Although bands like Fairport Convention and Steeleye Span had some success penetrating into the mainstream of British pop, it was Lindisfarne, led by singer Alan Hull, that had the greatest chart success, not just in the UK, but also in the United States, where one of their songs (barely, briefly) cracked into the Top 40. Lindisfarne came onto the public stage at just the right moment: the Beatles had just broken up and there was a void on the British charts, and although they played clompy, trad-inspired folk-rock, the Lindisfarne band was never as artsy or erudite as the other Brit-folkers, more willing to embrace a simple pop melody and drape it in a pub-rock rhythm. Admittedly, there is a Spinal Tap-ish tone to their career, but also some fun, lovely music in there as well... Here's a quick look at some of the band's music Lindisfarne Gospels
Lindisfarne "Nicely Out Of Tune" (Elektra, 1970)
Lindisfarne "Fog On The Tyne" (Elektra, 1971)
This English folk-rock act, featuring the late singer-songwriter Alan Hull, was one of the big pop successes in the post-Beatles, progadelic era of the early 1970s. This was their second album, and their biggest commerical hits, improbably cracking into the British Top Ten based on the strength of the bouncy single that lent the album its title. Not really that "trad," for the most part this album is a dreamy, drifty acoustic psych-folk exploration, much along the lines of the Incredible String Band, or the early albums by the Dransfield Brothers. Often the lyrics are embarassingly hippie-dippy, yet the album will grow on you, particularly the hit, "Fog On The Tyne," which is the kind of tune that sticks in your mind for hours if you hear it play just before you walk out the door to run errands. A goofy, but unassuming and sweetly naive acoustic prog album... worth checking out!
Lindisfarne "Dingly Dell" (Elektra, 1972)
Lindisfarne "Live" (Elektra, 1973)
Lindisfarne "Roll On Ruby" (Elektra, 1973)
Lindisfarne "Happy Daze" (Elektra, 1974)
Lindisfarne "Finest Hour" (Charisma, 1975)
Well, geez... If this was their finest hour, then how come this is the only one of their LPs still not reissued on CD or MP3 as of 2009? Just wondering.
Lindisfarne "Back And Fourth" (Elektra, 1978)
Their first album after the band reformed in '78.
Lindisfarne "The News" (Elektra, 1979)
Lindisfarne "Sleepless Nights" (Elektra, 1982)
Lindisfarne "Dance Your Life Away" (Elektra, 1986)
Lindisfarne "Amigos" (Elektra, 1989)
Lindisfarne "Lindisfarntastic" (LMP, 1983)
Lindisfarne "Lindisfarntastic 2" (LMP, 1984)
Lindisfarne "Elvis Lives On The Moon" (1993)
Lindisfarne "Blues From The Bothy" (EP) (1997)
Lindisfarne "We Can Swing Together -- The BBC Concerts: 1971" (Pilot/New Millennium, 1998)
...but we probably won't. No, but seriously... This CD, which collects two 1971 concert performances hosted by the late, legendary Beeb deejay John Peel, provides an excellent snapshot of a newly-broken band still on its ascendant climb in the British charts. As the band glides through melodicized bar-band blues, cheerfully clompy folk-rock and harder, louder material as well, their versatility and tight performances are impressive, especially coming on the heels of the most excessive years hippie-era rock. You can kinda get why they were being touted as a band that could credibly fill the vaccuum left by the dissolution of the Beatles, although it has to be said that after a dozen or so songs, they outstay their welcome a bit. But if you wanted to check Lindsfarne out, I would say that this disc, even more than their famous debut, gives a great sense of the excitement they generated, and of their energy and talent. It's good stuff!
Lindisfarne "City Songs" (BBC/New Millennium, 1998)
Similar to the We Can Swing Together album, this collects three BBC appearances (one with John Peel, two with Bob Harris) and a short, live concert set, all recorded in 1971-72, when Lindisfarne were at the top of their game. An acoustic, folkie, mandolin-a-licious, Fairport Convention-y vibe predominates, although they were also clearly rockers as well... At any rate, this is a the sound of a skilled, lively and enthusiastic band, and while there are elements that clearly date the material, it still holds up pretty well. Worth checking out!
Lindisfarne "Here Comes The Neighborhood" (Park, 1999)
A nice album, with a soft, roots-rock/Americana feel. In the wake of Alan Hull's passing, guitarist Rod Clements wrote or co-wrote most of the songs, but he stays in the background while Billy Mitchell, Marty Craggs and Ray Laidlaw split up the vocal chores. This disc doesn't have the same mystery or flair as their old, classic stuff, but it's certainly no discredit to the band... It's a pretty solid album, all things considered; several songs are quite nice.
Lindisfarne "Untapped And Acoustic" (Park Records, 1999)
Lindisfarne "Promenade" (Park Records, 2002)
Lindisfarne "Magic In The Air & Caught Live In The Act" (River, 2002)
Lindisfarne "The River Sessions" (River, 2004)
A 2-CD set with live tracks from 1976, '78 and '82, including some acoustic stuff from Alan Hull.
Lindisfarne "Peel Sessions" (Dutch East Indies, 1988)
A 4-song EP of live performances on the BBC. One suspects that this is good, but that these tracks can also be found elsewhere on more generously programmed discs.
Lindisfarne "The Best Of Lindisfarne" (Disky, 1989)
Lindisfarne "Buried Treasures, v.1" (LMP, 1992)
Lindisfarne "Buried Treasures, v.2" (LMP, 1992)
Lindisfarne "BT3" (2000)
That would, ahem, be "Buried Treasures, Volume 3." Uh, okay. Sure.
Lindisfarne "On Tap" (Castle, 1995)
Lindisfarne "Run For Home: Lindisfarne Collected" (Music Club, 1998)
Lindisfarne "Anthology: Road To Kingdom Come" (2000)
2-CD set -- one disc of older material, the other with stuff that's more recent.
Lindisfarne "The Very Best Of Lindisfarne" (Caroline, 2004)
Lindisfarne "Meet Me On The Corner: The Anthology" (Sanctuary, 2006)
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