Dominic Behan, Davy Graham, Ewan MacColl, Willie Clancy, Rambling Jack Elliott, Sarah Makem… all folk music greats and all soon to be available in digital format from the treasure chest of Topic Records, which will celebrate its 75th anniversary in April next year. Europe’s oldest independent label is undertaking one of the biggest digitization projects by a niche music marque ever seen and later this month Topic will launch “The Great Big Digital Archive Project”, with 84 albums available to download complete with booklets, artwork, documentation and sleeve-notes.
In 2003, Booker Prize-winning novelist Kazuo Ishiguro said this of Topic:
“There is this kind of treasure chest you have sitting in front of you, and if you were American or perhaps Irish you might have opened it by now, but because you live here it probably hasn’t occurred to you to do so yet. Well, I would urge you to open that thing up and delve inside it, because I believe you’ll find there a sublime vision of the British Isles as it has been lived over the last few centuries; and it’s the kind of vision that you can’t readily get from the works of say, Dickens or Shakespeare or Elgar or Sir Christopher Wren. If you don’t open that treasure box I think you are going to miss a certain dimension, a whole dimension of cultural life in this country so I urge you to do it.”