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Thro' the Recent Years (A Fisher/B Dickson)

28 Feb 01 - 10:56 PM (#408517)
Subject: info req on Archie Fisher/B.Dickson disc
From: GUEST,John

I'm wondering if anyone, particularly UK mudcatters could give me some details regarding "Thro' the Recent Years" by Archie Fisher and Barbara Dickson. I'm curious as to the date of this album, and to the authorship of several songs on the disc. I've recently received a copy of it on cassette, but few details are given, aside from the fact that it came out on Decca. The production style is very "lush" and orchestrated. I'd put the album at about 1968 from the sounds of it. Its style is reminiscent of Gordon Lightfoot's "Did She Mention My Name", Phil Ochs'"Pleasures of the Harbour", L.Cohen's"Songs of Leonard Cohen", and the more sensitive Gerry Rafferty songs from The Humblebums. At least that's how it sounds to me. The track listing is as follows: "The January Man"-sung by Archie "You Like The Sun"-sung by Barbara Dickson "Morning"-sung by Archie "Tears of Rage"-sung by BD(this is the Dylan/Manuel composition from the 1968 album by The Band) "Friends and Lovers"-sung by Archie Fisher "Somebody Counts on Me"-sung by BD "The Frolicsome Alcoholic Mermaid"-sung by Archie "If I'd Stayed Around"-sung by Archie "Lullaby for Father"-sung by BD "I Am The Great Sun"-sung by BD(although Archie did this one in concert last October in Canada. He said it was a hymn from the Free Presbyterian Church[Wee Frees?], but I've read that it was adapted from some carvings on a crucifix in Normandy...) "First of the Few"-sung by Archie "Fiddler's Green"-sung by Archie(the Connolly penned song) "Together Forever"-sung by BD "Through the Recent Years"-sung by Archie

I wondered how this album was received when it came out. I asked Archie to list the albums he'd made, and he mentioned this one, and went on to say that folk had taken to calling it"Two Indecent Queers". It certainly sounded nothing like I'd expected in light of his work during the next decade. Anyhoo, I'd appreciate any insight into this album that you may be able to supply.



01 Mar 01 - 02:26 AM (#408631)
Subject: RE: info req on Archie Fisher/B.Dickson disc
From: Stewie

I don't have that album, but I have another collection of Barbara Dickson, 'Somebody Counts On Me, which gives some of the info you are after.

'Thro' The Recent Years' Decca LK/SKL 5041 was released (UK only) in May 1970.

'January Man' - Dave Goulder
'Somebody Counts on Me' - Rab Noakes
'I Am the Great Sun' - Causley/Fisher
'If I'd Stayed Around' - Rab Noakes
'Together Forever' - Rab Noakes

Can't help you with the rest.


01 Mar 01 - 07:20 AM (#408683)
Subject: RE: info req on Archie Fisher/B.Dickson disc
From: GUEST,Dita (at work)

You are about right with the date, could be 1970. It is one of a series of five put out by Decca around this time. The others are Archie's "Orfio", Barbara's " Mantle trimed with Gold" and "Do-right, Woman" and Rab Noakes "Do you see the lights".
Celtic music put out Years, Orfeo and (I think) Mantle ~1990. Decca have released Woman on CD. I am not aware of any rerelease of Lights.
All these albums have the same lush strings and have the same production feel.
I presume it is the CM tape you have which would explain the ack of notes, Dave Bulmer strikes again.
I will get you more details when I get home to the album covers.
love, john

01 Mar 01 - 09:25 AM (#408738)
Subject: RE: info req on Archie Fisher/B.Dickson disc
From: sheila

Side One
track 1 - January Man, Goulder;
track 2 - You Like the Sun, Lothian;
track 3 - Morning, Fisher;
track 4 - Tears of Rage,Dylan;
track 5 - Friends and Lovers, Fisher;
track 6 - Somebody Counts on Me, Noakes;

Side Two
track 1 - If I'd Stayerd Around; Noakes
track 2 - Lullaby For Father, Fisher;
track 3 - I am the Great Sun, Causley, Fisher;
track 4 - First of the Few, Fisher;
track 5 - Fiddler's Green, Connelly;
track 6 - Together Forever, Noakes;
track 7 - Thro' The Recent Years, Fisher

Performers are listed as:
Archie Fisher, Vocal and Guitar
Barbara Dickson, Vocal
Des Haldane and Rab Noakes, Backing Vocals and Guitar
Ronnie Reay, Bass
Billy Kemp, Drums
Roger Coulam, Organ
Jack Ellory, Flute
Alex Sutherland, Trombone and Piano
Orchestral parts arranged and conducted by Alex Sutherland
Produced by Ray Horricks
Cover Photos by Ian McCalman
The liner notes are by Ray Horricks - I can post them, if you wish.

