This is a Random Album Generator.
One album a day.
From the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die.

Basket of Light

Pentangle

1969

Buy At Rough Trade
Basket of Light
Album Summary

Basket of Light is a 1969 album by the folk rock group Pentangle. It reached no. 5 on the UK Albums Chart. A single from the album, "Light Flight", the theme from BBC1's first colour drama series Take Three Girls, reached no. 43 on the UK Singles Chart. Another single from the album, "Once I Had a Sweetheart", reached no. 46 in the charts.The album's liner notes state that "Springtime Promises" was written "after a ride on a number 74 bus from Gloucester Road to Greencroft Gardens on an early spring day".

Wikipedia

Rating

2.76

Votes

10808

Genres

  • Folk
  • Rock

Reviews

Like a review? Give it a thumb up to help us display relevant reviews!
Sort by: Top Date
View Author
Mon Feb 21 2022
4

My wife: "Why are you listening to mediaeval music?" Me: "It's that 1,001 albums thing." [She rolls her eyes and walks off, shaking her head] I approached this album with trepidation. Seeing it pop up on the generator was the equivalent of walking into your local and spotting the pub bore already sat on his favourite stool, dimple glass in hand, waiting to pounce on any unsuspecting saps with a thousand tedious tales and unwelcome opinions. As a teenager in the seventies, my knowledge of English folk-pop music consisted of not really liking All Around My Hat and vaguely knowing that Sandy Denny, the female voice on Led Zeppelin 4, was in some diddly diddly band that sounded like a business meeting. Even now it's not something I often make a bee line for, despite enjoying a bit of Unhalfbricking and Liege and Leif every now and then. So yes, I wasn't excited about this selection. And yet, some of it has been quite magical. Bert Jansch's guitar playing is spectacularly nimble at times and Danny Thompson's double bass playing is a jazz-tinged joy. It's all a bit Finger In The Ear At The Malt Shovels On Tuesday Folk Night (Hotpot Available!) at times but it does break out from its traditional folky heartland on enough occasions that you don't always feel like you're harvesting turnips in the rain in a Shropshire field in the 13th century. Though sometimes you do feel like that. Strangely, though, I know I will be playing this again. I must be getting old.

👍
View Author
Sun Jan 10 2021
4

There were moments in the beginning, mostly when the glockenspiel and sitar featured prominently, when I couldn't decide whether I loved or hated this album. Ultimately, it won me over. The harmonies are tight and the guitar parts are impressive. It's a solid English folk album. Best track: Hunting Song

👍
View Author
Fri Jul 30 2021
5

Absolutely GORGEOUS and lush 60s baroque folk. So beautiful, one of my favorite genres ever!

👍
View Author
Sun Nov 14 2021
4

Ooh Pentangle is a bit cider and Cornish pasties isn’t it. That’s lovely.

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 31 2022
4

It reminds me of the band Renaissance, except not quite as good. Nevertheless it is very pleasant and enjoyable throughout. This music ignites my deep desire to live in an isolated pagan Nordic mountain village hundreds of years in the past. I wish the industrial revolution never happened. Globalism has destroyed everything that made the world beautiful and awe-inspiring Will definitely return

👍
View Author
Sun Jun 12 2022
4

There was some wild shit going around in 69 man

👍
View Author
Wed Feb 23 2022
5

Great album with stellar musicianship. Not sure why there are three versions of Sally Go Round the Roses, though.

👍
View Author
Thu Apr 28 2022
5

White British people playing the sitar will always be a little sus to me, but I'll also also always be a sucker for an album that blends genres so well. And folk, rock and jazz with some parts that just sound medieval European make for such a fun combo

👍
View Author
Mon Aug 29 2022
4

Basket of Light is a swirling, psychedelic mixture of folk, jazz, blues, sitar and traditional music that may be one of the most surprisingly great records I’ve ever heard. Surprising in that, typically, folk and medieval sounding music are not very enjoyable to me. Pentangle’s intricate guitar arrangements and interplay were the highlight of this record to me, but each member, whether on guitars, bass, drums or vocals all execute at a virtuosic level. Most importantly, Pentangle doesn’t let their ability outshine the song: They aren’t playing only to showcase their talents, but to serve the song. Each part of every song sounds considered and well written, transitioning smoothly from one to the next; playing with an edge that I would consider to be uncommon in most folk music. A truly enjoyable album experience.

