THE BEAUTIFUL GUITAR OF LIONA BOYD
An overview of her LP releases.
(updated 4/09)

by Tony Maygarden

As a long time fan of classical guitarist Liona Boyd, I thought it might be of value to present an overview of her original vinyl LP releases. Some of her early albums have never been reissued on Compact Disc, some have been reissued and are already out-of-print, and some have been reissued with different cover photos and graphics. The last matter is of no small importance, in my hopefully not too sexist opinion. I like looking at Liona's LP covers almost as much as I like listening to her play!

Seriously, I've always greatly admired Liona's playing style, which I would characterize as a delicate precision. I think it's fair to say her style is very feminine, as she gently coaxes the beautiful music from the guitar with her loving caress.

For those readers who may have come across this article and are not familiar with Liona's biography, I suggest you take a quick look at her listing on Wikipedia, and her official web site.

So, compiled here is a mostly complete discography of Liona Boyd's vinyl LP releases (notes on current CD availability as of 4/09):

Liona Boyd Classical Guitar LP cover

The Guitar (not pictured) - Boot BMC 3002 (Canada), 1974
Released as Classical Guitar (pictured above) - London CS 7015 in the U.S. with slightly altered cover graphics.
Works by Albeniz, J. S. Bach, Scarlatti, Debussy, Sagreas, Tomasi and others.
Not currently available on CD.

The Guitar Artistry of Liona Boyd (also listed as Liona) (not pictured) - Boot BMC 3006 (Canada), ?
Canadian only LP release? Possibly released on London in the U.S.
Not currently available on CD.

Liona Boyd Miniatures For Guitar LP cover

Miniatures for Guitar - Boot BOS-7181 (Canadian release), 1977.
Works by Tarrega, Carcassi, Sor, Galilei, de Logy, Roncalli, Milan, de Visee, Aguado and traditional pieces.

[This is the quintessential Liona Boyd album, and is highly recommended as an introduction to her work. As the liner notes state, this is not a virtuoso showoff performance, just simple, beautiful guitar pieces played simply and beautifully.]

Liona Boyd Miniatures For Guitar LP 2nd cover

Miniatures for Guitar (U.S. release) CBS Masterworks M 36732, 1981.
Currently available on CD with different cover graphics.
Released in the U.K. as Portrait of Liona Boyd - Miniatures for Guitar - CBS 73686, with same cover photo as the U.S. release.

 

From this point albums were presumably released in Canada and U.S. with same label, catalog numbers and cover graphics. U.K. pressings may have different catalog numbers.

Liona Boyd First Lady of the Guitar LP cover

The First Lady of the Guitar - Columbia Masterworks M 35137, 1979.
Not currently available on CD.
Works by Barrios, Payet, Debussy, Satie, Barnes, Sor, Tarrega and Albeniz

 

 

 

Liona Boyd with Andrew Davis ECO LP cover

Albinoni/Bach/Cimarosa/Marcello/Vivaldi (with Andrew Davis and The English Chamber Orchestra) - CBS Masterworks M 35853, 1979.
Currently available on CD under the title Baroque Favorites with different cover graphics.

Liona Boyd Spanish Fantasy LP cover

Spanish Fantasy - CBS Masterworks M 36675, 1980.
Not currently available on CD.
Works by Tarrega, Pujol, de Mudarra, Albeniz and Sor.

[Liona has an album available on CD entitled Spanish Album which I believe is a different work.]

Liona Boyd A Guitar For Christmas LP cover

A Guitar for Christmas - CBS FM 37248, 1981.
Currently available on CD.
Traditional songs and carols with originals by Eric Roberts.

[A Guitar for Christmas was an international bestseller, and with good reason. Great Christmas music listening for those who are tired of overplayed pop-oriented holiday music.]

The Best of Liona Boyd LP cover

The Best of Liona Boyd - CBS FM 37788, 1982.
Released on CD, not currently in print.
Compilation from previous CBS albums.

[Well, what can I say about the cover? Another good introduction to Liona's music.]

Liona Boyd Virtuoso LP cover

Virtuoso - CBS Masterworks IM 37829, 1983.
Not currently available on CD.
Works by Villa-Lobos, Payet, Torroba and Berkeley.

[This album is a mature, serious work, and it's too bad that it's never been reissued.]

Liona Boyd Live In Tokyo LP cover

Liona Live in Tokyo - CBS Masterworks IM 39031, 1984.
Released on CD, not currently in print.
Works by Dowland, Soler, Panin, Ponce, Grenet, Albeniz, de Falla and Lara.

[Another serious work. You can hear Liona speak on this album. A very nice, spacious digital recording.]

The Romantic Guitar of Liona Boyd LP cover

The Romantic Guitar of Liona Boyd - Silver Eagle FM 42016, 1985.
Currently available on CD with different cover graphics.
Original arrangements of pop songs and some Boyd originals.

[The Romantic Guitar is NOT a serious classical work, but she reached a bigger audience and it sold well.]

Liona Boyd Persona LP cover

Persona - CBS FM 42120, 1986.
Currently available on CD (recently reissued).
Originals by Boyd, Michael Kamen and Richard Fortin, with works by Tarrega, Hadjidakis and Brahms.

[Another stab at making more of a pop record, this time with lots of studio production and help from the likes of Michael Kamen (who arranged and produced), David Gilmour and (on one song each) Eric Clapton and Yo-Yo Ma. Very atmospheric with lots of studio production on some cuts. A long way from Miniatures for Guitar!]

Other LPs featuring Liona include:

Encore! (not pictured) - A&M 9509, 1989.
Currently available on CD.

Christmas Dreams (with guests Roger Whittaker & Georges Zamfir) (not pictured) - A&M SP 9513, ?
Released on CD, not currently in print?

Andre Gagnon - Comme dans un film (Like a Movie) (as guitar soloist) (not pictured) - Columbia PFC 80116, 1986.
Canadian only LP release?
Released on CD in early 2007.

For later CD only releases, please refer to the official Liona Boyd web site. Available CD releases of her early albums can be purchased there, as well.

Chet Atkins First Nashville Qt LP cover

Chet Atkins - The First Nashville Guitar Quartet (Liona joins Chet, John Knowles and John Pell) - RCA AHL1-3302, 1979.
Currently available on CD coupled with Atkins' The Night Atlanta Burned.

[The four guitarists play traditional and folk songs along with arrangements of some classical pieces and an interesting version of Washington Post March. Songwriter/singer Shel Silverstein apparently had a hand in getting this project going, and is pictured on the back cover with Liona and Chet.]

 

Canadian Brass LP cover

The Canadian Brass and Friends - Unexplored Territory - MMG 1119, 1980.
Canadian only LP release? Liona on one track, En Sueno.