Ralph McTell


Ralph McTell

Infobox Musical artist
Name = Ralph McTell


Img_capt =
Img_size =
Landscape =
Background = solo_singer
Birth_name = Ralph May
Alias =
Born = birth date and age|1944|12|3
Farnborough, Kent
Died =
Origin = Croydon, Surrey, UK
Instrument = guitar, vocals, piano
Voice_type =
Genre = Folk, Country blues
Occupation = singer, songwriter, record producer, author, radio presenter, children’s TV presenter
Years_active = 1965-present
Label = Transatlantic, Famous, Warner Bros., Mays, Castle, Leola
Associated_acts = The GP’s, Fairport Convention, Billy Connolly
URL = [http://www.ralphmctell.co.uk/ www.ralphmctell.co.uk]
Notable_instruments = Gibson J-45

Ralph McTell (born Ralph May in Farnborough, England, 3 December, 1944) is an English singer/songwriter and acoustic guitar player who has been an influential figure on the UK folk scene since the 1960s.

Ralph McTell is probably best known for the song "Streets of London" which has been covered by over two hundred artists around the world. In the 1980s he wrote and played songs for two TV children's programmes, "Alphabet Zoo" which also featured Nerys Hughes, followed by "Tickle On The Tum" featuring Jaqui Reddin. Albums were also released from both series. He also recorded the theme song to Cosgrove Hall's adaptation of "The Wind in the Willows" with Keith Hopwood, and this was released as a single in 1984 after the series was aired on ITV.

McTell's guitar style has been influenced by many of the USA's country blues guitar players of the early 20th century, including Blind Blake, Blind Willie McTell and Robert Johnson.

Biography

Ralph's mother, Winifred (née Moss), was born in Hammersmith, London. During the Second World War she was living in Banbury, Oxfordshire, with her sister Olive when she met Ralph's father, Frank May. They married in 1943 while Frank was home on leave from the army. Winifred moved to Croydon, Surrey, and Ralph was born on December 3, 1944 in Farnborough, Kent. He was named after Ralph Vaughan Williams - Frank had worked as the composer's gardener before the war. A second son, Bruce, was born in 1946. Frank was demobilized, but after a year or so at home, he walked out on his family in 1947.

Winifred was left to support herself and bring up the boys unaided. She told Ralph's biographer, "I remember Ralph saying to me quite soon after Frank left us, 'I'll look after you, Mummy'. I guess he'd got used to Frank being away all his short life." (6). But despite their father's desertion and the consequent poverty, Ralph and Bruce May had a happy and fulfilled childhood in Croydon.

Ralph's love of music surfaced early. He was given a plastic mouth organ and his grandfather, who played the harmonica, taught and encouraged him. The brothers spent many contented summer holidays at Banbury with their uncle and aunt and their grandparents. Banbury and north Oxfordshire would figure throughout Ralph's life. Later, he recalled those childhood summers in his song "Barges".

Influences

Other childhood experiences shaped Ralph's songwriting. A young Irishman and his family were the Mays' upstairs neighbours. Needing a father figure, Ralph greatly valued the young man's friendship and it later inspired the song "Mr Connaughton". Similarly, "Mrs Adlam's Angels" recalls his Sunday school teacher: "I loved the ceremonial and the music," he says, "you can hear the influence of hymn tunes in my song structures." (5).

In 1952, two youths attempted to break into a Croydon warehouse: one, Derek Bentley, surrendered to the police but the other, Christopher Craig, shot and killed a police officer. Yet at the trial Bentley was sentenced to death. "My mum knew the Bentleys," Ralph recalls. "I was about eight, but even then I could see the horror and injustice of executing a teenager for a murder he didn't commit." (5). Many years later, Ralph expressed that sense of injustice in the song "Bentley & Craig".

Teens

Ralph passed his 11-plus school examination and went to the John Ruskin Grammar School. He hated his time there and, despite being a very bright pupil, he didn't shine academically. Many of his fellow pupils were from wealthier backgrounds and, though having many friends there, he didn't fit in.

Musically, his tastes tended towards the outsider too. He was knocked out by skiffle and American rock'n'roll. He acquired an old ukulele and a copy of "The George Formby Method". Following the book's instructions, he played his first chord. "I was thunderstruck - it was like magic!" (5). He mastered skiffle classics like "Don't You Rock Me, Daddy-O" and by his second year at school, he'd formed a skiffle band.

