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Album Review: A Man I'd Rather Be, (Part 2) [Box Set] by Bert Jansch
Excellent, Based on 3 Critics
AllMusic - 90 Based on rating 9/10
A Man I'd Rather Be, Pt. 2 is the fourth retrospective set by Earth Records. While earlier sets focused on Jansch's neglected later recordings, Pt. 2 contains his first four albums: 1965's Bert Jansch and It Don't Bother Me, as well as 1966's Bert & John (Renbourn) and Jack Orion. Pentangle ….
Nearly seven years after his death, Bert Jansch remains a seminal figure who championed traditional music spawned from its English origins. His work with the progressive folk ensemble Pentangle and alongside fellow guitarist John Renbourn established his career in the '60s and '70s, but his solo albums, beginning with eponymous debut in 1965, found him embracing a sound that mostly eschewed any accoutrements and relied instead on austere vocals and alternate acoustic tunings. His was a style aimed at pleasing the folk purists for whom modern music was almost an anathema.
A Man I'd Rather Be (Part One) **** A Man I'd Rather Be (Part Two) **** After last year's two-volume collection Living In The Shadows -covering Bert Jansch's final six albums, plus bonuses - those arbiters of acoustic taste, Earth, have set themselves the task of providing a first bookend to match. Part One of A Man I'd Rather Be gathers bright and clean sounding pressings of his albums from 1965-66, while the second of the four-disc sets takes us up to 1973. Happily, Earth have shown the same love and care they've applied to his catalogue so far, housing them in sturdy, handsome packaging with unseen photos and revealing sleevenotes.