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“It’s long overdue.”

Over the years, Ralph McTell’s in-house management companies – Mays Records, Leola Music – obtained the publishing rights to the recordings Ralph had made under contract to various other labels. But Ralph’s first label, Transatlantic, and its successors, retained control over ‘their’ McTell catalogue of recordings cut between 1967 and 1970. The US label Kicking Mule compiled ‘The Best of Ralph McTell‘ from these recordings in 1980, followed by Cambra with ‘At His Best’ in the  UK in 1982.

But those recordings, good though they were (and are), did not of themselves represent Ralph’s ‘best’ work. Ralph remedied this in 1988 when he selected eight of the ‘old’ songs and eight more recent tracks for release as ‘The Very Best of Ralph McTell’ (emphasis added). Ralph wrote on the sleeve note, “I’m very pleased with this new album, it’s long overdue!”

Ralph has subsequently issued several themed compilations, including two collections of ‘love songs’, an album to accompany his 2014 tour of the Celtic nations, and a 4-CD career retrospective box set .


The Very Best of Ralph McTell
Compiled from recordings made between 1967 and 1976.

LP – Released 1988 – Start STL17.
CD – Released 1988 – Start SCD17.


A Collection of His Love Songs – Affairs of the Heart
Complied from recordings made between 1974 and 1986 plus 6 new recordings.

Double LP – Released 1989 – Castle CCSLP219.
CD – Released 1989 – Castle CCSCD219.


Silver Celebration – A Selection of Songs from the first 25 years
Compiled from recordings made between 1974 and 1986 plus 4 new recordings.

CD – Released 1992 in UK – Castle CCSCD329.
CD – Released 1992 in Germany – CTE 08431822.
CD – Retitled ‘From Clare to Here – The Songs of Ralph McTell’ – Released 1996 in USA – Kicking Mule KM307.


The Journey – Recordings 1965 – 2006

4-CD Box Set – Released 2006 – Leola OLABOX60.
See Paul Jenkins’ essay in ‘The Journey’ box set booklet.


The Definitive Collection
Compiled from recordings made between 1974 and 2001.

CD – Released 2007 – Highpoint HPO6016.


Streets of London and Other Story Songs
Compiled from recordings made between 1974 and 2006.

Download – Released 2009 – Leola.
See also Streets of London – The Albums.


Affairs of the Heart
Compiled from recordings made between 1971 and 2007 plus 2 new recordings.

4-CD box set – Released 2010 – Leola TPGCD30.


Celtic Cousins
A collection of Celt-themed songs recorded between 1976 and 2010.

CD – Released 2014 – Leola TPGCD36.