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Blow the Man Down: A Collection Of Sea Songs & Shanties
Various Artists
Blow the Man Down: A Collection Of Sea Songs & Shanties
Genres: Folk, World Music, Special Interest, Pop
  •  Track Listings (24) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Various Artists
Title: Blow the Man Down: A Collection Of Sea Songs & Shanties
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Topic Records
Release Date: 2/6/1997
Genres: Folk, World Music, Special Interest, Pop
Styles: Traditional Folk, British & Celtic Folk, Celtic, Europe, British Isles, By Decade, 1960s
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 5016272464025, 182783259292

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CD Reviews

Authentic and beautiful
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I'd been looking for a collection of shanties for some time. I took a chance on this one and it paid off. A re-release from the 60's, the interpretations (by many shining stars of that English folk-performer generation) are true to the spirit of the tradition and, a bonus, the cd includes a couple authentic performances by former sailors. A highly recommended contemporary introduction to an ancient tradition."
It doesn't get any better than this!
mattgb1 | New York City | 07/09/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What a great collection of the best chanteys, sung by the true giants: Louis Killen, Ewan McColl, Cyril Tawney, the Watersons and more! Includes rare recordings of some nearly fogotten gems, as well as little-known versions of well-known favorites. A must-have for any serious chantey lover."
Very good collection with many different voices
B. Marold | Bethlehem, PA United States | 08/14/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Sea chanties may be the purist and richest form of work song extant today and there are a large number of CDs of performances of this very traditional kind of song. Four of the very best are:

`Blow the Man Down' by eleven different voices, one of which is a group, The Watersons.
`Blow Boys Blow' sung by Ewan MacColl & A. L. Lloyd
`Sailors, Ships, and Chanteys' by Louis Killen
`Blow the Winds in the Morning' choral interpretations directed by John Langstaff

The best thing about this selection is that in spite of the great similarity in the names of the albums, there is practically no overlap in selections. There is some difference in style among the four, as chanteys may be performed with a solo voice, a chorus, or alternating between a solo voice and chorus.

The last of these three styles is probably the most traditional, as it is closest in realization to how chanties were actually used, as a means of coordinating the efforts of a large number of men contributing their muscle power to a single task such as raising an anchor or raising or lowering a large sail boom.

The first of these four CDs is a mix of all styles. The second is primarily solos by the two principle artists. The third is a combination of solos and responsive singing, the chorus being supplied by a group playfully named `The Out-of-Shape Chanteymen' The fourth is largely choral interpretations.

As appropriate to what one would find on a wind powered ship, the instrumental accompanyment is typically no more than a banjo, guitar, mandoline, or concertina. It's interesting that the harmonica does not play a larger part in chanty accompaniments, but it strikes me that this would detract from the overriding importance of the voice in joining in with the chorus. Similarly, there is no hornpipe, let alone bagpipes heard on any of these recordings.

If I were to recommend any one of these albums, it would be the third, since Master Killen has the finest tenor voice among all the performers. It also strikes me that his selection of songs is just a bit more fun than the others. The CD with the most rustic performances is `Blow the Man Down' with a lot of really crusty solos by Killen, Ewan Maccoll, Cyril Tawney, The Waterssons, Sam Larner, Ian Campbell, Bob Davenport, Bob Roberts, Harry H. Corbett, Bob Hart, and A. L. Lloyd.

All these albums are satisfying to anyone with a yen for sea songs.