The Second Disc

Expanded and Remastered Music News

Bert Jansch’s “Heartbreak” Reissued and Expanded by Omnivore on CD, LP and Digital

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We first reported on this title back in August, but as the release date is nearing, we thought you might like a refresher, plus active order links!

Founding member of Pentangle and major exponent of the 1960s British folk music revival, the Scotland-born musician and songwriter Bert Jansch (1943-2011) left a tremendous musical mark before his untimely death last year, aged 67. Though Jansch’s first solo album was released in 1965, he remained a vital force on the folk scene, recording with regularity through the mid-2000s. One of Jansch’s most beloved albums is getting the deluxe treatment from Omnivore with the 30th Anniversary Edition of Heartbreak (1982), due on November 6. It will make a fitting reminder of the legacy of the often-unheralded folk figure, who received Lifetime Achievement Awards from BBC Radio, the MOJO Merit Award and was chosen as one of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.

Long out of print, Heartbreak is returning in style. The first pressing of the vinyl edition will be issued on 1,500 pieces of clear vinyl (with subsequent pressings on black vinyl), while the 2-CD version includes the original Heartbreak album in its entirety plus 14 previously unreleased tracks recorded in June 1981 inside McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica, California. At McCabe’s, Jansch performed a handful of the Heartbreak tracks as well as other favorites such as Jackson C. Frank’s “Blues Run the Game” and Ewan MacColl’s “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face.” Both the vinyl and CD versions will arrive near what would have been Jansch’s 69th on November 3. Folk legend Ralph McTell has provided new liner notes, as have the album’s original producers, Rick and John Chelew.

There’s more after the jump, including track listings and order links!

What the Chelew brothers lacked in experience when they stepped into the Los Angeles’ Silverlake Studio with Jansch, they made up for in enthusiasm. (Though Heartbreak was their first production, John went on to produce John Hiatt’s hit Bring the Family as well as albums for The Blind Boys of Alabama and others.) They enlisted Albert Lee on guitar and the supreme Jennifer Warnes on background vocals in support of Jansch on acoustic guitar. Jack Kelly and Matt Betton played drums, with Randy Tico on bass. Jansch brought original songs and rearranged traditional tunes to the June 1981 sessions as well as cover versions of “If I Were a Carpenter” and less expectedly, “Heartbreak Hotel.” But maybe for Jansch, the Elvis Presley hit wasn’t so unexpected; the artist had always championed the various styles of music that inspired him, including blues and jazz as well as traditional folk.

The expanded edition of Bert Jansch’s Heartbreak arrives November 6 from Omnivore Recordings and you can order below!

Bert Jansch, Heartbreak: 30th Anniversary Edition (Omnivore, 2012)


Side One:

  1. Blackwater  Side
  2. Sit Down Beside Me
  3. Up To The Stars
  4. Is It Real?
  5. Wild Mountain Thyme

Side Two:

  1. Heartbreak Hotel
  2. No Rhyme Nor Reason
  3. If I Were A Carpenter
  4. Give Me The Time
  5. And Not a Word Was Said

2-CD Edition:

CD 1: The Original Album (originally issued as Hannibal Records HNBL 1312, 1982)

  1. Blackwater Side
  2. Sit Down Beside Me
  3. Up To The Stars
  4. Is It Real?
  5. Wild Mountain Thyme
  6. Heartbreak Hotel
  7. No Rhyme Nor Reason
  8. If I Were a Carpenter
  9. Give Me The Time
  10. And Not a Word Was Said

CD 2: Live at McCabe’s Guitar Shop:

  1. Curragh Of Kildare
  2. Poor Mouth
  3. Blackwater  Side
  4. One For Jo
  5. Let Me Sing
  6. If I Were a Carpenter
  7. Blues Run The Game
  8. Is It Real?
  9. Ask Your Daddy
  10. The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face
  11. Kingfisher
  12. Wild Mountain Thyme
  13. Come Back Baby
  14. I Am Lonely

All tracks on CD 2 are previously unreleased.

Written by Joe Marchese

October 25, 2012 at 12:50

Posted in Bert Jansch, News, Reissues

One Response

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  1. This is good news.

    Jansch rarely gets credit for being a superb singer. Everyone recognizes his guitar artistry, but few talk about his incredible singing. A good example is the rare cover version he does of Tim Hardin’s song “If I Were a Carpenter”. Jansch recorded this just after Tim’s death, an obvious tribute that was also not recognized when this album was released. If I Were a Carpenter turns out to be one of Jansch’s greatest performances, an astounding vocal with an amazing guitar break.

    There have been several McCabe’s tapes circulating. I don’t think this is one that has been traded for years.

    Everyone should learn more about Jansch, and give his vocals a closer listen.


    October 26, 2012 at 08:04

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