👍
View Author
Mon Sep 14 2020
3

Very oldtimey folk album. Should relisten when in the mood for ancient rituals.

👍
View Author
Fri May 14 2021
3

This is the kind of thing I was hoping for doing this. Really liked it, had never heard of them before.

👍
View Author
Mon Dec 04 2023
3

Harmless, pleasant fun. Listening is like hanging out in a nice field on a warm sunny day, with flowers and drinking mead. some of the chants and vocals are Medieval

👍
View Author
Fri May 03 2024
2

It was kind of interesting at first but it lost me over time. I ended up just not really liking it without being able to put my finger on why.

👍
View Author
Fri Jan 26 2024
1

How is this on any top list? Pentacrap, Basket of crap. Was this meant to be a comic effort? This is a great example of music that is unremarkable and forgettable. If nothing else, it has me fired up to listen to something good.

👍
View Author
Mon May 06 2024
1

Yesterday I gave Incubus a 1.5 rounded up. Today I’m giving this a 1.5 rounded down. Here’s the difference: if I were out and about and incubus were playing in the background, I would barely notice it. If this were playing in the background I would say “What is this. Why.”

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 23 2021
5

hippy, sitar, Gregorian chant

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 18 2021
5

Excellent album, avec des petites sonorités particulières et une sensation un peu religieuse, mais appréciable.

👍
View Author
Sun Mar 28 2021
5

Brilliant. One of the most beautiful albums ever produced

👍
View Author
Wed Mar 23 2022
5

This is my favorite album ever I think. I love almost every song.

👍
View Author
Wed Jul 20 2022
5

My favourite Folk band. Supremely accomplished musicianship. Well produced- it's rockier and jazzier than other albums but these guys are at the top of their game. I understand most people don't like this at all but that's always the way and always will be.

👍
View Author
Sun Aug 07 2022
5

They didn’t have to go so hard

👍
View Author
Fri Dec 02 2022
5

Wow this is super cool. Psychedelic, almost medieval sounding folk full of funky time signatures. '69 really was possibly the best year in music history.

👍
View Author
Wed Feb 01 2023
5

Say what you want about this record, but, for better or for worse, there aren’t many that sound like it. To state the obvious: it’s a jazz-folk-psychedelic trip through Renaissance England. And I am here for it. John Renbourne and Bert Jansch provide the most solid instrumental foundation for any album to succeed, but Jacqui McShee’s vocals flit weightlessly around the whole record. It conjures the same eerie juxtaposition of contemporary and profoundly folkish as the Wicker Man soundtrack (songs like Luke-Wake Dirge almost demand a Maypole to be truly appreciated). It’s a product of its time, and by no means perfect. But I love it, and that’s why I’d give it 4.5 (rounded up).

👍
View Author
Wed Mar 08 2023
5

Love the instrumentation and vocal style. Would love to hear this stuff live.

👍
View Author
Thu Apr 13 2023
5

Before today I'd never heard of Pentangle before. The album cover provided no hints as to what I was in for, so I googled their name. The first thing that came up was the definition of Pentangle, which is "another word for pentagram". Given that definition, I figured I would be in for a heavy metal album perhaps? What I heard was the polar opposite! Pentangle are a folk group from the UK. Their music includes dual guitars (one artist who is Blues trained, and one who is folk trained), amazing bass grooves, and male and female vocalists. The singers are amazing, and the harmonies created by the two of them is beautiful. This album also prominently features sitar and glockenspiel parts, which is awesome!! These guys remind me a lot of Fairport Convention. This album combines jazz, Blues, and folk along with some psychedelica into one beautiful album. They may start a jazz number, then flawlessly switch genres half way through. Overall, an amazing album! Another one that blindsided me! I love discovering these kinds of records! I will absolutely listen again, I listened to it twice today! Favorite songs: House Carpenter, Hunting Song, The Cuckoo, Sally Go Round the Roses, Once I Had a Sweetheart, Springtime Promises, Lyke-Wake Dirge, Cold Mountain Least favorite songs: Train Song 5/5

