The Very Best Of

The Very Best Of

by Jake ThackrayJake Thackray


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Short of splashing out on the four-CD Jake Thackray box set and spending the rest of the day reveling in his full and fulsome majesty, The Very Best of Jake Thackray is, as its title suggests, a deliciously quick and easy introduction to the multi-hued world of Yorkshire's greatest-ever poet. Twenty-one songs may not give you quite the same bang for your buck as the earlier Lah Di Dah collection (which boasted twenty-two), and there's too much duplication to justify buying them both. If you have to choose, though, this is the one. Thackray's parameters are mapped out from the moment "The Blacksmith and the Toffee Maker" is ushered in, with its tale of late-blooming love in rural northern England. Tenderness and lust are two sides of the same lyrical coin, broken heartache and sniggering mirth the two faces that his every song wears. The sordid tale of "Old Molly Metcalfe," a shepherdess until her dying day; the vicious cruelty meted out to "The Widow of Bridlington," and the wild proclivities of the "Bantam Cock" are all here, together with the ribaldry of "The Lodger" and "It Was Only a Gypsy," the sweet resignation of "Lah Di Dah," the gentle beauty of "Go Little Swale" and so many more. Again, if you really want to indulge yourself, buy the box set. Otherwise, The Very Best of Jake Thackray is one of the most aptly-titled albums you'll ever hear.

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