Kirsty was a daughter of the great folk singer Ewan MacColl and his influence inevitably shows in her music, but she was very much of her time. Kirsty was always keen to experiment and the results were not always brilliant, but the best of her music is to be found on this outstanding collection. Apart from experimentation, Kirsty's success was limited by her desire to lead life to the full and raise a family as well. She died in a high-speed boating accident while still in her early forties.
The best earlier compilation of Kirsty's music, Galore, contains four tracks (You just haven't earned it yet baby, Angel, Can't stop killing you, Caroline) that are omitted from this set, but seven other tracks not on Galore can be found here (Terry, Still life, Soho Square, As long as you hold me, In these shoes, England 2 Colombia 0 and Sun on the water). Overall, there's not much to choose between these two outstanding compilations although this new one has more tracks and covers her whole career including two tracks from her final album, Tropical brainstorm.
The final track (Sun on the water) first appeared as a demo on the triple CD Croydon to Cuba anthology but has been re-mixed for release as a single and it is that version that you will find here. While it is a great summer song reflecting much fun and happiness, it is difficult to hear Kirsty sing this song without remembering that she died while in the water on a hot, sunny day.
Most of the songs on this collection were written by Kirsty, often but not always on her own, including They don't know (a song which provided Tracey Ullman with her first hit), There's a guy works down the chip shop swears he's Elvis, He's on the beach, Free world, Don't come the cowboy with me Sonny Jim (a song covered by Kelly Willis on her Easy album) and Walking down Madison.
Kirsty was also well capable of recording distinctive covers of other people's songs. Their diverse sources show that Kirsty was not a lady that anybody could typecast. They include A new England (Billy Bragg), Miss Otis Regrets (Cole Porter - one of two duets with Irish rockers The Pogues), Days (The Kinks) and Perfect Day (Lou Reed - a duet with Evan Dando of the Lemonheads).
Kirsty's biggest UK hit was the other duet with the Pogues - a Christmas song titled Fairytale of New York. It can be found on several British Christmas compilations and is not really typical of Kirsty's music. I would describe Kirsty's music as sixties pop rock updated for the eighties with a little folk and country added into the mix.
If Kirsty had pursued her career with single-minded dedication, some say she could have been a world megastar. Maybe, but she wanted a life outside music. As a consequence, her musical legacy is limited, but the quality more than makes up for that.
am 24. Dezember 2011
Im Jahr 2000 kam Kirsty Maccoll unter Umständen ums Leben, die bis heute nicht ganz geklärt sind. Bereits in dem Jahr konnte Kirsty auf eine über 20-jährige Karriere zurückblicken, die auf diesem großartigen Sampler dokumentiert ist. Angefangen mit They Don't Know (ein großer Hit für Tracey Ullman), über das sehr berührende Weihnachtslied Fairytale of New York (mit den Pogues) und 19 weitere Stücke, in denen sie die verschiedensten musikalischen Stile beherrscht. Ein wundervolles Album, von einer großartigen Sängerin, die viel zu früh gestorben ist.