Sweet Child, released in 1968, at the peak of Pentangle's career, is probably the most representative of their work. A sprawling two-record set, half recorded in the studio and half live at the Royal Festival Hall, showcases just how versatile Pentangle was in their unique brand of English folk, jazz, Celtic, blues, and pop styles. Some of the live covers are easily their finest performances. Furry Lewis' "Turn Your Money Green," sung by the delightful Jacqui McShee, swings sweetly, buttressed of course by John Renbourn and Bert Jansch's guitar tapestry. Charlie Mingus' "Haitian Flight Song" features a great solo by bassist Danny Thompson, who was easily one of the finest musicians to grace the instrument. The studio tracks are uniformly excellent as well, especially "The Time Has Come," which turns waltz time inside out. McShee, Renbourn, and Jansch all turn in career performances on this track. But these examples merely scratch the surface of Pentangle's peak. In all, Sweet Child is an awesome and delightful collection, and probably their finest hour.
Although Sweet Child is usually cited as the group's high-water mark, Basket of Light finds them at their most progressive and exciting. Highlights of this album – which actually reached the Top Five in the U.K. – include the buzzing jazz dynamics of "Light Flight," their moving rendition of the traditional folk song "Once I Had a Sweetheart," their reinvention of the girl group smash "Sally Go Round the Roses," and "Springtime Promises," one of their finest original tunes.
Solomon's Seal was an album recorded in 1972 by folk-rock band Pentangle. It was the last album recorded by the original line-up, before the band split in 1973. Jacqui McShee has stated that it is her favourite Pentangle album. The album title refers to the Seal of Solomon - a mythical signet ring with magical powers, sometimes associated with the pentagram symbol adopted by Pentangle.
Remastered reissue of the British folk-rock act's 1968 debut album. Divided between traditional and original material, highlights included their arrangement of 'Bruton Town' and the seven-minute instrumental laden 'Pentangling'. This CD also features 7 bonus tracks 'Koan' (alt. version), 'The Wheel' (alt. version), 'The Casbah' (alt. Version), 'Bruton Town' (edit 1/5/3), 'Hear My Call' (alt. Version), 'Way Behind The Sun' (alt version) & 'Way Behind The Sun' (Instrumental).
A 14-song, 63-minute collection (originally a double LP) comprising many of the highlights (but no "Light Flight") of the original group's history from 1968 through 1972. The notes are minimal, and there are no original release dates or any identification of the albums (The Pentangle, Sweet Child, Basket of Light, Cruel Sister, etc.) whence this material originated. The latter are the only flaws in what is otherwise a fine if not completely comprehensive cross-section of the group's work, showcasing their many and varied sides – Bert Jansch's, Danny Thompson's, and Terry Cox's jazz leanings in "Train Song," John Renbourn's more traditional approach in "Let No Man Steal Your Thyme," their forays into medieval music ("Lyke-Wake Dirge") and progressive folk ("House Carpenter," "Bruton Town"), etc., much of it projected by Jacqui McShee's clear, soaring vocals. The CD also highlights their early records' effective use of stereo as a format for their contrasting technique, especially among the guitars and the rhythm section.
Sanctuary's mammoth triple-disc Pentangle overview poses a bit of a dilemma. First of all, it's called Pentangling, which is already the name of a 1973 compilation, and secondly, while not deliberately misleading, it focuses more attention on the solo careers of John Renbourn and Bert Jansch than it does on the entity that supplies the collection's title. Despite these petty gripes, Pentangling is filled to the brim with some of the finest recordings the British folk movement had to offer, and hearing the group as a whole, followed by an entire disc – one apiece – of two of the genre's most gifted guitarists, is rewarding in more ways than one: both men, as well as the band, released material well into the 21st century, but Pentangling focuses only on their treasured late-'60s/early-'70s output. Listeners looking for a more comprehensive take on Pentangle would be better off with Castle's excellent Light Flight: The Anthology, and Renbourn and Jansch both have lovingly packaged retrospectives that fare better than the ones offered here, but as far as entry points go, Pentangling does more than skim the surface.
Pentangle were always great at creating musical fusions, and on this album, they once again came through. The opening song, "Wedding Dress," is a fabulous meeting of Celtic, country, and, believe it or not, funk. It's one of the few songs of theirs that actually rocks. The rest of the record is classic Pentangle, with Bert Jansch's and John Renbourn's acoustic guitars intermingling so well that it would make even Neil Young and Stephen Stills a little envious. Jacqui McShee, as usual, has some exquisite vocal moments, namely the previously mentioned "Wedding Dress" and an excellent reading of "Will the Circle Be Unbroken." This track shows how the group was further exploring new musical ground, this time with traditional American folk/gospel. The group's rhythm section of Danny Thompson (upright bass/cello) and Terry Cox (percussion) – easily one of the most inventive on the planet – shines on every cut, creating solid ground for Renbourn, McShee, and Jansch to do their high-wire act on vocals and guitar. One of their finest all-around albums.