3/23/16

Mandy Morton - Sea of Storms (1980)



Today I realized that I hadn't re-up this gem and that nobody asked me to do it. What a shame. Mandy Morton is one of my favorite singers and this solo album, released after Spriguns disbanded, is a splendid collection of songs even if the arrangements are sometimes too much 80's (the moog would have been advantageously replaced by real instruments but fortunately violin is here to add the trad. touch to the music). There's hardly better british folk rock being released. Catch it here. And the Spriguns discography will be soon re-up on FS. I encourage you to read the comments where Mark Boettcher, who plays guitar on 3 titles (according to the cover sleeve) left very interesting information, notably about the relation between Mandy and Mike Morton. It appears they were still together, but the lyrics suggest there was some sentimental trouble anyway.

If I repost this LP, it's not only because Mandy Morton is one of my all-time fave female singer with Billie Holiday and Melanie, nor because this album is musically wonderful and lyrically about a painful break with her loving partner, somewhere between Peter Hammill's Over and Groundhogs' Crosscut Saw. No, it's because someone informed me recently that in my rar file, the 2 last songs of the LP were missing. Since the hardware on which this LP was stored (I didn't possess it, neither in vinyl or in CD) was dead, I decided to buy the CD and to post the LP in its entirety.So here it is. If some visitor knows Mandy Morton, please tell her that she is greatly missed and she shouldn't have stopped her musical career. PS. I added the inner sleeve lyrics of 4 songs in the file. Below, what I wrote in the 1st post.

After the wonderful Magic Lady (that you can find here) Mandy Morton parted way with the Spriguns, and more importantly with her husband, Mike Morton, although he's on this follow up. Since we are in the beginning of this terrible period that were the 80's (with the awful production options of that sad era) the LP is somewhat deceiving from time to time (who had the bad idea to put these synthetisers on "After The Storm" or "Silas The Silent"?) but contains again some superb compositions, among the best Mandy Morton composed (such as "Ghost of Christmas Past", "Twisted Sage", "Land of the Dead" or "The Sculptor"), and the lyrics are really moving. Unfortunately, the fan site on which all the Mandy Morton lyrics were available is down for a year now. I don't know why but I regret not to have dl them when it was possible. Similarly to Magic Lady, what's striking with Mandy Morton, is this impression of quiet evidence that her voice and her melodies provide. This album has much more in common with String Driven Thing The Machine That Cried era (eg. "Twisted Sage") and Strawbs From The Witchwood era (eg. "Wake Up The Morning") than what Mandy and the Spriguns played. So sad that there will only be an album afterwards (that I failed to find on the net) and then nothing. This lady should be remembered as one of the UK folk secret treasure and more largely of popular music. She works for more than 20 years on a radio and has a cultural show (I never heard it since we can't get it from France) but, even if she's happy this way, it's a great waste for music and for our hearts that she was so good to comfort".



tilidom.com



7 comments:

Starsailor said...

salut, merci pour cet album mais il manque les 2 derniers titres, peux-tu y remédier ?
merci!

dkelvin said...

Effectivement, je ne sais pas pourquoi. Le souci c'est que je n'avais cet album qu'en MP3 (issu d'un autre blog) et que mon disque dur externe où il se trouvait est HS et le lien du blog mort. Donc pas moyen de voir d'où vient le bug ni de le corriger. Ceci dit, je viens d'acheter l'album qui regroupe les 2 derniers de Mandy Morton (dont celui ci) et comme ça j'aurai tous les titres et les rajouterai. Surement fin aout.
dk

neil said...

Hi:

Fantastic blog! Your latest Only Ones posts are fabulous. They were one of my favorite bands back in the '70s and stayed a favorite all the way to today. Also love the SAHB stuff. I lived in Glasgow in the '70s and saw them a bunch of times & remember when he had the girls on stage in ball gowns. Then he had them twirl and .... no backs! Fabulous!

But really wanted to thank you for the re-post of Mandy Morton's "Sea of Storms". I have "Magic Lady" and the Spriguns albums but, until now, never had "Sea of Storms". Thanks so much!

I actually featured Spriguns on my blog recently and would love it if you check it out. I'd like to link yours in my blogroll, with your permission. Let me know.

Of course, it would be great if you would list me in your blogroll but only if you want to. I'd like to list "Forgotten Songs" regardless.

My blog:

www.groundsforappeal.ihookitup.com

Hope to hear from you soon.

Neil

Anonymous said...

Hi, just happened to find your website and I have to say I am really happy to see that Sea of Storms did not go unnoticed. I was the guitarist for Spriguns for about a year up to the recording of the album. Glad you enjoyed Twisted Sage. Tom Ling and I had a great time at the end of the song trading fiddle and guitar licks.

Mandy was/is a gifted writer and singer and I feel honored that I got to play in her band.

Mark Boettcher markboettcher@yahoo.com

dkelvin said...

Dear Mark. One of the most rewarding thing is to get messages like yours, by musicians that see that their apparently forgotten songs are still present in some people's mind and that they can find through internet a new way to get to people from today. This album is very good, Mandy Morton a fantastic singer and lyricist and Twisted Sage is one of my favorite from her. The final intrumental part gives me shivers any time I listen to it. And is a classic moment (and I listened to an enormous amount of music in my life).
Cheers
dk

Mark Boettcher said...

Too bad, I just now saw your response to my post. Personally, I always liked the Magic Lady album the best. When I joined the band, which was still called Spriguns, I was given a copy of the Magic Lady and another album (can't remember which), and a play list, with about 2 weeks to memorize them before my first gig. Rehearsals? Yeah, on stage before a live audience :) BTW, Mandy and Mike were still very much a couple AFAIK at the time Sea of Storms was recorded. They still lived together in their house in Cambridge at least, and I never saw any animosity. Mandy was obviously the boss when it came to her music, but with a talent like she had she deserved to be the boss. Mike was a great guy.

Anonymous said...

The producer of this album should be shot! The musical arrangement with the synthesizers is a real nuisance and I can't finish listening to some of the songs as it is soooo bad. Is a real pity because the songs would be great including the singing.
Hope this album will be one day remastered and they take out the keyboards/synthesizers....