01 Mar 01 - 10:15 AM (#408768)
Subject: RE: info req on Archie Fisher/B.Dickson disc
From: GUEST,John

Any additional posting of the liner notes would be very welcome. I appreciate what has been posted so far. My cousin's husband Hugh pulled out the Archie Fisher albums which he owned, when I was in Scotland last spring. I hadn't seen "Orfeo" before, and wouldn't you know there was no record player, so with that one I'll have to wait for CD or Cassette to appear. Hugh had "Off the Map", and "Sunsets I've Galloped Into", which I was able to procure from Garnet Rogers' mother(executive producer of those albums) once I got back to Canada. I've really gotten stuck on Archie's singing and guitar arrangements, and learned the open"G" and open"D" tunings in order to play his stuff the way he does it. Its about time I got into somebody else's stuff. I played a Scottish night in Brantford, Ontario a year ago with a set of about seven songs. One fellow came up to me after, and said,"Ah thought ye were gonnae' do that whole record!" He was referring to Archie's"Will Ye Gang Love" album. I've been a bit self-conscious about it since!



01 Mar 01 - 04:48 PM (#409000)
Subject: RE: info req on Archie Fisher/B.Dickson disc
From: Dita

Notes to "Years"
Archie Fisher I first wanted to record six years before this album was made. Davy Graham (always a severe critic) had returned from the Edinburgh Festival then and told me about a singer he'd herd there. A singer, he said, who could be to folk music what Frank Sinatra is to popular ballad. I telephoned Archie, or rather tried to, the same day; and for several days after that. But he was away doing concerts - or upstream somewhere.
And through the recent years he has gone on to be come a kind of Dean-figure in the folk world.
As for Barbara: well, she is the only girl I have ever heard to sing folk music with true soul. By soul I mean the kind one expects to hear out of Detroit. Her sound is dramatic, compelling, convincing...
Both Archie and Barbara have paid their dues to traditional folk, many times over, before moving towards the contemporary songs heard in this set. A lot of the songs here are by Archie himself: remarkable, personal statements, pages torn out of his autobiography. Others, equally fine, are by his friend Rab Noakes.
Contrasts. The rich gentleness of Archie's voice and the sensitivity of his guitar-playing, alternating with Barbara's deep feeling and grit. Usually he accompanies her songs, sometimes the two voices come together, one buttressing the other, or - in unison- filling out the hook of a chorus.
The main thing is, like the different faces of a coin, they have made it work together. There is a real musical affinity, with no loss of individuality. And they have got it on record. - RAY HORRICKS.
Add this to Sheila's post and you've got the back cover. All that's mising is the note Red - Mono Blue - Stereo and the fact it was laminated with CLARIFIOL.
love, john.

01 Mar 01 - 05:09 PM (#409018)
Subject: RE: info req on Archie Fisher/B.Dickson disc
From: GUEST,John

Thanks for filling me in on the liner notes. As I've pointed out on the thread above, it can be a bit daunting trying to piece together Archie's discography. He claims he's been "internationally deleted", so I've been trying to get his stuff from various sources. Here are the albums I'm familiar with: Archie Fisher(self-titled),Through the Recent Years(with Barbara Dickson), Orfeo, Will Ye Gang Love, The Man With a Rhyme, Off the Map(with Garnet Rogers), and Sunsets I've Galloped Into. His "Travelling Folk" website claims he is working on two albums at the moment. I hope they'll see the light of day. He has an American distributor for his new stuff, when it shows. I can't really understand how his catalogue has fallen through the cracks. He almost seems to be self deprecating when it comes to his recorded output. Has this ever been explained?

Thanks again for info folks,


01 Mar 01 - 05:26 PM (#409033)
Subject: RE: info req on Archie Fisher/B.Dickson disc
From: Dita

In addition to the albums mentioned in the post, a couple of other of Archie's albums spring to mind.
One that should be easily obtainable is "The Man with a Rhyme" Folk-legacy FSS-61. (Sandy Paton is a familiar name around here)
Harder to find - Archie Fisher XTRA 1070 (this also got a Celtic Music release), and "The Fate o' Charlie" again with Barbara D. This was on Trailer LED 3002. As with all the Leader records Celtic Music is sitting on the tapes ( see Nic Jones threads for the whole story).
Other than these Archie's recording is limited to Topic's Fisher Family album and numerous compilations (all containing exclusive recordings of Archie or Ray&Archie) on Topic, Decca and Waverly.
Hope this helps
love, john.