By the age of 15, Ralph was very anxious to leave grammar school and the British Army looked like a way out, so in 1959 he enlisted in the Junior Leaders Battalion of The Queen's Surrey Regiment. Army life proved far worse than school. After six months, he bought himself out and resumed his education at technical college where he did several O level exams and an A level exam in art.

Discovering black music

At college, Ralph discovered the 1960s beatnik culture. As well as the work of writers such as Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, he discovered black American music - jazz, blues and R&B. Inspired by musicians like Jesse Fuller, Ramblin' Jack Elliott, Robert Johnson and Muddy Waters, Ralph bought a guitar and practised assiduously.

He and a group of like-minded friends became habitués of Soho jazz clubs and regularly went down to Brighton to "...sit on the beach looking windswept and interesting," as Ralph put it. (5). Soon he was spending much of his time away from Croydon, supporting himself with temporary work in factories, laundries, and hotels.

During his travels, Ralph met musicians who were destined to remain life-long friends, among them Jacqui McShee, later to gain fame in the band Pentangle, Martin Carthy and Wizz Jones. He was persuaded to join a bluegrass-influenced band called The Hickory Nuts, who gigged all over England and, despite playing in some dire places for pin money early on, ended up with decent fees and respectable crowds in venues like Croydon's Fairfield Halls.

The busker

By now, Ralph had begun travelling abroad, busking round Europe with his guitar. He spent time in France and visited Belgium and Germany. Other trips took him to Italy and through Yugoslavia ("I felt a madness there, even then" (5)) to Greece.

Paris was a city which Ralph revisited frequently. Late in 1965 he and a friend from Croydon took a room in a cheap hotel on the Left Bank, earning their rent by busking cinema queues. After braving a bitterly cold Paris winter, Ralph met a young American, Gary Petersen, who had studied with the legendary guitarist Reverend Gary Davis. "There was a great anticipation every time I got to play with (Petersen)," Ralph recalled. "Each time I learned something new, and through him I learned how to play ragtime properly." (7).

In the spring of 1966, Ralph met another émigré to Paris, a student from Norway named Nanna Stein. The pair soon became inseparable. Back in England, they lived in a caravan in Cornwall. He and Wizz Jones were regular performers on the Cornish circuit, especially at The Folk Cottage in Mitchell. Jones was so impressed with Ralph's performances of Blind Willie McTell's "Statesboro Blues" that he persuaded Ralph to adopt the stage name McTell.

Cornwall captured Ralph's heart - a place whose "unique spirit got to me" (5) - and the county has always remained a place for him to retreat to. By the end of 1966, Ralph and Nanna were expecting their first child. They married on November 30 in Norway and returned to live in Croydon with Winifred. Ralph and Nanna's son, Sam, was born on January 21, 1967.

After an unrewarding spell at teacher training college, Ralph decided he'd try to make it full time in music. As well as his vocal and instrumental talents, he was developing as a songwriter and was in demand in folk clubs and festivals.

Record deal

During 1967, Ralph landed a deal with Transatlantic Records and by the end of the year was recording his first album. Arranged by Tony Visconti and produced by Gus Dudgeon, the album, "Eight Frames A Second", was released early in 1968. It came to the attention of the BBC and was featured on radio programmes including "Country Meets Folk" in August and John Peel's "Top Gear". The release of the album meant more live work so Ralph's brother Bruce became his manager and booking agent.

His second album "Spiral Staircase", recorded for Transatlantic in late 1968, included the first recording of "Streets of London", which was recorded in one take by Ralph on guitar and vocals.

The third album, "My Side Of Your Window", released in 1969, became Melody Maker magazine's Folk Album of the Month. In July, Ralph had appeared at Cambridge Folk Festival for the first time and at the end of the year headlined at Hornsey Town Hall.

Into the 1970s

By 1970, "I'd got a family," Ralph recalled in an interview, "and found I had a musical career, somehow." (5). He was getting extensive radio play, and the audiences at his concerts were growing.

By May, he was sufficiently successful to fill the Royal Festival Hall in London. In August, Ralph played the huge Isle of Wight Festival alongside Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez, and Leonard Cohen.

