Shelleyan Orphan / five-disc box set

Caroline Crawley and Jemaur Tayle formed British baroque folk-pop group Shelleyan Orphan in Bournemouth in 1983 and released four albums in total, three of them between 1987 and 1992. Sadly, the death of Crawley late last year brought the story to a close, but the music lives on and has been remastered and represented for a forthcoming five-disc deluxe box set.

This new limited edition set, simply titled Shelleyan Orphan, will contain the three albums the band recorded for Rough Trade – 1987 debut Helleborine, follow-up Century Flower (1989) and 1992’s Humroot – but doesn’t feature 2008’s final album We Have Everything We Need.

In fact, incredibly, Jem recently told writer Nick Churchill that this box set was compiled edited and mastered at that time (2008): “It was never actually released and it wasn’t until last year that someone at the label found it, realised all the work had been done and finally decided to put it out,” he said, adding, “I’d pretty much forgotten about it if I’m honest, just put it down to being yet another one of those things that seem to have conspired over the last 30 years to make sure were never a success.”

In addition to the three remastered albums, this new collection features a special 19-track bonus disc that includes unreleased demos, rare BBC Radio 1 Session and rarities like session tracks with Art of Noise’s Anne Dudley, featuring Geoffrey Bayldon (from the UK TV programme, Catweazle).

A fifth disc is a DVD which features some videos (and TV appearances) and this also comes with a 20-page booklet that features an essay penned by Crawley and Tayle. Poignantly, this deluxe set includes a hand-written letter from Jem Tayle in light of Caroline’s death last year.

This Shelleyan Orphan deluxe box set is due to be released on 30 June 2017.

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Shelleyan Orphan

Shelleyan Orphan


CD 1 – Helleborine:
2. Anatomy of love
3. Blue black grape
4. Jeremiah
5. Cavalry of cloud
6. Midsummer pearls and plumes
7. Epitaph ivy and woe
8. Helleborine
9. One hundred hands
10. Seeking bread and heaven
11. melody of birth.

CD 2 – Century Flower:
1. Shatter
2. Timeblind
3. Tar baby
4. self
5. Summerflies
6. The silent day
7. Century flower
8. Amanita muscaria
9. between two waves
10. A few small hours

CD 3 – Humroot:
1. Muddied up
2. Dead cat
3. Fishes
4. Burst
5. Sick
6. Little death
7. Big sun
8. Dolphins
9. Mull
10. Long dead flowers
11. Swallow
12. Supernature on a Super Highway.

CD 4 – Bonus disc:
1. Cavalry Of Cloud (Live at BBC Radio 1, 1984)
2. Melody Of Birth (Live at BBC Radio 1, 1984))
3. Cavalry Of Cloud Medley ( Anne Dudly 1985)
4. Theme with Geoffrey Bayldon (Anne Dudley 1985, b-side)
5. Harmony Drone (b-side)
6. Anatomy Of Love ( US version)
7. Southern Bess ( demo version)
8. Epitaph Ivy And Woe ( demo version)
9. Century Flower ( demo version)
10. Silent Day (demo version)
11. Self (demo version)
12. Shatter (instrumental monitor mix)
13. Fishes (monitor mix)
14. Sick (demo version)
15. The Little Death (demo version)
16. Dolphins (monitor mix)
17. Hide My Smile (demo version)
18. Space (demo version)
19. Evolute (demo version)

1. Anatomy of Love (the Tube)
2. Epitaph Try and Woe (The Tube)
3. Calvary of Cloud (video)
4. Shatter (Video)
5. Burst (Video)

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Bill Bratcher

Greeting’s I purchased 5# of this box set back in 2017. I also bought 5# of WE HAVE EVERYTHING WE NEED in order to own their entire recording history. I saw them open for the Cure here in the USA….they also played some clubs/bars, very large ones in St.Paul & Minniapolis ,minn. I saw them solo in St.Paul….they also soloed in Pittsburg and at Bogarts in Cincinnti,Ohio….I saw the Cincinnati show also. Here in the States shelleyan O has a Cult following….Along with Bettie Serveert….I have LOVED their music since 1991. But sometimes with a long break in the Cure tours here, shelleyan O., would play some large clubs. There is a lot of gossip about Carolyn’s passing…drugs, booze, HIV- Aids…etc., who knows. I’ve seen this on Dutch websites. I also loved her voice & work with This Mortal Coil & Babacar. She had a Hellva voice, you never forget it. It’s Amazing that I paid $24.99 US dollars for each box set and $15.99 for their last Cd…in 2017 and now in 2020 in GREAT BRITIAN …sellers are now wanting £200.00 in pound notes !!! I always knew this set would increase in Value . Here in the USA…sellers are wanting $175.00 per box set….only God knows what a used one will cost. We are saddened & a empty hole is left with out her.


I should add this: the box I received is not as pictured. It is a square clamshell rather than a book-sized affair.


I mentioned above that Amazon’s stated month-plus delivery delay worried me; but, as promised, the set arrived at my door last night. I’ve not examined it for the errors others have mentioned, but the packaging is nice. I do wish the track listings were reproduced on all the individual sleeves.

alan hansen

box-set arrived today:

barring the box’s shockingly glaring oversights, and shortcomings aforementioned;
the remastering is spot-on and what IS in the box is quite lovely.

(note: multiple liner notes errors related to song order.)