01 Mar 01 - 05:34 PM (#409043)
Subject: RE: info req on Archie Fisher/B.Dickson disc
From: Dita

John, I see you posted while I was typing above. If you want details of the more obscure stuff my e-mail is
love, john.

01 Mar 01 - 07:26 PM (#409125)
Subject: RE: info req on Archie Fisher/B.Dickson disc
From: Susanne (skw)

John, do you know 'Doomsday in the Afternoon', 'A Man You Meet Every Day' (or whatever the correct title) and 'Where Are You Now, My Son'? Love'em! (Sorry for thread creep ...)

21 Apr 01 - 11:03 AM (#446078)
Subject: RE: info req on Archie Fisher/B.Dickson disc
From: GUEST,Dita (at work)

Susanne (skw),
Sorry to take so long to reply, missed your post at the time, and just came across it as I was reviewing what John wanted me to send.
Well spotted, I am guilty as charged, John McCreadie, responsble for the above. I am glad you like them. Thank you for posting them in ?Henry's Songbook, (I think I remember you saying it was you who did it in another thread).
I take it you heard them from Arthur and Sheena. Paddy Bell is currently recording "Doomsday" with Ian McCalman, for a new CD. You might remember her from the early days of the Corrie Folk Trio.
They seem to be popular with singers, I love it when someone sings one of them at a singaround, completely unaware that I'm there, (the joy of annonimity), because for some reason, people get shy if they know the writer is part of the same session. I'd much rather hear someone sing one of my songs, than sing them myself.
Thanks again for the kind thoughs, recognition and promotion of my songs.
love john.

21 Apr 01 - 06:58 PM (#446300)
Subject: RE: info req on Archie Fisher/B.Dickson disc
From: Susanne (skw)

John, this is more than I'd bargained for! Thanks for replying. At the very least, now I know the correct spelling of your surname ...
Yes, like all global players, Henry and I cooperate: He provides the site, I the content :-). However, 'Doomsday' and 'Where Are You Now' are both in the Forum, though they don't seem to have been harvested yet. Arthur and Sheena is correct, and I'll certainly watch out for Paddie Bell's recording.
BTW: Is it true you wrote 'Man You Meet' (or whatever correct title) specially for Iain Mac, as he claims? Nice song, too, and spot on for a lot of artistes, I'd think! (I might start a new thread: Worst encounter with a punter you can remember?)
Maybe I'll meet you in Scotland some day.

21 Apr 01 - 08:11 PM (#446332)
Subject: RE: info req on Archie Fisher/B.Dickson disc
From: GUEST,Dita (at work)

Susanne(skw), I am impressed, you do know your stuff.
Yes that's true, I wrote it for Iain, after a night he, me and a few others, spent playing, worst gig, worst punter etc in the early hours of a Girvan Folk Festival. "The Man" is an composite of various people Iain and I had encountered over the years.
It was a very small return for all the songs and people he has introduced me to over the years. He recorded it on a German album "Just my Cup of Tea."
Iain has given up touring after a spell of ill health but still plays festivals and Scottish club dates. He says that he's "not going to be the next to go."
I had the honour of playng an "Iain Mac & Friends" gig with him in Glasgow last month, and ended up singing the songs of his other friends who couldn't make it like Tom Paxton and Allan Taylor, I loved it.
Be sure to get in touch if you ever get to Scotland.
love, john.

22 Apr 01 - 06:46 PM (#446898)
Subject: RE: info req on Archie Fisher/B.Dickson disc
From: Susanne (skw)

Not much to be impressed about, really - Iain said so in his intro. Just occasionally I like to check on the things he tells his audiences ... :-) If you see him, tell him someone on the Net was asking for him ...
Thanks for all the info, though I did know some of it - see here if you've got time.
I heard about the 'Iain and friends' gig on Archie Fisher's 'Travelling Folk which, thanks to the Internet, I'm now able to listen to. (Also, a rather fortunate way of reuniting the subject matter with the thread title, isn't it?)

23 Apr 01 - 06:15 AM (#447167)
Subject: RE: info req on Archie Fisher/B.Dickson disc
From: Murray MacLeod

Guest John, just a comment on your initial posting. They don't sing hymns in the Free Presbyterian Church, they only sing psalms, so Archie may have meant a psalm tune, although none of the tunes in the psalmody are specific to the Free Presbyterian Church. Also, to answer your enquiry, the Free Presbyterian Church is NOT the "Wee Frees", that honourable epithet belongs to the Free Church of Scotland, from whom the Free Presbyterians seceded in 18??.