In making the film Luke, we discovered these tracks in the Charles Parker Archive, Birmingham and the National Sound Archives in London. We are particularly indebted to Peggy Seeger who made available the archive of the Critics Group founded by the legendary composer - singer Ewan MacColl.
The songs were recorded some time in the early '60s on very basic recording equipment but I thought that the pure quality of Luke's voice on these tracks was more than sufficient to warrant a release. We considered adding instruments and fixing them digitally but finally it was decided to release them as they are here, cleaned up yes, but with minor technical alteration.
We've made one exception however, many years ago I recorded with Luke the Ray Davies classic, Days. It had a very limited release and again, while the quality of this version isn't quite up to today's standards, the uniqueness warrants its inclusion.
The cleaning up of the original tapes and the compilation of the album was done by Jim Lockhart and Terry Cromer at Lime Street Sound.
We are grateful to John Faulkner, Sinead O'Brien and the research team of the film Luke for rediscovering these recordings.
Noel Pearson — Producer Luke
This film tells the story of Luke Kelly from his birth in inner city Dublin to his tragic-early death forty four years later.
Together with contributions from Ronnie Drew, Christy Moore, The Dubliners, Phil Coulter, John Hume, Bill Whelan, Shane McGowan, Gerry Adams, Eamonn Dumphy, and Luke's own family; the film contains an extraordinary version of 'Raglan Road' together with rare footage of the songs' composer Patrick Kavanagh. Other songs include the "Town I Loved So Well", "Joe Hill", "The Auld Triangle", "The Night Visiting Song", "The Sun is Burning" and extraordinary renditions of the Ray Davis classic "Days"