👍
View Author
Thu Apr 27 2023
5

I thought it was rather fabulous. Normally this sort of folk ages pretty badly but this endures through pure quality. Excellent

👍
View Author
Sat Aug 12 2023
5

I was not aware of my need of some rock-tinged-renaissancy-baroque-folk until this fell into my lap. Fantastic! How I wish I could have seen this performed in the Royal Albert Hall.

👍
View Author
Sat Aug 12 2023
5

Loved it! Indeed a basket of light. Super sunny.

👍
View Author
Sat Aug 12 2023
5

The opening bars of the first track had me super interested...then the vocals came and became quite hesitant...but then after I got my ears adjusted to what this album would be introducing me to, I REALLY dug it!

👍
View Author
Sat Aug 12 2023
5

Oh I do love some wonderful folk music. It was a lovely blend of voices and acoustic instruments, and a lovely blend of traditional and new songs.

👍
View Author
Sat Sep 30 2023
5

I truly don't understand the low scores, that's something beautiful! Incredibly interesting fusion of genres

👍
View Author
Wed Oct 04 2023
5

This is delightful. This album has shades of 70s prog rock blended with the sensibilities of a medieval bard.

👍
View Author
Thu Oct 05 2023
5

I’m rather cheating with this one, as this is already a favourite album of mine. Imbued with dark magic, this wonderful collection of harmonic songs marrying the ancient and modern is delivered with remarkable artistry by the twinning guitars of Renbourn and Jansch and one of British Folk Music’s very finest voices

👍
View Author
Thu Oct 05 2023
5

Took me back a few years to a time before crude and non-musical music took over the world. A joy to behold.

👍
View Author
Mon Oct 23 2023
5

The first song, with it’s Beatle-esque riff, folk guitar and jangly pop could only have been released in the 60s. I also loved “The Hunting Song” with its dual lead vocals and jazzy instrumentation, which includes some crazy double-bass. Also, “House Carpenter” with the banjo and sitar playing off each other. Jacqui McShee and Bert Jansch are good vocalists but when they share the vocals the contrast is amazing. And the fact that the whole band sings makes for some very untraditional harmonies. As much as I liked those tracks (and "Lyke-Wake Dirge") there were a couple of stinkers on the album and it was a no more than a 4 for me. Then I watched the 1971 live performance of “The Hunting Song” on YouTube and was blown away (as much as you can be by watching five people sitting around) so it’s +1.

👍
View Author
Fri Dec 01 2023
5

10/10 I FUCKING LOVE BERT JANSCH

👍
View Author
Thu Dec 07 2023
5

This was a surprise to me. The first song already had me hooked with its alternating 5/4 and 7/4. Overall really enjoyed this one.

👍
View Author
Fri Dec 22 2023
5

Sensacional, sei nem explicar

👍
View Author
Mon Jan 08 2024
5

This was awesome! Can’t believe I hadn’t heard of these guys. It’s folk meets blues meets jazz meets Renaissance.

👍
View Author
Fri Feb 23 2024
5

Great folk album. five out of five

👍
View Author
Thu Feb 29 2024
5

Unbelievably creative, quite suprised at how much I liked it and the risks that they took

👍
View Author
Thu May 02 2024
5

I loved this album. Had not heard of The Pentacle before, but had heard of Bert Janche. I listened to this on a 3 mile walk around Oak Park. The lilacs are blooming (along with everything else). Good smells everywhere, sweet sunshine, and this beautiful music straight to this big fat hippie's heart. This album took me down many pathways mentally. It started in the backyard of my family's house in Lombard. My thoughts were how much I would have enjoyed this if I had been a teenager in the 60's, smoking shitty weed and sneaking Seagram's 7 from my parent's liquor cabinet. Then I realized that's exactly what I was doing in the 90s, just listening to Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, and Grateful Dead. The Pentacle is very much in the vein of The Mamas and the Papas, but I will go as far to say that this is better. Cleaner guitars, folkier, less pop, more elfish magic from across the sea. My favorite track here was House Carpenter, which took me straight to Applacia, then back across the ocean to the old Irish sod and my ancestors. Thank God for Alan Lomax. So much wonderful music sprung from his diligent work and passion.

