Parchment - Simply Parchment: Light Up The Fire

Tuesday 1st March 2005
Parchment - Simply Parchment: Light Up The Fire
Parchment - Simply Parchment: Light Up The Fire

STYLE: Jesus Music
RATING 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9 9
OUR PRODUCT CODE: 11950-9534
LABEL: Kingsway KMCD2559
RELEASE DATE: 2004-08-20
RRP: £16.99

Reviewed by Mike Rimmer

I'd imagine that one of the curses of being a former member of Parchment is that people only remember you for the chart hit "Light Up The Fire" (no 31 in 1972). Before Delirious?, After The Fire and all those other Christian artists trying to make a mainstream impact, there was Parchment who did it first including Top Of The Pops! John Paculabo, Keith Rycroft and Sue McClellan recorded four albums which combined folk, roots, pop, rock and psychedelic influences to create a style of music which seems a little twee today. Back then it propelled the band alongside the progressive folk rock of bands like Steeleye Span, Pentangle and Fairport Convention and sounded thoroughly contemporary. Musically, some of these songs have travelled the intervening years better than others. Highlights for me on this welcome compilation are the trippy vocals of "Hard Road" which brought a smile to my face, the pure nostalgia of "Light Up The Fire" and some of the adventurous tracks like "Death In Jerusalem" and "Light Of The World". I am sure there are plenty of other classic recordings from the '70es and '80s sitting in the vaults somewhere and I applaud Kingsway for honouring pioneers like Parchment with this series. (9 squares)
Mike Rimmer

The opinions expressed in this article are not necessarily those held by Cross Rhythms. Any expressed views were accurate at the time of publishing but may or may not reflect the views of the individuals concerned at a later date.

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Reader Comments

Posted by Jerry Thompson in Essex, UK. @ 08:29 on Jul 31 2010

In the mid 1970s Parchment were the top UK Gospel/folk ban around and if you have ditched your record player then this is the only way to own their music.
This is 8 out of 10 for quality songs and production.
My favourites being Death In Jerusalem, Love Will Come Again and Light Up The Fire.
It's good!

Posted by John Widdowson in Skegness @ 00:12 on Oct 18 2009

This is a really good collection of Parchment songs, and with the rare single "You Were On My Mind." However, I prefer the original album running order of the songs, especially where "Death In Jerusalem" runs into "Gift" on the LP. I'm glad I kept their 4 LPs because there are 4 songs missing on this CD set. "Zip Bam Boo!," "Shine On Me," "Borders Of Belief" and "Golden Game." It's a pity they were left out, it would have made this an excellent collection. "Borders Of Belief" was composed by Keith Rycroft who had already left the band, so John Pac lead the vocals. (I also have Keith's version of the song.) Overall, a very good CD set to add to the Parchment collection. You won't be disappointed.

Reply by Maz in UK @ 17:15 on Apr 10 2014

Still Waters unfortunately from Rehearsal is also not featured on the 3cd set . John must have had his reasons for the songs he left off though and I guess it was how he wanted it or how it had to be .

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Posted by pf @ 23:01 on Jun 30 2005

A collection of great songs but not the best way to listen to them. Each Parchment album, starting with Light Up the Fire, had a very distinct feel, influenced by the remarkable production talents of John Pantry ( before he became a radio vicar). The songs here are all mixed up but it's the only way you will get them on CD. The gem is the lost single You Were on My Mind which was never released on an album.

Reply by Ann in Switzerland @ 03:49 on Apr 11 2020

I found this version of "you were on my mind" I can try and find a better one if you like.

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