Bruce May had bowed out and Ralph was now being managed by impresario Jo Lustig. In October 1970, Ralph sold out the Royal Festival Hall again and the album "Revisited" was released. This compilation was originally intended to introduce Ralph to American record-buyers but was released in the UK.

Ralph and Nanna's daughter Leah was born on February 9, 1971.

"You Well Meaning Brought Me Here" was released on the Famous label in 1971. Among the highlights of this fourth studio album was "The Ferryman", inspired by the Herman Hesse book "Siddhartha". That year also saw Ralph's first tour in the United States.

Initially, Paramount Records had been Ralph's American label but had not been supportive, and he later signed with Warner Bros. Records. While in the USA, Ralph hung out with the British folk-rock band Fairport Convention, establishing a lifelong professional relationship as well as personal friendships.

Ralph's fifth album, "Not Till Tomorrow", a return to a simpler sound, was produced by Tony Visconti, and released on Reprise in 1972. His UK concert tour played to packed houses and he met one of his guitar heroes, the Rev Gary Davis. By the end of the year, he'd parted company with Jo Lustig and his brother Bruce was again managing his career.

Although living in Putney, south west London, Ralph and Nanna bought a derelict cottage in Cornwall during 1972.

The Royal Albert Hall

During 1973, Ralph undertook a major tour which culminated in a concert at London's Royal Albert Hall on 30th January, 1974, where he played to a full house. By the end of the year, Ralph was in the studio with Visconti again working on his next album. Released early in 1974, "Easy" won critical acclaim and became Ralph's first album to do well in the charts. It was promoted by lengthy tours of Britain and Europe with Danny Thompson and Mike Piggott as backing musicians. Despite the civil unrest and violence in Northern Ireland, the tour included concerts in the province - in fact, Ralph continued to play there regularly throughout 'the Troubles'.

The hit and the band

Ralph re-recorded "Streets of London" with bassist Rod Clements and backing vocalists Prelude. Released as a single late in 1974, it rocketed up the charts to No. 2 over the Christmas period (8), became a worldwide million-seller, and won Ralph the Ivor Novello Award.

In early 1975, Ralph released the album "Streets..." which sold strongly and spent twelve weeks in the album charts. Backing musicians on the album included Lindisfarne's Rod Clements, Fairport Convention's Dave Pegg and Jerry Donahue, and Maddy Prior from Steeleye Span. He decided to tour with a band to promote the album, but the experiment was not a success. That tour, he recalls, "became a nightmare." (5). It was time for a break. Ralph went to America with his family where he spent time relaxing and writing. Refreshed, he returned to the UK.

During 1976, Ralph topped the bill at Montreux Jazz Festival and played another sold-out concert at The Royal Albert Hall. This was followed by his first tour of Australia and the far east. At Ralph's insistence, local buskers were given free tickets for the flagship concert at Sydney Opera House.

Ralph and Nanna's son Tom was born on 7 September, 1976.

Ralph's eighth album, "Right Side Up", was released late in 1976 and the year ended with a packed-out Christmas concert in Belfast where he got standing ovations both before and after the show.

The concerts at the Royal Albert Hall and Sydney Opera House had both been recorded and in 1977, Warner Bros. Records released the live album "Ralph Albert and Sydney".

During the year, Ralph met John 'Jonah' Jones, a popular figure on London's music scene. It was the start of a close friendship that lasted until John's death in 2003. After tours in the USA and Britain, Ralph again appeared at Cambridge Folk Festival.

Quieter times

Ralph and Nanna's son Billy was born on April 19, 1978.

Professionally, it was a quieter year so Ralph was able to enjoy his family. He and Nanna divided their time between their London home and their house in Cornwall.

In March 1979, Ralph played The Royal Festival Hall accompanied by Dave Pegg and Dave Mattacks of Fairport Convention, and Nigel Smith and Mike Piggott.

Ralph had written a lot of new songs and went into the studio with backing musicians including Richard Thompson, Dave Pegg and Simon Nicol. The resulting album, "Slide Away The Screen" was released by Warner Bros. Records.