👍
View Author
Wed May 22 2024
5

I know already that Alan is going to dismiss this as English folk but in all love and affection give me 20 of these over French folk. With that out of the way, that British and Irish guitarists of the 1960s were incredible. This is Beck Page Clapton Townshend, Rory, etc. But the acoustic guys were better in a sense. On this album Jaensch and Renbourn. It’s a true fusion - jazz blues folk all mixing as if they always did. This, Solid Air, Planxty and Fairport. And this stuff leads to zeppelin, Jethro Tull and other such acts.

👍
View Author
Wed Jan 13 2021
4

Surprisingly enjoyable. I wound up liking it a lot

👍
View Author
Wed Jun 02 2021
4

Kindof a medieval vibe? Very very interesting. Would like to hear more of whatever genre this is

👍
View Author
Thu Apr 15 2021
4

Women lead but there is a man who sings too, recorded in late 60s, very strange composition, I guess I would call it easy listening rock??? not sure. Feels like garden of eden and church singing in one. Wiki says: "British folk-jazz band with an eclectic mix of folk, jazz, blues and folk rock influences."

👍
View Author
Thu Aug 05 2021
4

Beautiful British acid folk.

👍
View Author
Fri Sep 17 2021
4

A fun exploration of choral and instrumental music. Really enjoyed this more than I thought I would.

👍
View Author
Wed Sep 22 2021
4

This one grew on me. I'm a sucker for certain types of melodies in folk music, and they were so beautiful I could not stop myself from getting lost in them.

👍
View Author
Fri Dec 10 2021
4

Folk-rock-jazz-música tradicional. Me ha gustado bastante.

👍
View Author
Fri Feb 04 2022
4

I really enjoyed this!! I reckon if I would have discovered Pentangle between the ages of 16 and 20 I would have definitely been obsessed! I didn't particularly love the more religious tracks but that does come with intense folk so we will allow it, I prefer the woodland fairy happy tracks and I agree with Cressey, this conjures images of naked pagan dancing, it's brill.

👍
View Author
Fri Feb 18 2022
4

File under: Ren Fair orgy music

👍
View Author
Wed Mar 30 2022
4

Good. Some occasionally dodgy voices but good music. Points added and deducted for reminding us of England. 3.7/5.

👍
View Author
Mon Apr 04 2022
4

Every time I have attempted to engage with Pentangle's music in the past (usually by way of something like "Light Flight" or "Lyke-Wake Dirge"), I've been quickly put off and just shut it off/switched the station. I see as I listen to this that I haven't really been fair to them. This is really lovely music, with gorgeous vocals and incredibly elegant acoustic arrangements. A couple of songs I didn't love, but overall a great listen. Fave Songs: Train Song, Hunting Song, Once I Had a Sweetheart, The Cuckoo, Springtime Promises

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 08 2022
4

Lush and beautifully arranged

👍
View Author
Thu May 19 2022
4

J'avais énormément de choses à dire sur cet album, mais étant donné le peu d'implication de Robert ces dernières semaines j'ai décidé de montrer mon mécontentement au travers de cette critique.

👍
View Author
Wed May 25 2022
4

Didn't listen to all of it, but it was enjoyable.

