Morning Star UK
December 5th, 2023
Though forgotten by the mainstream music scene, this compilation is proof that Leon Rosselson – now 89 years old – stands as one of the most important, politically sharp voices in British post-war culture.
The topical folk songs here are taken from across his long and prolific career. 1987’s Ballad Of Spycatcher was his attempt to break the government’s censorship of Peter Wright’s MI5 expose, while Postcards From Cuba is a wonderfully breezy political travelogue. Brim-full of sarcasm and quiet anger, Talking Democracy Blues from the 2010s includes a delicious takedown of Tony Blair (“When he smiles, children die”).
The classics are here too – the revolutionary Diggers anthem World Turned Upside Down, and Stand Up For Judas, performed by Roy Bailey. The really good news? There’s tons more of Rosselson to discover. My recommendation: check out the astonishing epic The Last Chance.