Beth Orton's Trailer Park: Legacy Edition set for release March 9, 2009

Beth Orton

In 1996, with pop charts dominated by all manner of boy groups, girl groups, and commercial hip-hop, the timing couldn't have been less auspicious for the emergence of 25-year-old singer-songwriter Beth Orton.

An artist possessing an intuitive blend of folk and jazz vocal sensibilities, whenever her hypnotic single "She Cries Your Name" spun across the airwaves England slipped into a trance. Beth's major market debut album, 'Trailer Park', gathered a quorum of true believers who honoured the record with a trio of BRIT and Mercury Award nominations, including a BRIT win for "Best British Female."

Watch "Anywhere" video:

Beth Orton on

Beth Orton on

The following year Orton scored another coup when her Best Bits EP enlisted the enigmatic folk-soul-jazz-blues charm of Chicago legend Terry Callier on two of its tracks including a remake of the mid-'60s folk standard "Dolphins" (written by Fred Neil, of Midnight Cowboy's "Everybody's Talkin'" renown). In the States, Orton became an important influence on the West Coast neo-folk of Devendra Banhart and Joanna Newsom.

Originally released 13 years ago, Trailer Park: Legacy Edition presents a newly re-mastered version of the classic album that introduced "She Cries Your Name." In addition, a second CD compiles 13 non-album tracks that were released between 1996 and '98: UK single B-sides, a live cut, an instrumental, and rarities (including both Callier collaborations). The two-CD package will contain a booklet with new photographs, and liner notes written by journalist Miranda Sawyer.

In anticipation of her new studio album arriving in 2009, this latest entry in the Legacy Edition series will be available at all physical and digital retail outlets from March 9, 2009 through Legacy (a division of SONY MUSIC ENTERTAINMENT).

"Folk was the music that came most naturally to Beth, writing songs on her acoustic guitar," attests Sawyer in the package's essay. "She wanted to capture the purity of its traditional sound. Having grown up around British folk musicians, she often wondered why British folk was not revered in the same way as the roots music of America."

Orton's explorations into folk were underpinned by an eclectic array of sources, including the burgeoning electronica movement. Several of the tracks ("Tangent," "Don't Need A Reason," "Galaxy Of Emptiness") swirl with an octet of string players - violins, violas and cellos. Three of the tracks ("Touch Me With Your Love," "Tangent," "Galaxy Of Emptiness") were remixed by producer Andrew Weatherall, best known for his work with The Orb, New Order, and of course Primal Scream (their landmark Screamadelica album, and the Trainspotting movie soundtrack).

In the wake of Trailer Park's critical and commercial acceptance, and the success of "She Cries Your Name," "Touch Me With Your Love" was issued in early 1997 as the follow-up single, in several configurations. Among the several B-sides that appeared were an instrumental version of "Touch Me With Your Love" and a live version of "Galaxy Of Emptiness." Trailer Park: Legacy Edition gathers these and other hard-to-find tracks on its second CD.

Orton writes virtually all the material that she performs, with only a few notable exceptions, including "Dolphins." Another stand out cover is her version of the Ronettes' "I Wish I Never Saw The Sunshine." Sawyer writes: "This song (about devotional love lost) evoked her loss and grief at her mother's death a few years earlier. Hearing it gave expression to feelings that, at the time, Beth could only access through writing her own love songs. She ran home and learnt ['Sunshine'] there and then, driven to breathe her own experience into the song's tender sentiment, previously hidden beneath the Phil Spector production. She stripped the song back to its barest bones to reveal the vulnerability beneath."

Orton returned to the same wellspring of emotion for her version of Barry Mann's "I Love How You Love Me" (recorded by the Paris Sisters in 1961). Orton's version appears in the soundtrack of the 1997 British rock n' roll cult film Mojo (written and directed by playwright Jez Butterworth).

"Trailer Park," writes Sawyer, "is a collection of stories, a moment in time, a humble offering with far-reaching effects, a musical experiment gone right, a small jewel that glitters differently as you turn it in your hand. Even today, it’s still open enough to let your own moods and desires take the songs where you want them to go... For Beth, writing and recording songs is the best feeling in the world. The equivalent of true love, she calls it. Time for us to fall in love all over again."

Orton has released three albums since Trailer Park: Central Reservation (1999), Daybreaker (2002) and Comfort of Strangers (2006). Her latest is expected this year.

"Beth Orton's first album was born out of going out and staying in, of love, late nights and mornings after. It referenced Rickie Lee Jones, Bobbie Gentry, Joni Mitchell; the girl groups of the early '60s, the twisted pop of the late '60s. There were those who deemed it the perfect post-club comedown album. But it was so much more." -- from the liner notes by Miranda Sawyer for Trailer Park: Legacy Edition

Trailer Park: Legacy Edition by Beth Orton

Track Listing:

(Legacy 88697 35722 2 1, originally issued September 1996, as Heavenly 17)

CD One - Selections:
1. She Cries Your Name
2. Tangent
3. Don't Need A Reason
4. Live As You Dream
5. Sugar Boy
6. Touch Me With Your Love
7. Whenever
8. How Far
9. Someone's Daughter
10. I Wish I Never Saw The Sunshine
11. Galaxy Of Emptiness

CD Two - Selections:
1. Safety (A)
2. It's Not The Spotlight (A)
3. Galaxy Of Emptiness (live at Shepherds Bush Empire, 26/11/1996) (B)
4. Pedestal (B)
5. Touch Me With Your Love (instrumental) (C)
6. It's This I Am Find (D)
7. Bullet (E)
8. Best Bit (early version) (E)
9. Best Bit (F)
10. Skimming Stone (F)
11. Dolphins (feat. Terry Callier) (F)
12. Lean On Me (feat. Terry Callier) (F)
13. I Love How You Love Me (G)


A - Tracks 1-2 from B-side "She Cries Your Name" single, 1996.
B - Tracks 3-4 from B-side "Touch Me With Your Love" single, January 1997.
C - Track 5 from B-side "Touch Me With Your Love" vinyl 10-inch, 1997.
D - Track 6 from B-side "Someone's Daughter," March 1997.
E - Tracks 7-8 from B-side "She Cries Your Name" (re-release), June 1997.
F - Tracks 9-12 from "Best Bit" EP, December 1997.
G - Track 13 from Mojo soundtrack album, July 1998.

Note: All tracks on CD One and CD Two are 2008 re-mastered versions.

Beth Orton Official Website

Beth Orton MySpace

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