👍
View Author
Wed Jun 29 2022
4

Jak najczesciej rantuje na wyspiarskie picki, tym razem jestem jedynie oczarowany, bo nie codziennie dostaje sie tradycyjne folkowe utwory podane w czystym akustycznym instrumentalu, basked of light to krazek z 1969 piecoosobowego skladu pentangle, ktoremu udalo sie idealnie przemycic elementy jazzu i bluesa do klasycznych folkowowych kompozycji, bo polowa utworow na trakliscie, to ludowe piesni, ale zaranzowane jak przystalo na lata 60, cala plyta mocno opiera sie na gitarach jak i na innych strunowych instrumentach, bo mozna uslyszec banjo, sitarki, czy kontrabas na niejednym utworze, duetem gitarowym jest tutaj Bert Jansch i John Renbourn, na basie Danny Thompson, klawisze Terry Cox i pani Jacqui McShee jako glowny wokal zespolu, to ona jest chyba jednym z powodow mojego czarowania tym krazkiem, bo dawno nie slyszalem tak przyjemnego dla ucha wokalu, jest w nim wrecz cos magicznego, dodatkowo gdy wykorzystany w utworach nawiazujacych do tradycjii chrzescijanskiej, czy folkloru wyspiarskiego tylko poteguje ten efekt, melodyczne 40 minut materialu na ktorym zmiescilo sie 8 kawalkow, spotifajowa wersja rozszerzona jest wzbogacona o 4 traki, dwa rerecordy sally go round the roses i dwa swieze utwory, na plejke dodam jedynie kawalek najbardziej podkreslajacy umiejetnosci wokalne pani McShee, ktorym jest openingowy light flight, ktory w ciekawy sposob wykorzystuje overduba jako backujacy wokal, no i cold mountain, ktory najbardziej dotyka mego umeczonego ducha na tym plaskim lez padole, ale caly krazek idzie na poleczke spotifajowa, bo o cos tak unikatowego jak to nagranie ciezko w tym zalewie muzycznym

👍
View Author
Fri Aug 05 2022
4

Decent album. I thought it was going to be some usual late 60s psychedelia, but ended up going pretty Indian. Definitely worth a listen.

👍
View Author
Sun Aug 21 2022
4

Superior stuff. Anything with Jansch/Renbourn would be!

👍
View Author
Sun Sep 11 2022
4

This type of thing is definitely my jam. I'm surprised I hadn't heard of this band already. I found this album really pleasant to listen to.

👍
View Author
Sun Oct 09 2022
4

Renaissance Stereolab? Very traditional and haunting.

👍
View Author
Mon Nov 14 2022
4

One likes a madrigal, especially when they're dressed up with sitars and glockenspiels.

👍
View Author
Mon Nov 21 2022
4

Cool last 60’s folk drying.

👍
View Author
Wed Nov 30 2022
4

Mysigt men lite långtråkigt album

👍
View Author
Fri Dec 02 2022
4

The vocals are a little corny, this album is emblematic of a distinct style of 1960's folk singing. However, the music is really well done, the playing is great, and it has a real charm to it.

👍
View Author
Thu Dec 29 2022
4

one of the most interesting prog ever

👍
View Author
Sun Jan 08 2023
4

Solid folk rock a la Fairport Convention, but a bit more "out there". Some wonderful songs here for sure, will be listening to this again.

👍
View Author
Mon Jan 30 2023
4

Really enjoyed this one, especially the female vocals on this are spectacular

👍
View Author
Thu Feb 02 2023
4

Gillar inte den kvinnliga solisten jättemycket... hon lägger lite för mycket sås på det för min smak! Men annars mysigt

👍
View Author
Thu Feb 02 2023
4

Wonderful album. Having Bert Jansch and John Renbourn in the same band makes for some inimitable guitarwork, and interplay between all the band members is captivating the whole way through. Definitely give this album a listen

👍
View Author
Sun Feb 12 2023
4

Super cool worldly experimental folk from the late 60's

👍
View Author
Fri Feb 24 2023
4

Perhaps it's the new boots I'm wearing for the upcoming Ren Faire, or the snow blanketing the mountains after this rare storm, but this album just hit the right little folksy spot for me this morning.

