Archive for the 'Favourite Topic Albums' Category

The Willett Family

John Kirkpatrick

The Willett Family - The Roving Journeymen

Topic’s role has always been, I think, to document the folk music of the British Isles. It has been spectacularly wonderful at doing that. Those Folk Songs of Britain LPs and more recently the Voice of The People series are a fantastic treasure trove… and do a wonderful job of presenting traditional music. I think that’s Topic’s main strength really.
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Ewan MacColl

Richard Thompson

Ewan MacColl - BalladsI first heard Ewan on the Radio Ballads, and from there became aware of him as a songwriter. At a time when much of our popular and folk music was imported, it was essential to have a great writer of our own, connected to the tradition and extending it with contemporary themes. He wrote some truly magnificent songs, and it is good to hear them again, reassess them, and keep them in the collective mind, thanks to Three Score & Ten.

Topic’s is one of the great achievements of the recording age, and few labels can have had such an effect on their culture. Three Score & Ten is one of the greatest documents of social history that we have in this country.


Jim Causley

Waterson:Carthy - A Dark LightThere are so many wonderful albums released by Topic, which have influenced my music beyond measure. For example I simply cannot imagine a world without The Voice of the People collection. It is an incredible resource to all traditional song enthusiasts. But the album which really sticks in my head as an important milestone is A Dark Light by Waterson:Carthy.
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The McPeake Family

– Alex Neilson: Trembling Bells

The McPeake Family of Belfast, Northern Ireland, possess that unique, deeply melodic musical synergy that is the finger print of other great folk performing families (The Watersons, Copper Family, Clancy Brothers) but haven’t enjoyed quite the same general acclaim. Although they have infiltrated the popular consciousness by more insidious means, namely, by introducing the coniferous classic Wild Mountain Thyme into the repertoire of performers as diverse as Bob Dylan, Runrig and innumerable, anonymous open mic singers across the world. Continue reading ‘The McPeake Family’

Ramblin’ Jack Elliott

– Alan Levermore: Label Manager, Proper Music Distribution

By 1960 Rock ‘N’ Roll had lost its edge and, as a 16 year old, I was looking for something new to keep the excitement of music alive. I had found Hank Williams, Merle Travis and Jimmie Rodgers when a friend introduced me to the songs of Woody Gruthie.  Over the next couple of years I’d become a beatnik, was involved in civil rights, CND and, inspired by Woody, hitting the highways! Well, hitch hiking to Hastings and Brighton actually…
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Tim van Eyken

– Steve Kersley: MD, Proper Music Distribution

Tim van Eyken - Stiffs Lovers Holymen Thieves

Amidst what will no doubt be called the folk boom of the last few years a number of new, younger artists have made their mark: Seth Lakeman, Kate Rusby, Cara Dillon, Karine Polwart etc.

Criminally overlooked and so close to joining that group was Tim van Eyken whose 2006 Topic debut Stiffs Lovers Holymen Thieves remains, to my mind, one of the best folk albums of the last 10 years.
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Some of Topic’s finest albums

A bunch of Topic Record covers