Originally released on Topic in 1965, Frost and Fire: A Calendar of Ritual and Magical Songs was the debut album by The Watersons, a fledgling folk group from Hull, Yorkshire. Comprised of Norma, Mike, and Lal (Elaine) Waterson, with their cousin John Harrison, they performed mainly traditional songs with little or no accompaniment, their distinctive sound emanating entirely from their closely woven harmonies. Recorded by Bill Leader in the back room of his Camden Town flat and produced by Tony Engle, Frost and Fire became Melody Maker magazine's Album of the Year (a rarity for a debut album). It's since gone on to be a staple of every folk collection worth its salt and inspired generations of close harmony singers.
Now re-released in the original sleeve (with minor adaptions for 2022) and featuring A.L. Lloyd's extensive track-by-track sleeve notes, this new vinyl pressing has been cut at 45rpm for optimal sound quality.
First hearing the Watersons live was a shock, a revelation. Their voices and their musicality were unique. Raw, passionate and brilliant, and so were they. Their musical instincts were perfect and they redefined the possibilities of the British folk scene, they had somehow opened a door wide and it's still open. Home grown, international, and pure magic.
Ground zero for anyone discovering English folk song and culture
These are vital, transcendent recordings. Essential listening
- First Time on Vinyl Since 1977
- Cut at 45rpm for Optimal Sound Quality
- Original Sleeve (with Minor Adaptations)
- A.L. Lloyd's Extensive Track-by-Track Sleeve Notes
- Here We Come a-Wassailing
- The Derby Ram
- Jolly Old Hawk
- Pace Egging Song
- Seven Virgins (The Leaves of Life)
- The Holly Bears a Berry
- Earsdon Sword Dance Song
- John Barleycorn
- Harvest Song : We Gets Up in the Morn
- Souling Song
- Christmas Is Now Drawing Near at Hand
- Herod and the Cock
- Wassail Song