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Walking on the Moon
Walking on the Moon
Mooncrest CREST 001 (LP, UK, 1991)
Shirley Collins & The Albion Country Band,
Tim Hart & Maddy Prior,
Chilli Willi & The Red Hot Peppers
- Steeleye Span: Fisherman’s Wife
From Hark! The Village Wait
- Ian Matthews: Sing Me Back Home
From Journeys From Gospel Oak
- Tim Moore: A Fool Like You
From Tim Moore
- Steeleye Span: Female Drummer
From Please to See the King
- Sandy Denny: The Last Thing on My Mind
From The Original Sandy Denny
- Tim Hart & Maddy Prior: The Dalesman’s Litany
From Folk Songs of Old England Vol. 1
- Shirley Collins & The Albion Country Band: Hal-An-Tow
From No Roses
- Tim Hart & Maddy Prior: False Knight on the Road
From Summer Solstice
- Tim Moore: Rock and Roll Love Letter
From Between the Eyes
- Chilli Willi & The Red Hot Peppers: Choo Choo Ch’Boogie
From Bongos Over Balham
- Tim Hart & Maddy Prior: The Bold Fisherman
From Folk Songs of Old England Vol. 2
- Steeleye Span: Skewball
From Ten Man Mop or Mr Reservoir Butler Rides Again
Mooncrest - not quite in the Vertigo or Harvest Class for collectors, but that’s probably because it wasn’t active for long in its first incarnation during the 1970’s and during a three year life seemed more concerned with quality than quantity of releases. There were about thirty albums bearing the label in those days, but the more obviously commercial acts like Atomic Rooster or Nazareth were visitors to Mooncrest rather than local residents. The albums still attached to Mooncrest will be of more interest to discerning ears - by accident or design, Mooncrest became the home of a number of respected artists, several of whom are still successfully active today.
Walking on the Moon is a sampler featuring tracks from a dozen of the albums which Mooncrest will be re-releasing in the future, the accent will be on quality rather than quantity, and a number of cult classic albums will be available on CD for the first time in Britain.
Most of the artists on this album are British, the exception being Tim Moore, an under-rated singer/songwriter from the 1970s, who is most famous for writing two big hit songs. Second Avenue (from Tim Moore) was an US Top 40 hit for Art Garfunkel in 1974, while Rock And Roll Love Letter (from Behind the Eyes) was an US Top 30 hit for the Bay City Rollers in 1976.
One of the acts here, Chilli Willi, were noted exponents of pub rock, and Bongos Over Balham was their most successful album. The band’s drummer is now a member of Elvis Costello’s Attractions and, of the others, one works in the music industry, one has disappeared, one is a book dealer and the last is deceased.
Most of the other artists on this album are filed under folk (accurately or otherwise), and three of them were once members of Fairport Convention. Ian Matthews, who later topped the chart with Woodstock as the leader of Matthews Southern Comfort, went on to make a continuing series of excellent solo albums, including Journeys From Gospel Oak. While Ian is alive and very well (and cooperating with this reissue programme), sadly Sandy Denny is also deceased, the victim of an accident. In 1990, she is revered, and the first UK CD release of The Original Sandy Denny, her very first album will certainly delight her many fans.
The key to everything else here is Ashley Hutchings, a founder member of Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span. The latter group’s first three albums were on Mooncrest, and Hark! The Village Wait, Please to See the King and Ten Man Mop are all now on CD for the first time in Britain, with new sleeve notes written after conversations with Hutchings. He was also responsible for producing No Roses, the Shirley Collins album which also features a who’s who of British folk/rock stars of the 1970s, such as Richard Thompson, Maddy Prior, Simon Nicol, etc. Completing this initial release are three albums by Tim Hart & Maddy Prior, co-founders of Steeleye Span with Hutchings. The two volumes of Folk Songs of Old England and Summer Solstice were all recorded during the 1960s [Not quite right; Summer Solstice was recorded 1971 -ed.], before the advent of Steeleye, of which Maddy Prior is still the focal point.
Walking on the Moon is a sampler of the delights soon to be available on the re-launched Mooncrest label. By the time this initial dozen releases are in the shops, we hope to have some more for you.
John Tobler (1991)