David Ackles Recordings

 

David & Janice Ackles on the cover of American Gothic
David performed on four albums in the late 60s and early 70s, of which the first three, on Elektra, were released on CD in 1994, then re-released in 2000. The fourth, on Columbia, had never been re-issued until a release by Raven Records, the Australian record label, in 2004. The Elektra CDs may be difficult to obtain, so second hand shops and suppliers on the Internet may be your only hope if you wish to complete your collection. (See Record Sellers/Values.) I have placed a hyperlink beside each of the album cover pictures, where the CD is on sale from Amazon. I do get a small commission if you use this link - enough to buy perhaps one CD a year, if I'm lucky! You may also be able to buy the last album directly from the Raven Records website, although the last time I checked, it was no longer listed. When you hover your mouse over the "View details" link, full track listings and production information on each album will appear.

 

Original Studio Recordings - listed in order of release
Album cover: David Ackles (first album)

David Ackles

a.k.a. The Road to Cairo

1968

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Album sleeve: Subway to the Country

Subway to the Country

1970

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Album sleeve: American Gothic

American Gothic

1972

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Album cover: Five & Dime

Five & Dime

1973

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Proposed CD cover for There Is a River

There is a River

2008 - never officially released

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The Future:

Since the release of his albums and the termination of a recording contract, David wrote and recorded a number of songs. Prior to his death, David had started working on these, amending parts of them and adding backing musicians. I understand that it is the intention of David's family and friends to continue with this task, with a view to releasing a double album that will contain a "Best of" section and a "new material" section (with songs like the ones that would have been on There Is a River). However, this is a long process, being done by people with busy lives and time-occupying jobs, so it may be a while in its completion. Further details will appear on this website, when available.

Singles:

Apart from Down River/La Route Chicago the only other singles that may be available are demos for issue to radio stations. You may be fortunate in finding one with a different version of the songs from that on the albums, recorded specially to satisfy "airtime" regulations. For example, I have copies of Love's Enough/American Gothic on Elektra 45797 and The Road to Cairo/Be My Friend. Beware: every seller on EBay will tell you that their copy of a single is "rare", but wait around long enough and a cheaper one will appear. Regularly, EBay also has for sale the "free" single that accompanied Subway to the Country. Ideally this should only accompany the original album it was given away with.

Single cover: Road to Cairo

Samplers & Compilations:

Down River appeared on the 1971 Elektra sampler Garden of Delights (ESP9001). In addition, Down River, Ballad of the Ship of State and Laissez Faire are on the Elektra anthology, Forever Changing: the Golden Age of Elektra, 1963-73 (Normal and deluxe editions). So long as your French is good, La Route Chicago is on Great Lost Elektra Singles, Volume 1. And probably for no other reason than it's in the title, Oh, California is on the compilation Back to California: Ladies and Gentlemen of the L.A. Canyons.

Written by David Ackles, performed by:

Brian Auger & the Trinity (Road to Cairo), Harry Belafonte (Subway to the Country), Jaime Brockett (Down River), Martin Carthy (His Name is Andrew), Barry Dransfield (Be My Friend), The Hollies (Down River), Howard Jones (Road to Cairo), Ricky Koole (Love's Enough), Kaksi Puolta (Tie Karoon, Finnish version of Road to Cairo), Steve Ross (Subway to the Country), Spooky Tooth (Down River), Stacy Sullivan (Your Face, Your Smile), Linda Thomson (Down River), Alan Trajan (Down River), Louisa Jane White (Blue Ribbons). And, of course, there's the Elvis Costello/Elton John duet of Down River on the interview show Spectacle.

     
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