If I am going to be totally shallow, as if there is an “if” there. I have always had a massive crush on Anne Briggs since I was a mere teen and being all pretentious with records under my arm walking through school as if I was in on some secret others only guessed at. The whole image of the hard drinking, hard living young woman in her slouched sweater sitting on the floor smoking and keeping pace with those aging folkies as they were put to shame by her pure voice is captivating.
Anne Briggs is something of an enigma, she burned bright and then essentially disappeared, dissatisfied with her own recorded singing. She still lives in obscurity refusing to record and she is represented by approximately 30 songs she recorded in her short career. There is always the what ifs out there, but the records are maybe enough.
She managed to influence almost every folk-rock, folk band and singer, her recordings have continued to influence musicians to this day. The Decemberists released an entire album named after her first e.p., Richard Thompson based the song Beeswing on what he knew of her character, which was mainly through Sandy Denny’s friendship and his ex-wife Linda, her version of Blackwaterside was influential to Bert Jansch who had the melody stolen by Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page for Black Mountainside, go figure.
So this has 12 songs, almost half of her catalogue, I suppose now I should just buy them all as that is all there will ever be.