John Tams wrote Ragged Heroes in the tradition of “calling-on” songs to open the Albion Band's album Rise Up Like the Sun (1978), which got its title from the chorus of this song. Tams developed it from an earlier composition, Tinker Tailor. He also sang lead vocals; Martin Carthy and Andy Fairweather-Low joined in for backing vocals. This recording has also been published as B-side of the Albion Band's EMI/Harvest single Poor Old Horse.
A live version recorded in between 1972 and 1980 can be found on the Albion Band's Talking Elephant CD released in 2010, Vintage II: On the Road 1972-1980.
The next-generation Albion Band sang Ragged Heroes in 2011 on their EP Fighting Room.
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