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Kate & Anna McGarrigle (album)

Kate & Anna McGarrigle is the debut album by Kate & Anna McGarrigle, released in January 1976.[1][2]:316[3]:30–31 Guest musicians on the album include Lowell George, Bobby Keys, and Tony Levin as well as family and friends such as eldest sister Jane McGarrigle, Anna McGarrigle's husband Dane Lanken, and the siblings' old friend Chaim Tannenbaum.

Kate & Anna McGarrigle
Studio album by
ReleasedJanuary 1976[1][2]:316[3]:30–31
RecordedLate 1974-1975[2]:315
LabelWarner Bros.
ProducerJoe Boyd, Greg Prestopino
Kate & Anna McGarrigle chronology
Kate & Anna McGarrigle
Dancer with Bruised Knees
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic5/5 stars [4]
Christgau's Record GuideA[5]
Rolling Stone(very favorable) [6]

"Swimming Song" was written and originally performed by Kate's husband at the time, singer-songwriter Loudon Wainwright III, who is also referenced (without being explicitly named) in the song "Go Leave".


In 2011, the British composer and television presenter Howard Goodall chose it as one of his "six best albums", stating "For me the two outstanding cuts are the utterly beautiful 'Heart Like a Wheel' and the French-Canadian pseudo-folk song 'Complainte pour Ste-Catherine'... the pair's gentle harmonies are unmistakable and unforgettable."[7]


On 25 December 1976, the album was voted Rock Album of the Year by London's Melody Maker.[3]:37 It was also listed at #5 on the 1976 Pazz & Jop poll.[8] In 2016, the album was named as the jury winner of the Polaris Heritage Prize in the 1976-1985 division.[9]

Notable coversEdit

The album includes "Heart Like a Wheel" (by Anna McGarrigle), which was first recorded in 1972 by McKendree Spring and by Linda Ronstadt in 1974. That song subsequently has been covered by several other artists, including Billy Bragg, Katie Moore, The Corrs, and June Tabor.[10]

Another song from the album, "(Talk to Me of) Mendocino" (by Kate McGarrigle), was also covered by Linda Ronstadt on her 1982 album Get Closer, by the English singer-songwriter John Howard on his 2007 E.P. The Bewlay Brothers, and by Nona Marie and The Choir on their 2011 eponymous album.[11]

The song "Complainte pour Ste-Catherine" (by Anna McGarrigle and Philippe Tatartcheff) was covered by the British pop singer Kirsty MacColl in 1989.

The song "Go Leave" (by Kate McGarrigle) was covered by Anne Sofie von Otter with Elvis Costello.[12]

Track listingEdit

  1. "Kiss and Say Goodbye" (Kate McGarrigle) – 2:47
  2. "My Town" (Anna McGarrigle) – 2:57
  3. "Blues in D" (Kate McGarrigle) – 2:43
  4. "Heart Like a Wheel" (Anna McGarrigle) – 3:08
  5. "Foolish You" (Wade Hemsworth) – 3:02
  6. "(Talk to Me of) Mendocino" (Kate McGarrigle) – 3:08
  7. "Complainte pour Ste-Catherine" (Anna McGarrigle, Philippe Tatartcheff) – 2:48
  8. "Tell My Sister" (Kate McGarrigle) – 3:37
  9. "Swimming Song" (Loudon Wainwright III) – 2:26
  10. "Jigsaw Puzzle of Life" (Anna McGarrigle) – 2:29
  11. "Go Leave" (Kate McGarrigle) – 3:19
  12. "Travellin' on for Jesus" (Traditional; arranged by J. Spence) – 2:42



  1. ^ a b Sleeve notes from Kate & Anna McGarrigle, Warner Bros. Records distributed by WEA Records Ltd. P & C 1976 K56218 (BS 2862).
  2. ^ a b c McGarrigle, Anna & Jane (2015). Mountain City Girls. Canada: Penguin Random House. ISBN 978-0-345-81402-9.
  3. ^ a b c Lanken, Dane (2007). Kate and Anna McGarrigle Songs and Stories. Canada: Penumbra Press. ISBN 18-9732-304-2.
  4. ^ "Allmusic review". Allmusic. All Media Guide. Retrieved 2011-06-16.
  5. ^ Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: M". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved March 7, 2019 – via
  6. ^ [1] Archived March 8, 2008, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Howard Goodall: My six best albums". 21 January 2011. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  8. ^ "The 1976 Pazz & Jop Critics Poll". Robert Christgau. Retrieved 2014-01-08
  9. ^ "Arcade Fire, Neil Young and Rush Among Winners of Polaris Heritage Prize". Billboard, October 25, 2016.
  10. ^ Second Hand List of covers of "Heart Like a Wheel"
  11. ^ Nona Marie and The Choir Archived 2013-05-16 at the Wayback Machine Retrieved 2013/02/06
  12. ^ Second Hand List of McGarrigle covers

External linksEdit