Colin H on Pentangle
This may turn out to be the longest Afterword feature there has been. There may be those who falter before the end… there may be others who can’t be bothered starting… I was unexpectedly at a loose end this evening and, somehow, digging up and posting this piece for the sake of making it available to anyone who may be interested came to mind. I’ll post the first tranche (about a quarter of it) now, and the rest in instalments over the next few days.
Here’s the context: In 1999 I wrote a book about Bert Jansch. In 2006 I was commissioned by Sanctuary Records to prepare a tracklist and annotate a box set on his 1967-73 band Pentangle. I created an essay for the set by drawing from, editing and finessing a large slab of text I’d researched and drafted circa 1990-91 on the band, with a book in mind, before becoming a professional writer for a time (1994-2001, and again from 2012). Some of that early 90s material had been adapted for use in the Jansch book, but in it I covered really only the beginning and end of the band. Somewhere between that 100,000 words of early 90s text and the 45,000-word box set note – that final version having been edited further by Bert’s wife Loren – was a polished but unpublished intermediate version, which I had hoped to find and present here. I can’t locate an electronic copy of it, however, so this is the as-published note to the 2007 ‘The Time Has Come’ box set, on the back of which the band reformed for a couple of years and played the shows that were recorded and (recently) released as the album ‘Finale’, on Topic. I didn’t see those shows and haven’t heard ‘Finale’, but I was asked to help with the 2017 Cherry Red box set ‘The Albums’ and brought what I could to it for the sake of posterity. Likewise, with ‘The Time Has Come’ set being out of print, here for the sake of it is a history of an interesting musical unit from an interesting time.
Part 1 follows in the comments.