Leon Rosselson Final Compilation Album (British Protest Folk Legend) Feat Billy Bragg, Martin Carthy
By Devon Leger.
ROSSELSON INFLUENCED GENERATIONS OF BRITISH SONGWRITERS AND TACKLED EVERYTHING FROM THATCHER TO NUCLEAR POWER TO SOCIALISM TO ANTI WAR PROTESTS
Leon Rosselson has been at the forefront of songwriting in England for over sixty years. For Chronicling the Times, coming October 27, 2023 on PM Press, Rosselson delved into his storied political satirist’s song catalog to assemble seventeen of his favorite recordings.
Featuring English folk luminaries such as Martin Carthy and Billy Bragg, this collection proves that Rosselson, now well into his 80s, has created an oeuvre comparable to other social critics such as Phil Ochs. Rosselson started performing in the early days of the folk revival as a member of the Galliards with whom he made many radio and TV broadcasts. His early songs were topical-satirical, but eventually absorbed many different influences from around the world.
Rosselson has recorded many albums and published two songbooks. His song “The World Turned Upside Down” was taken into the pop charts by Billy Bragg and covered by artists including Dick Gaughan and Chumbawamba. Rosselson has also published seventeen children’s books, the first of which, Rosa’s Singing Grandfather, was shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal in 1991.
Billy Bragg deftly summed up his career: “Leon Rosselson is the embodiment of the original ideals of punk rock–using fearless wit and political integrity to highlight the hypocrisies of those in power.”
Leon Rosselson’s first single, "Bringing the News from Nowhere” features Martin Carthy on guitar and British folk singer Frankie Armstrong. It's about a 19th century socialist utopian sci-fi novel written by pioneering author William Morris.
Billy Bragg on Leon Rosselson: "In many ways, Leon Rosselson is the embodiment of the original ideals of punk rock. His hair isn't spiky, but his music is, using fearless wit and political integrity to highlight the hypocrisies of those in power. Alone among the great British songwriters of the past sixty years, Leon has sought to make art that stays true to Karl Marx's demand that we should concern ourselves with the ruthless criticism of all that exists."