Ralph, Albert & Sydney

Small Voice Calling > The Voice > Ralph, Albert & Sydney

“Playing at the Royal Albert Hall is, for a musician, like playing Wembley if you are a footballer.”

Ralph McTell’s concert at the Royal Albert Hall on 28 May 1976 was recorded with a view to releasing a ‘live’ album the following year to mark the tenth anniversary of Ralph’s first professional recording sessions.

Later in 1976, Ralph played the Sydney Opera House on the opening night of his first tour of Australia. He had a clause inserted into the contract that local buskers be given complimentary tickets for the show. One of the house engineers made a recording of the concert, which turned out so well that it became the majority contributor to the eventual ‘live’ mix. 

Ralph joked that the album could be called ‘Ralph, Albert and Sydney’, and the name stuck when it was released in August 1977. In his notes for the 1997 CD version, Ralph says, “I suppose playing at the Royal Albert Hall is, for a musician, like playing Wembley if you are a footballer”; and “The view from the (Sydney Opera House) dressing room window has to be one of the finest in the world and I remember… wondering if it was all real”.


EP, LP and CD Issues

EP – Released 1977 in UK – Warner Bros K17008.
LP – Released 1977 in UK – Warner Bros K56399.
LP – Released 1977 in Australia – Warner Bros 600034.
LP – Released 1977 in Germany –  Aves 0069.072.
LP – Released 1977 in Italy –  International SNIR25082.
LP – Released 1977 in New Zealand – Warner Bros 600034.
LP – Released 1977 in South Africa – Warner Bros WBC1361.
LP in Double LP set – Retitled ‘Starportrait’ – Released 1978 in Germany – Aves INT156.054 [Note 1].
LP – Retitled ‘Live’ – Released 1978 in USA – Fantasy F9571.
LP – Released 1982 in UK – Mays TG003.
CD – Released 1997 in UK – Subtitled ‘Songs for Six Strings Volume 1’ – Leola OLA16E1CD [Note 2] [Note 3].

Notes

1. Record 2 of 2LP set. See also Right Side Up.
2. The CD release includes five bonus tracks.
3. See also Songs for Six Strings