is not as far fetched as it sounds, as Nesmith was an accomplished folk songwriter that had penned the sixties Linda Ronstadt/Stone Ponies hit Different Drum and knew his way around L.A. recording studios and session men.

As LA Turnaround was out of print for some 25 years before reappearing on CD in 2009, there has been much mythologizing about the initial recording events in the UK of Jansch, Nesmith, and Nesmith's pal, L. A. session pedal steer guitar great O.J. 'Red" Rhodes, who was the American counterpart to British pedal steel great B.J. Cole.

The first cut on the CD remaster is Jansch's concert staple Fresh As A Sweet Sunday Morning, which is beautifully enhanced by Rhodes subtle pedal steel and some deft accompaniment by famous Beatles' friend, and a session great himself, Klaus Voorman on bass. Jancsh's voice is perfect for this relaxed tune and doesn't sound strained, which would carryover through every vocal song on the album.

Immediately following is Jansch's seminal instrumental Chambertin, which is a solo Jansch acoustic guitar clinic deftly demonstrating his long fascination with intricate rhythmic 'circular' guitar chords interjected with his trademark string snaps, bends and pops, which still has people, who don't know better, arguing if its really two guitars playing or just one.

The bittersweet One For Jo follows with Jansch giving advise to a female friend to embrace her dreamer of a husband as its a wonderful quality as far as Jansch is concerned. Sound advice? Perhaps not, but it is beautifully presented solo by Jansch.

Traveling Man and Stone Monkey continues Jansch's great songwriting blitz with clever words to go along with these cleaver melodies.

An unremarkable cover of one of his debut album's seminal songs Needle Of Death lacks the urgency and hurt in Jansch's vocals but his wonderful retelling of John Renbourn's pseudo Elizabethan instrumental Lady Nothing is a stunning follow up and restores the mood of the album.

The bonus tracks offer a look at some alternate album takes and the darker jazz piano inflicted version of The Blacksmith would have been a better album closer then it's more upbeat original, as it returns Jansch to his better known darker musical and lyrical visions. Se le vie.

In Britain, L.A. Turnaround should have been received as Bert Jansch's Harvest, but perhaps because the singer songwriter movement was wanning in 1974, coupled with the fact that Charisma was never known for it's marketing abilities, probably stymied the album's initial reception. But L.A. Turnaround is a high water mark in the Bert Jansch canon that he would seldom top, except for his unexpected and little known masterpiece released in 1978 title Avocet.

Thanks to ClemofNazareth for the artist addition. and to Quinino for the last updates

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