Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Five Stars for the History, Zero for the Sound Quality!
Dr. Christopher Coleman | HONG KONG | 01/04/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Blaze of Day is a compilation of speeches, reminiscences and songs from the Women's Sufferage Movement; most of the speeches come from Britain but at least one comes from the United States and one from France. That this material exists at all is remarkable, given that some of it dates from the very beginning of sound recording. But recording techniques have improved so substantially in the 90 years that have passed since the first recording on this CD that I cannot understand why it has been rereleased with such poor quality. There's a sense that you're listening to the original LP, or even wax cylinder, but when the words can barely be understood, I doubt that sense is worth preserving. I want to hear the songs and words, not the hiss and pops and clicks; with digital editing techniques this is entirely possible.
Now to the content. There are three reminiscences by suffragettes recorded in 1965, six original speeches dating between 1908-1933 (one short speech in French); seven songs; and one instrumental overture (to the opera The Wreckers, by Dame Ethel Smyth--included not because it has a suffragette theme, it hasn't; but because Dame Smyth composed The Battle Hymn of the Women, the anthem of the suffragette movement in Britain. The producers chose not to include that piece because "no contemporary record was made of it.") The speeches, what one can make of them given the poor quality, are as one would expect--intense conviction, devotion to their cause, rational and reasonable and not at all the fire and destruction we've since come to associate with large scale political change. The song selection is quite peculiar, as all but one are sung by men and are parodies of the movement. Only "You Can't Blame the Suffragettes For That" sung by Jen Latona, casts the suffragettes in a positive light. The others range from the rather blandly patronising "That Ragtime Suffragette" to the outright insulting "Put Me on an Island (Where the Girls Are Few)". I suppose that more songs sympathetic to the movement were hard to find. All in all, a fascinating political document."