A tremendous document of work by Jake Thackray – one of the most unique talents on the British music scene of the 60s, but an artist who's sadly been un-remembered over the years! At first glance, Jake's definitely a folkie, but he's also one with a strong influence from French singer/songwriters like Jacques Brel or George Brassens – and takes key inspiration from them in the depth and darkness of his work. Like both Brel and Brassens, Thackray's got a style that's almost out of time – one that's ageless at some points, but with a very contemporary way of viewing the world – personal, pointed, and penned with an incredible sense of wit. In an era when most folkies were attacking the political or pushing into the fantastic, Jake spent careful time looking at human foibles and the complexities of interpersonal relationships – always from a distance, but close enough to note the odd humor in even the most banal situations. This wonderful set brings together 4 of Thackray's albums for EMI
– Bantam Cock, Last Will & Testament, Jake's Progress, and On Again On Again – all of which feature Jake's slightly jazz-inflected vocals alongside acoustic guitar and very spare, but well-chosen additional instrumentation. Package also features a full disc of unreleased material – including different versions of other tunes on the albums. 97 tracks in all, and a wonderful musical discovery throughout! Titles include "The Cactus", "Country Bus", "Brother Gorilla", "The Girl In The Window", "Ulysses", "Scallywag", "Salvation Army Girl", "On The Shelf", "Go Little Swale", "Isabel Makes Love On National Monuments", "Joseph", "Famous People", "The Gravedigger", and "Leopold Alcocks".