👍
View Author
Wed Mar 08 2023
4

not bad at all, reminds me of jethro tull somehow

👍
View Author
Fri Mar 24 2023
4

Quite an enjoyable album, I like the middle ages influence and their voices combine and harmonize very well

👍
View Author
Sun Mar 26 2023
4

7/10 I’m not usually a fan of the 60s British folk revival stuff, but I liked the vocal performance and the jazzy touches on a few songs

👍
View Author
Thu Mar 30 2023
4

Not a bad album. The more song-y tracks are definitely good, but when it got to the medieval ho-nonny nonny stuff I'm afraid it went a little over my head. Not that I didn't like it but I didn't see it as something I would be casually listening to again.... not bad

👍
View Author
Wed Apr 05 2023
4

I'm sure this style isn't for everyone, but I'm reading Lord of the Rings right now, and this kept giving Tom Bombadil and Goldberry vibes. So it's a win for me

👍
View Author
Fri Apr 07 2023
4

This album was genuinely surprising to me, not anything I would normally listen to but it all sounded great.

👍
View Author
Wed Apr 19 2023
4

Intermittently lovely and mostly interesting but certainly sub-sublime. There are moments of cringeworthy period stereotypicality (e.g., vocals on "Springtime Promises"), but for updating madrigals one thinks not much could be better. All that plus some glockenspiel and is that a sitar one hears, too? Male vocals leave something to be desired and there's a whiff of "eat your vegetables" to the overall proceedings (though one likes vegetables).

👍
View Author
Tue May 02 2023
4

Mmmmm, folky! A very pleasant album - definitely Wicker Man vibes in places. Fave track - "Hunting Song", no doubt!

👍
View Author
Wed May 17 2023
4

This one was a pleasant surprise. Based on the fact that it's a folk band I've never heard of and the cringe-worthy title "Basket of Light", I thought for sure that this was going to be "let's sit around the campfire and praise Jesus" kind of album. It was definitely a lot more interesting than that. From reading into the band, it sounds like they were considered fairly influential, which is all the more surprising that they're not more well known now.

👍
View Author
Tue May 23 2023
4

Jazzy British folk featuring unusual instrumentation and utilizes conflicting melodies and unusual time signatures that creates a lush rich atmosphere. Hardly any repetition, with each song based around some unique tone or technique, like the medieval polyphony of "Lyke-Wake Dirge", or the intensity of "Train Song" with the repeated guitar and the strings near the end, or the crazy banjo and sitar playing of "House Carpenter". Huge fan of the vocal style, reminding me of the Fairport Convention, cool and mysterious. The double bass is a unique take, and I'm a sucker for a sitar, so there were hardly any songs I disliked. In fact, I went back over each song, and the only ones I didn't fall for were "Springtime Promises" and the cover "Sally Goes Round the Roses" (probably cause I kept thinking I like the original more?)

👍
View Author
Wed May 24 2023
4

4/5 Basket of Light by Pentangle is a captivating album that showcases the group's exceptional musicianship and unique fusion of folk, jazz, and traditional influences. Released in 1969, it solidified their place in the British folk scene. Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the album, though I found a couple of songs to be a bit churchy in their tone. The skilled musicianship displayed throughout Basket of Light is truly impressive. The intricate guitar work, masterful fingerpicking, and intricate interplay between the instruments create a rich and immersive listening experience. Tracks like "Light Flight" and "Train Song" exemplify the group's ability to craft intricate arrangements and showcase their individual talents.

👍
View Author
Wed May 24 2023
4

The first of many to come on this journey of 1001 Albums, I was hesitant going in having never heard of The Pentangle, but my worries were swept away at first drum beat and guitar pluck of album opener "Light Flight". A fantastic blend of folk guitar, double bass, and voice, Basket of Light is the perfect sound to put on and just let the music take you in and into what feels like a different time. Notable tracks include "Light Flight", "Hunting Song", and "The Cuckoo". Had I not started this journey I doubt I'd have ever stumbled across The Pentangle or any of these tracks at all, but I can say now that I might be a fan, and will try and explore the band more in the future.

👍
View Author
Sat Jun 03 2023
4

Cozy yet adventurous. This is what quality folk sounds like. I felt rural AF as I commute across the busy city.

👍
Load more reviews