The recording contract with Warner Bros. Records expired in 1980 so Ralph and Bruce set up Mays Records as an 'own brand' label. It would be a year or more until they had an album to release but meanwhile Ralph continued to tour.

During 1981, Ralph, Dave Pegg, Dave Mattacks and Richard Thompson formed an impromptu band called "The GPs". They performed half-a-dozen concerts but contractual restrictions meant the band couldn't be developed further.

The first release on Mays Records was the 1981 single "England", a song later adopted as the theme for a television travelogue presented by comedian Billy Connolly, a long-standing friend of Ralph's. Mays Records' first album release was "Water Of Dreams" which featured "Bentley & Craig", the song which led to Ralph's support of the campaign to grant Derek Bentley a posthumous pardon.

Television

In 1982, Ralph's career took an unexpected change of direction. Granada Television commissioned "Alphabet Zoo", a series of children's programmes built around songs written and performed by Ralph. Although initially reluctant to accept the offer, the fact that one of his heroes, Woody Guthrie, had composed dozens of songs for children convinced him it was worthwhile. The first series, broadcast in 1983, was a big success. A second series followed and Mays Records released two albums of the material - "Songs From Alphabet Zoo" and "Best of Alphabet Zoo".

During 1983, Ralph presented his own music series on BBC Radio 2. His guests included Billy Connolly, Georgie Fame, Simon Nicol with Dave Swarbrick, and Mike Harding.

In 1984, Ralph fronted another children's TV programme, called "Tickle On The Tum", again built around his songs. The series featured guests including John Wells, Willie Rushton, Kenny Lynch, Penelope Keith and Nerys Hughes. Mays Records released "The Best of - Tickle on the Tum" in 1986.

Ralph was still playing concerts between his television commitments and he toured during 1984 at home and in Canada and the USA. After composing the music for a Skol lager advertising campaign, he decided to concentrate on his musical career and turned down further television work.

Commercialism

Bruce May negotiated a deal with Telstar Records, a company that pushed its products heavily with major advertising and hyping campaigns. Ralph was persuaded to record an album which mixed his own material and 'classic songs' such as "Penny Lane, Morning Has Broken" and "Scarborough Fair". The result, "At the End of a Perfect Day", released late in 1985, was one of Ralph's least satisfactory recordings. It was "a totally commercial venture and a miserable failure," he said later; "...while I was reluctant to do it, the possibility of getting the kind of back-up that Telstar were offering was too good to miss." (9).

The next year Ralph was back on form with "Bridge of Sighs". Released on Mays Records in 1986, the album gathered together a lot of hitherto unfinished songs. It included "The Girl from the Hiring Fair" (originally written for Fairport Convention, and in whose core repertoire it remains to this day) and "The Setting", influenced by Sean O'Faolain.


=Ho

As well as tours in his own right, Ralph secured a prestigious support slot in 1987 opening the shows on The Everly Brothers' UK tour. He greatly enjoyed working with Don and Phil who, he admits, were musical heroes of his.

Ralph's end-of-tour gift to himself was Albert, an African Grey Parrot. In years to come, the bird would not only learn to talk but, by mimicking its owner's cough, would spur Ralph to give up the hand-rolled cigarettes he'd smoked all his adult life.

After tours in Europe, the USA and Australia, Ralph was back in the studio in February, 1988 to record the album "Blue Skies Black Heroes". Released on his own Leola Music label, the album was a homage to the blues and ragtime musicians who had so influenced his playing.

"Nearly all my guitar heroes are black, American, usually blind and most of 'em dead," Ralph explained. (5). All the tracks on "Blue Skies Black Heroes" were recorded as live takes, four with Danny Thompson on bass. The follow-up tour that summer saw Ralph on the road with a veritable arsenal of guitars.

1988 also saw the release of a compilation album, "The Very Best of Ralph McTell". Issued by Start, it was Ralph's first album to appear on CD.

Ralph was a regular visitor to, and occasional performer at, Fairport Convention's annual music festival in the village of Cropredy, near Banbury. The location inspired him to pen the ballad "Red and Gold" about the English Civil War, which has become another staple of Fairport's repertoire.

At the end of 1988, Bruce ceased to be Ralph's manager, the post being taken by Mick McDonagh.

