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Albion Sunrise

[Richard Thompson]

The Albion Country Band, or Albion IV, recorded this song by Richard Thompson in 1973. Martin Carthy sang the first verse, John Kirkpatrick the second, and Simon Nicol the third verse. This was the first track of the then shelved album Battle of the Field (not released before 1976 on Island’s budget label HELP). However, both Albion Sunrise and The New St George were already included in the 4 LP anthology The Electric Muse in 1975. Karl Dallas wrote in the album’s notes:

[This is ] actually Albion IV, playing a programme opener written for them by Richard Thompson. The first Albion accompanied Shirley Collins on her No Roses album, Albion II had Royston Wood, Steve Ashley and Sue Draheim in it and the only recording they did was to back Steve on his recording of Lord Bateman for his debut album, Stroll On. Albion III was a temporary group with Richard Thompson in it, while Martin Carthy and John and Sue Kirkpatrick got free of other commitments to join Roger Swallow, Simon Nicol and Ashley Hutchings in Albion IV. This latter band recorded an entire album, never yet released - though, to be fair, the members are not entirely satisfied with all of it, for instance, the Morris medley into which the song was meant to lead.

This recording was also included in 2005 on the Ashley Hutchings anthology Burning Bright.

Further recordings of this song are from two BBC sessions with John Tams singing, the first with the Albion Dance Band in 1977, available on The Albion Band Live in Concert - BBC Radio 1, and then the Albion Band in 1978, published on The BBC Sessions, and a live performance from The Guv’nor’s Big Birthday Bash in 1995.


Please find the lyrics for this song at Richard Thompson’s website.