Spiral Staircase (Ralph McTell album)

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Spiral Staircase
Ralph McTell Spiral Staircase.jpg
Studio album by Ralph McTell
Released 1969
Recorded 1968
Studio Regent Sound Studies, London
Genre Folk/Folk rock/Country blues
Label Transatlantic
Producer Gus Dudgeon
Ralph McTell chronology
Eight Frames a Second
Spiral Staircase
My Side of Your Window

Spiral Staircase is British folk musician Ralph McTell's second album.[1] Produced by Gus Dudgeon and released in the UK in 1969, its opening track, "Streets of London", has become McTell's signature tune.

Track listing[edit]

All titles by Ralph McTell except where stated.

  1. "Streets of London"
  2. "Mrs Adlam's Angels"
  3. "Wino and the Mouse"
  4. "England 1914"
  5. "Last Train and Ride"
  6. "The Fairground"
  7. "Spiral Staircase"
  8. "Kind Hearted Woman Blues" (Robert Johnson)
  9. "Bright and Beautiful Things"
  10. "Daddy's Here"
  11. "Rizraklaru (Anag.)"
  12. "(My) Baby Keeps Staying Out all Night Long" (Buddy Moss)
  13. "Terminus"


  • Ralph McTell - guitar, vocals
Jug Band

on "Last Train and Ride" and "Spiral Staircase"

  • Brian "Brock" Brocklehurst - double bass
  • Mick "Henry VIII" Bartlett - jug
  • "Whispering Mick" Bennett - washboard
  • Peter Berryman - second guitar
  • Mike Vickers - orchestral arrangements
  • Brian Gascoigne - musical direction

Production credits[edit]

  • Producer: Gus Dudgeon for Tuesday Productions
  • Engineer: Tom Allom at Regent Sound
  • Sleeve design: Peter Thaine
  • Liner notes: Ben Klein

Awards and accolades[edit]

  • McTell's song "Streets of London" won the Ivor Novello Award for songwriting in 1974.[2]
  • A re-recorded version of "Streets of London" became a world-wide hit single in 1975.
  • During his 60th birthday concert at the Royal Festival Hall in November, 2004, McTell was presented with a Gold Disc of "Spiral Staircase".[3]

Release history[edit]

Country Date Label Format Catalogue Notes
United Kingdom 1969 Transatlantic LP TRA177
France 1978 Transatlantic LP TRA89554/5 Record 2 of 2-LP set. Record 1 is "Eight Frames a Second"
Australia 1980 Transatlantic/
7 Records
Japan 1980 Transatlantic LP YS-7057-LA
Israel Logo/Transatlantic LP TRA177
Germany 1988 Titan LP
United Kingdom 1990 Ariola Express CD 295945 Released as "The Streets of London"
United Kingdom 1996 Wooden Hill CD HILLCD5
United Kingdom 2007 Transatlantic CD TRRCD401 'Expanded Edition' with four bonus tracks taken from "Revisited".

Many of the tracks on this album also feature in the "Spiral Staircase - Classic Songs" compilation.

Track variations[edit]

The UK 2007 CD release includes four bonus tracks that were re-mixed or re-recorded in 1970 for "Revisited":[4]

14. "Spiral Staircase"
15. "Last Train and Ride"
16. "The Fairground"
17. "Terminus"


  1. ^ "Spiral Staircase" LP sleeve, 1969.
  2. ^ BBC. "Sold on Song: Streets of London". Accessed 9 May 2009.
  3. ^ Leola Music Ltd. “The London Show”, TPGDVD25, 2005.
  4. ^ "Spiral Staircase" CD inlay, 2007.