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Bert Jansch's freewheeling fifth album, Birthday Blues, occupies a unique place in his solo discography. Released in 1969, the same year Basket of Light propelled Pentangle into the UK pop charts, Birthday Blues almost sounds like a Pentangle LP missing John Renbourn and Jacqui McShee. Backed-up by bandmates Danny Thompson and Terry Cox, Jansch neither holds back his characteristic moodiness nor takes himself too seriously.
What's more, Jansch is in love. Heather Rosemary Sewell isn't just the inspiration for one of the song titles; she also designed the cover, whose Hans Feurer front photo shows Bert holding the couple's puppy. With just enough of a Donovan-esque pop sense, Pentangle producer Shel Talmy keeps the overall feel of these recordings fresh, warm and immediate.
As its playfully ambivalent title suggests, Birthday Blues reveals an artist fully comfortable in his own skin. Blues and folk influences are woven together into songs at once directly personal, yet generously light and free. The most "pop" of Jansch's '60s solo recordings and perhaps one of his most underrated, Birthday Blues is a deep and rewarding family affair at the height of his musical powers.
This vinyl release has been carefully remastered from the original master tapes and features liner notes by Richie Unterberger.
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*SEALED* Jacket still sealed in shrink original wrap; disc sold ungraded or "as is."
NM (Near Mint) Appears unplayed and will bear no marks, sleeve scuffs, or scratches.
EX+ (Excellent) May have one or two visible imperfections (i.e. sleeve scuffs, faint scratches, or other superficial marks) that will not affect playback.
VG+ (Very Good+) A few visible imperfections. These may include sleeve scuffs, light scratches, or other superficial marks.
VG (Very Good) Similar imperfections found on VG+ records but in slightly greater numbers. Records graded VG and above will typically not have any scratches that are deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
VG- (Very Good-) A number of visible imperfections; the presence of a considerable number of light scratches will force a VG- grade, as will the presence of significant isolated defects such as scratches deep enough to be felt with a fingernail.
G (Good) Record can be played without skipping, but will have significant surface noise, scratches, and visible groove wear. G+ and G- are used to indicate stronger and weaker copies within this range.
*SW/DNAP* Slight warp, does not affect playback
*QUAD* Quadraphonic Sound, similar to today’s surround sound
All records are visually graded by our experienced staff, using a bright lamp and an Audio-Technica ATLP-120 turntable.