Castle compilations

In 1989, Ralph signed a deal with the label Castle Communications to produce a compilation of his best work. For contractual reasons, some songs had to be re-recorded in Dave Pegg's Woodworm Studio in Cropredy. The result was "Affairs Of The Heart".

To support the album's release, Ralph undertook an extensive tour in the autumn and early winter. The tour was well-supported with PR material and was managed on the road by John 'Jonah' Jones.

The next year, 1990, Castle released "Stealin' Back", another collection of Ralph's blues and jug band numbers.

In 1991, Ralph shared the billing with Donovan on a tour of Germany. He also toured in his own right in the UK.

A second Castle compilation was released in 1992 to celebrate Ralph's 25 years of recording. "Silver Celebration" featured a selection of tracks including "The Ferryman, From Clare To Here" and "Streets Of London". A very extensive Silver Celebration tour occupied much of the year, again managed by 'Jonah' Jones.

Castle had by now now obtained the rights to the Transatlantic catalogue, and released a "Best of" CD with 24 tracks from Ralph's earliest albums. Castle subsequently licensed the early McTell back-catalogue to other labels, resulting in the release of several CD compilations under such titles as "The Best of Ralph McTell" or "Streets of London".

The Boy With A Note

Ralph completed a major project when in 1992, the BBC commissioned and broadcast "The Boy With A Note" - 'an evocation of Dylan Thomas in words and music'. It was re-recorded and released on Ralph's Leola label as an album. Ralph is very proud of this ambitious piece. "Two or three years went into that," he said. "It's grown-up work." (5).

During 1993, Ralph toured Australia and the Far East, and back home he undertook The Black And White Tour. Road Goes On Forever Records released "The Complete Alphabet Zoo", presenting the songs from the two television series in alphabetical order. Ralph and Mick McDonagh parted company.

In 1994 Ralph took part in a concert at the Royal Albert Hall to commemorate the life of Ken Woolard. Ken was the founder of Cambridge Folk Festival and Ralph assembled a band, Good Men In The Jungle, to play at that summer's festival. He also celebrated his fiftieth year by giving up smoking.

"Slide Away The Screen" was released as a CD by Road Goes On Forever Records with three previously unreleased songs added.

"Sand in Your Shoes" was recorded at Woodworm, by now relocated in Barford St Michael near Banbury. The album came out on the Transatlantic label during 1995.

Ralph performed his song "Bentley & Craig" at a special service for Derek Bentley held in Croydon cemetery with the Bentley family. Sadly, Bentley's sister Iris died before he was pardoned and, at her request, Ralph performed at her funeral a few years later.

A high point of 1995 was an invitation to perform songs from "The Boy With A Note" at the Year Of Literature Festival in Swansea, in south Wales.

Tickety Boo

In 1996, Ralph presented BBC radio's coverage of Sidmouth Festival and toured the UK, Europe, and the USA.

Ralph's long-standing sound engineer, Gordoon "Doon" Graham, had captured many of Ralph's concert performances on the desk, and an album of live material from 1976 to 1995 was released on Leola as "Songs for Six Strings Vol II". Early in 1997, Ralph began his association with Tickety Boo, the company which produced Billy Connolly's 'World Tour of...' television series. "In The Dreamtime", the song played over the closing credits to "Billy Connolly's World Tour of Australia," later featured on Ralph's album "Red Sky".

In the same year, Ralph was the subject of a major feature in "The Independent" newspaper. (4). An authorised biography of Ralph, entitled "Streets of London", was published by Northdown Publishing. (1). Ralph's concert at Croydon Town Hall was filmed, and released on videocassette as "Live at the Town Hall" by Leola in 1998.

By now, Leola had taken most of Ralph's management arrangements in house. Two sell-out concerts in London's Purcell Room were recorded by Ralph's tour manager and sound engineer, Donard Duffy, and released on Leola as a two-CD set. Entitled "Travelling Man", the double album came out in time for Ralph's 1999 spring tour. A two-page feature about Ralph appeared in "The Guardian" newspaper in May 1999. (5).

New century

Ralph had been busy writing during the previous couple of years and the result was "Red Sky". Recorded at Woodworm and released in 2000 on the Leola label, the album contained 19 listed tracks plus "Tickety-boo" as an instrumental hidden track.

