Carthy's debut album rates a place alongside the album by Bob Dylan, as the debut work of a man who ultimately revolutionized folk music performance in England (Carthy is mentioned as an influence on the notes to Dylan's Freewheelin' album). This is Carthy's purest and simplest folk effort, an all-acoustic recording done in barely an afternoon that includes his version of "Scarborough Fair," awhich Paul Simon learned from Carthy (including the chords and changes from Carthy's arrangement) and transformed into a hit of his own. Also here is "Two Magicians," a song that later entered the repertory Steeleye Span, and "Lovely Joan," a folk song that is most familiar to classical listeners as the source of the counter-melody to Ralph Vaughan Williams' "Fantasia on Greensleeves." The playing and the interpretations are somewhat less ambitious and rather rougher than subsequent efforts, with Dave Swarbrick guesting on fiddle on about half the tracks, and Carthy's guitar covering all but the acapella tracks.
Martin Carthy’s 1971 solo album tunnels further than its predecessors into contemporary song, coming up with memorable performances of Dave Goulder’s January Man John Kirkpatrick’s Dust To Dust and David Ackles’ His Name is Andrew.