Bert Jansch  

From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia

Jump to: navigation, search

Related e

Wiki Commons

Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Herbert Jansch (3 November 1943–5 October 2011), known as Bert Jansch, was a Scottish folk musician and founding member of the band Pentangle. He was born in Glasgow and came to prominence in London in the 1960s, particularly as an innovative and accomplished acoustic guitarist, but also as a singer and songwriter. He recorded at least 25 albums and has toured extensively starting in the 1960s and continuing into the 21st century.

Jansch was a leading figure in the British folk music revival of the 1960s, touring folk clubs and recording several solo albums, as well as collaborating with other musicians such as John Renbourn and Anne Briggs. In 1968, he joined the band Pentangle, touring and recording with them until their break-up in 1972. He then took a few years' break from music, returning in the late 1970s to work on a series of projects with other musicians. He joined a reformed Pentangle in the early 1980s and remained with them as they evolved through various changes of personnel until 1995. Until his death, Jansch continued to work as a solo artist.

His work influenced such artists as Paul Simon, Johnny Marr, Bernard Butler, Jimmy Page, Nick Drake, Graham Coxon, Donovan, Neil Young and Devendra Banhart. He has received two Lifetime Achievement Awards at the BBC Folk Awards: one, in 2001, for his solo achievements and the other, in 2007, as a member of Pentangle.


Jansch's music, and particularly his acoustic guitar playing, have influenced a range of well-known musicians. His first album (Bert Jansch, 1965) was much admired, with Jimmy Page saying "At one point, I was absolutely obsessed with Bert Jansch. When I first heard that LP, I couldn't believe it. It was so far ahead of what everyone else was doing. No one in America could touch that."

The same debut album included Jansch's version of the Davy Graham instrumental "Angie". This was a favourite of Mike Oldfield, who practised acoustic guitar alone as a child, and was then heavily influenced by Jansch's style. The title of the instrumental inspired Oldfield to call his first band (with sister Sally) "The Sallyangie". Jansch's version of "The Sallyangie" inspired Paul Simon's recording of the piece on his album, Sounds of Silence. From the same era, Neil Young is quoted as saying, "As much of a great guitar player as Jimi [Hendrix] was, Bert Jansch is the same thing for acoustic guitar...and my favourite." Nick Drake and Donovan were both admirers of Jansch: both recorded covers of his songs and Donovan went on to dedicate two of his own songs to Jansch; "Bert's Blues" appeared on his Sunshine Superman LP, and "House of Jansch" on his fourth album Mellow Yellow. Other tributes included Gordon Giltrap's album Janschology (2000) which has two tunes by Jansch, plus two others that show his influence. Further afield, the Japanese acoustic guitar player Tsuneo Imahori is known to have been heavily influenced by Jansch.


See also: Pentangle
Singles and EPs
  • 1966 – Needle of Death (EP)
  • 1967 – "Life Depends on Love"/"A Little Sweet Sunshine"
  • 1973 – "Oh My Father"/"The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face"
  • 1974 – "In The Bleak Midwinter"/"One For Jo" (non-album A-side)
  • 1975 – "Dance Lady Dance"/"Build Another Band"
  • 1978 – "Black Birds of Brittany"/"The Mariner's Farewell"
  • 1980 – "Time and Time"/"Una Linea Di Dolcezza"
  • 1982 – "Heartbreak Hotel"/"Up To The Stars"
  • 1985 – "Playing the Game"/"After the Long Night"
  • 2003 – "On the Edge of a Dream"/"Walking This Road"/"Crimson Moon"
  • 1966 – Lucky Thirteen (U.S. release containing tracks from Jansch's two UK LP's.)
  • 1969 – Bert Jansch: The Bert Jansch Sampler
  • 1972 – Box Of Love: The Bert Jansch Sampler Volume 2
  • 1986 – Strolling Down The Highway
  • 1992 – The Gardener: Essential Bert Jansch
  • 1993 – Three Chord Trick
  • 1997 – Blackwater Side
  • 2000 – Dazzling Stranger: The Bert Jansch Anthology
  • 2011 - Angie : The Collection
  • 2007 – Fresh As a Sweet Sunday Morning (live concert 2006)

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Bert Jansch" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

Personal tools