Ralph's output was not restricted to songs, however. He had been working on an autobiography for some years and the first volume, entitled "Angel Laughter", was published by Heartland Publishing in 2000. (2).

To promote "Angel Laughter", Ralph undertook a tour of bookshops and libraries .

Ralph and Nanna's first grandchild, Ezra, was born on 25 June, 2000.

In 2001, Ralph undertook a special tour of the UK. Billed as 'The National Tour', it gave Ralph a chance to present concerts featuring his newly-acquired National Steel resonator guitar. Two live recordings from the National Tour made their way onto the 2002 Leola album "National Treasure".

Heartland published "Summer Lightning", the second volume of Ralph's autobiography, in 2002. (3). Another highlight of the year was the Lifetime Achievement Award for Songwriting presented to Ralph at the annual BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards. (10). By then, Ralph had written and recorded well over 200 songs.

Ralph had been touring extensively at home and abroad for many years so in 2003 he decided to take a break from the road. He split the year between his London and Cornwall homes and spent the time writing, travelling and spending time with his grandchildren - by the end of the year there were seven of them.

Early in 2004, Ralph co-headlined on Steeleye Span's tour of Australia and New Zealand as well as touring in the UK, Ireland and continental Europe.

Ralph appeared at the fortieth Cambridge Folk Festival (the performance was broadcast on BBC Four television) and also played at the fiftieth Sidmouth Festival. He made a guest appearance at Fairport's Cropredy Convention in August.

The Journey

Ralph celebrated his 60th birthday with a concert at London’s Royal Festival Hall in November, 2004. The entire show was filmed and released on DVD in 2005 as "The London Show".

Leola published "Time's Poems - The Song Lyrics of Ralph McTell" towards the end of 2005. Dedicated "to Woody Guthrie, the man who started it all for me", "Time's Poems" contains "...all the songs I could find in notebooks, on scraps of paper and old tapes, on records and CDs". (11).

In 2006 Ralph's 'Walk Into The Morning' tour was a sellout success, creating such long queues to talk to him at his customary 'meet and greet' sessions after concerts, that he was forced to announce in June 2006 that he would no longer be coming out into the foyers after shows to chat with fans.

For his 'up close' tour in September, 2006, Ralph performed a set billed as 'Dylan, Guthrie and The Country Blues', featuring his covers of songs by Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan and black American blues artists such as Big Bill Broonzy. He also recorded an album of the material, titled "Gates of Eden". Ralph described the music on this CD as "…the beginning of my own journey… these songs are almost sacred to me". (12).

A boxed set of four CDs was released in October, 2006. Compiled by David Suff from recordings made between 1965 and 2006, "The Journey" was promoted with several radio interviews and a major tour that included two ‘gala’ concerts at London’s Union Chapel.

A solo tour of Australia early in 2007 was followed by 'The Journey Continues' tour in the UK. In August, 2007, Sanctuary Records recognised the 40th anniversary of Ralph’s first recording contract by re-releasing his three Transatlantic albums as CDs with bonus tracks. Ralph had for some time been preparing an 'audio book' comprising readings from his autobiography interspersed with new recordings of the songs they inspired. "As Far As I Can Tell" was released as a treble CD in October, 2007, and promoted by a tour that appropriately included a 'gala' concert at St Mary’s church in Banbury.

A compilation CD comprising Ralph’s own selection of songs, including the 'hit' version of "Streets of London", was released on the Highpoint label as "The Definitive Collection" in December, 2007.

