Jake Thackray   •   Jake's Progress (USA)

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  • Jake's Progress
    • 1969 - Philips PHS 600-318 LP (USA)
  • Side One
    1. Country Girl
    2. Family Tree
    3. Sophie
    4. Worried Brown Eyes
    5. On The Shelf
    6. Salvation Army Girl
    7. The Blacksmith And The Toffee-Maker
  • Side Two
    1. The Hole
    2. Caroline Diggeby-Pratte
    3. Grandad
    4. Mrs.Murphy
    5. One–Eyed Isaac
    6. Nurse
    7. The Castleford Ladies Magic Circle

  • Musicians
    • Jake Thackray
    • Frank Horrox: Piano
    • Ike Isaacs: Guitar
    • Frank Clarke: Bass
  • Credits
    • Supervised by Geoff Love
    • Recording Engineer: Peter Bown
    • Recording Produced by Norman Newell
    • Music and Lyrics by Jake Thackray
    • All Selections Published by Felicia Music Co., Inc. (BMI)
    • Electronically Re-Recorded To Simulate Stereo (Philips)

Sleeve Notes

Jake Thackray is like a wise, young owl perched on a gnarled satiric limb. He stares out at a world that is more than slightly cockeyed and he couldn't be happier at the sight. Because the things he witnesses are the subjects of his wicked, impudent, often devastating songs. If everything were in perfect order, he'd be at a total loss for material. He could still teach school, and visit pubs and go for walks along the British North Country where he was born.

But he wouldn't be a featured performer on the BBC's "Braden's Week" program, where he composes a song every week, usually just a few hours before showtime, according to Bernard Braden. He would not have become a popular British entertainer. Record producer Norman Newell would not have called him "a genius." Nor would he have made his debut on a refreshing, offbeat Philips album titled "The Last Will and Testament of Jake Thackray" that introduced him to quite a few people on this side of the Atlantic.

Finally, still assuming that this could be the best of all possible worlds, Jake Thackray would not have selected fourteen more ditties from his overflowing songbook, to make this wry and amusing album.

"Country Girl" is a little slice of bucolic life. The bizarre Thackray backgrounds are exposed in "Family Tree" and may explain why Jake is like he is today. Then again, maybe not. "Sophie" plumbs the mystery of a mistress and "Worried Brown Eyes" is the story of a young lady that unfolds in the letters column of a weekly magazine. "On The Shelf" is what would have happened Noel Coward had written "Eleanor Rigby." And "Salivation Army Girl" scrapes at the veneer of a lady who may not be as altruistic as she seems. "The Blacksmith and The Toffee-Maker" is probably as cynical a love story as you're likely to hear.

Side Two begins with "The Hole," a nonsense-type, song-story that may remind you of that hit of long ago, "The Thing." "Caroline Diggeby-Pratte" dissects a spoiled, social and thoroughly vacuous young lady. "Grandad" is a less-than-tender ode to a departed relative. Romance among the older set is recounted in "Mrs. Murphy." And several thoroughly despicable characters are celebrated in "One-eyed Isaac." "Nurse" is a dialogue between amorous patient and resisting angel of mercy. And "The Castleford Ladies Magic Circle" discusses witchcraft, sex worship and other unlikely past times of the geritol set.

Yes, happily for all of us, the world is still as confused and confusing as ever. And Jake Thackray, by commenting on it, taking it to task, shining a light in its dark corners, is rapidly making his progress along the path to stardom. And keeping us very amused while he's at it.

Richard Lochte