Magna Carta

Ages and Seasons

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Review

Ages and Seasons is, as the title might imply, a more or less straightforward reissue of all four of this most beloved group's original albums: 1970's Seasons, 1971's Songs from Wastie's Orchard, 1973's Lord of the Ages, and 1974's Martin's Cafe, all of which originally appeared on the Vertigo label (and are thus highly sought-after for that reason alone). Spread over two CDs, it's a remarkably economical way of catching some of the early-'70s British prog-folk movement's most inspired music -- the first two albums, in particular, are landmarks of the genre and, if the second disc's recounting of Magna Carta's later work drops the ball occasionally, then that only amplifies the beauty of the earlier material. Missing from the collection are the group's self-titled debut album and 1972's tremendous In Concert live set; nevertheless, all essential Magna Carta is here, and the budget pricing will save you an absolute fortune on the collectors' market. ~ Dave Thompson, Rovi