Discography

Main Albums released in UK

* "Eight Frames a Second" Transatlantic 1968 (LP)
* "Spiral Staircase" Transatlantic 1969 (LP)
* "My Side of Your Window" Transatlantic 1969 (LP)
* "Revisited" Transatlantic 1970 (LP) (Compilation)
* "You Well-Meaning Brought Me Here" Famous 1971 (LP)
* "Not Till Tomorrow" Reprise 1972 (LP)
* "Easy" Reprise 1974 (LP)
* "Streets…" Warner Bros. 1975 (LP)
* "Right Side Up" Warner Bros. 1976 (LP)
* "Ralph, Albert & Sydney" Warner Bros. 1977 (LP) (Live)
* "Slide Away the Screen" Warner Bros. 1979 (LP)
* "Water Of Dreams" Mays 1982 (LP)
* "Songs From Alphabet Zoo" Mays 1983 (LP)
* "Best of Alphabet Zoo" Mays 1983 (LP)
* "At the End of a Perfect Day" Telstar 1985 (LP)
* "The Best of - Tickle on the Tum" Mays 1986 (LP)
* "Bridge of Sighs" Mays 1986 (LP)
* "The Very Best of Ralph McTell" Start 1988 (LP) (CD) (Compilation)
* "Blue Skies Black Heroes" Leola 1988 (LP) (CD)
* " Affairs of the Heart" Castle 1989 (Double LP) (CD) (Compilation)
* "Stealin' Back" Castle 1990 (CD)
* "Silver Celebration" Castle 1992 (CD) (Compilation)
* "The Boy with a Note" Leola 1992 (CD)
* "Sand in Your Shoes" Transatlantic 1995 (CD)
* "Songs for Six Strings Vol II" Leola 1996 (CD) (Live)
* "Live at the Town Hall" Leola 1998 (VHS) (Live)
* "Travelling Man" Leola 1999 (Double CD) (Live)
* " Red Sky" Leola 2000 (CD)
* " National Treasure" Leola 2002 (CD)
* "The London Show" Leola 2005 (DVD) (Live)
* " Gates of Eden" Leola 2006 (CD)
* "The Journey – Recordings 1965-2006" Leola 2006 (4-CD Box set)
* "As Far As I Can Tell" Leola 2007 (Treble CD)
* " The Definitive Collection" Highpoint 2007 (CD) (Compilation)

Significant Album Reissues

* "Love Grows" Mays 1982 - LP remix of "Slide Away the Screen" with different tracks
* "The Complete Alphabet Zoo" Road Goes on Forever 1993 – CD with extra tracks
* "Slide Away the Screen and Other Stories" Road Goes on Forever 1994 – CD with extra tracks
* "Streets…" Leola 1995 – CD with extra tracks
* "Ralph, Albert & Sydney (Songs for Six Strings Vol 1)" Leola 1997 - CD with extra tracks
* "Easy" Leola 1999 - CD with extra tracks
* "Right Side Up" Leola 2001 - CD with extra track
* "Water of Dreams" Leola 2003 - CD with extra tracks
* "Eight Frames a Second" Transatlantic 2007 – CD with extra tracks
* "Spiral Staircase" Transatlantic 2007 – CD with extra tracks
* "My Side of Your Window" Transatlantic 2007 – CD with extra tracks

Other Albums featuring significant contributions by Ralph McTell

* "Just Guitars" (Various Artists) CBS 1984 (LP) (Live)
* "Saturday Rolling Around" (The GP’s) Woodworm 1992 (CD) (Live)
* "Musical Tour of Scotland" (Billy Connolly) Tickety-Boo 1995 (CD)
* "One for Jonah" (Various Artists) FooPoo 2004 (CD) (Live)

External links

Official websites:
* [http://www.ralphmctell.co.uk/ Current site]
* [http://www.mctell.co.uk/ Former site]

References

1. cite book |last=Hockenhull| first=Chris |title= Streets of London: The Official Biography of Ralph McTell|publisher=Northdown|year=1997|isbn=1-900711-02-8
2. McTell, R. "Angel Laughter: Autobiography Volume One", Amber Waves, 2000.
3. McTell, R. "Summer Lightning: Autobiography Volume Two", Amber Waves, 2002.
4. Harper, C. "And the Dude Played on", "The Independent", 13 September 1997.
5. Farquarson, A. "Streets Ahead", "The Guardian", 14 May 1999.
6. Hockenhull, op. cit., p. 9.
7. Ibid., p. 31.
8. BBC. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/soldonsong/songlibrary/streetsoflondon.shtml "Sold on Song: Streets of London"] . Accessed 25 May 2008.
9. Hockenhull, op. cit., p. 114.
10. BBC. [http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/events/folkawards2008/previouswinners.shtml "Radio 2 Folk Awards: Previous Winners"] . Accessed 25 May 2008.
11. McTell, R. "Time's Poems: The Song Lyrics of Ralph McTell", Leola, 2005, p. 15.
12. McTell, R. "Gates of Eden" CD inlay, 2006.


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