12. Lal and Mike Waterson, 'Bright Phoebus'
Two of the three siblings in the Watersons, a watershed vocal group in the English folk revival of the Sixties, Lal and Mike Waterson made this record at the movement's early-Seventies intersection of traditional vernacular and progressive impulse. There was stark, original writing by the two; daring instrumentation (cello, oboe); and an all-star complement of younger admirers from Steeleye Span and Fairport Convention, including the former's founders – singer Martin Carthy and bassist Ashley Hutchings – and the latter's guitar star Richard Thompson. Financial problems at the Watersons' label limited the release, in 1972, to 1,000 copies; the U.K. folk press, unnerved by their turn into modernism, panned or ignored the album. This reissue – with a double-disc edition including unreleased demos – is justice at last. It entered the British album chart in August – in the Top 30.