Paul English

I put Act Fuseli’s Beg, Beg Richer on A Gift From The Past – https://apopfansdream.wordpress.com/mixes/a-gift-from-the-past/


Yes Paul, I’ve found your site in the past and I know very well Act Fuseli’s short but excellent discography…that’s why I say that they are MUCH BETTER than SO (even if you consider Dawm Lanten’s other incarnations like Lovely Eye and the beautiful Birth album “Gotten Bold”) and that I hope that sometimes they will receive a deserved CD release…

alan hansen

Mike = you’re welcome. Ian Wilson = thank you for the surprising news that i’ve been missing something in my collection!

i’m still very surprised that the box doesn’t include those TWO studio items that have never been released on cd: “tangled perpetual” (the band’s first studio single/release), and “one hundred hands (for strings)” (likely a dub/instrumental incarnation of some sort). maybe we’ll all be pleasantly surprised and these will be included under either by a different name, or by way of the label’s ‘new release’ info error.

Ian Wilson

I know – odd that. Sounds like the product was already finished, with artwork and liner notes printed, ready to go. So they just put it out like that.

One Little Indian could probably just about scrape together an additional CD of rarities, those mentioned above plus a few more demos. If its worth the effort and they see a market for it, of course…

alan hansen

@Ian Wilson: i couldn’t agree more. Ian, you and/or Paul, or anybody who feels inclined or able to communicate such information and/or market response for an additional disc of all that’s missing here in this box set to One Little Indian or whomever – if only you could/would do so – i don’t know how i could/would repay you, but i’d try, dammit, i’d try!

Ian Wilson

I think Jem Tayle needs some time out and privacy for now, but there have been hints in a couple of interviews, that there is a wealth of half-finished SO material. The record company wanted him to press on and complete the new album that he and Caroline Crawley had been working on, prior to her passing. That may happen, or else Jem might put out a solo album in some wise.

We shall have to be patient and see…


Had never heard this group before reading this, think I’ve found a new love! Thanks Paul. Bless Caroline Crawley. :(


Speaking of baroque-pop, I hope that there will be a boxset with the Act Fuseli opera omnia: in my opinion they were much better than SO and from what I know they arrived first in the baroque-pop scene…not sure, but maybe SO went after AF?


I ordered after seeing the notice in the comments here…and was very happy that Amazon US was the best deal (hoping that the late delivery date is not a red flag…). I too saw them open for The Cure, I and got Humroot and Century Flower soon after. Never had the first record and am interested in the other material! On a side note on KOD box errors…a small but irritating one is that on 2 of the discs, the info you see when playing on the car stereo has the band name misspelled! LOL! Drives me nuts!!

Ian Wilson

Not forgetting ‘Sealed with a Kiss’ and the ‘Shatter’ remix on a Japanese version of the Century Flower album.

alan hansen

per Mike’s request: barring solo/cameo performances by Caroline Crawley, her Babacar band output, and Shelleyan Orphan live recordings, here is a list of songs missing from the box set:

Tangled Perpetual
One Hundred Hands (For Strings)
Suffer Dog
Who Loves The Sun
Between Two Waves (US Version)
Burst (US Version)
Buzzin’ Fly


Thanks Alan! :)

Paul English

I will wait for the reviews before committing.

I believe One Little Indian have ignored emails about the Kitchens of Distinction box set errors which is not a good sign.


Dare I ask if the KoD errors have been documented somewhere?

Rob Galgano

From a comment on amazon.co.uk:


“Mastering errors.

Disc 1 – Love Is Hell Album. Track 4 – Prize 2:58-3:00 slight skip.

Disc 5 – B Sides – Omits the track ‘White Horses’

Printing error in booklet – Strange Free World (1992)
Printing error in booklet – Death Of Cool (1991)
Printing error in booklet – omits Prize (demo) – listed as included originally.
Printing error in booklet – Includes White Horses (not on Disc 5)
Mastering error – disk 5 – omits White Horses.

Several people including myself have had no response from One Little Indian regarding these issues.”

*that Prize skip has been around for years…


I’m really looking forward to this!

I missed the deadline for the Pledge campaign but have it pre-ordered elsewhere.

Wondering if anyone has a list of tracks they did on compilations which are omitted from this Box Set? – I have a Various Acoustic Christmas album with a track called ‘Ice’ on from about 1990.



is it not already out had mine for a couple of weeks love it


Thanks for the write up on this Paul. I think this band occupied a very unique place in the musical scene, the were definitely hard to classify, not exactly folk, goth, traditional, or chamber pop or “indie.” Perhaps what made them different and not as popular at the time will be what makes them stand out now. If any band seriously deserves a re-assessment it is this one. This does look like a lovely box. Now if only Amazon would deliver the item.

Paul Martin

Nice one, thanks Paul. I just ordered it. It will go nicely with the V/A 3 x cd ‘Milk Of The Tree’ female folk pop anthology box set also out on 30th June and the 2 x All About Eve double CD re-masters I just ordered as well.


A nice collection at a very good price. I ordered from AmazonUS, but the item is noted as “usually ships in 1 to 2 months.” The last time I had such a timeframe from AmazonUS the item was cancelled. Here’s hoping this one won’t be.

Pity the box was not released in Crawley’s lifetime.

Thanks for posting, Paul.


I saw the same note when I was ordering, and I paid a few bucks more to get it from one of the third-party sellers that I trust. This way, I know I will actually get it, and I’ll have it before Amazon would ever get it to me, even with Prime.


I saw them perform 2 songs on The Tube, ‘Anatomy of Love’ and ‘Epitaph, Ivy and Woe’. I thought they sounded 4AD-ish, my fave label at the time. A few days later the girl in Virgin Newcastle’s CD department mentioned that I might like this new album that was released that day, Helleborine. Well I did very much. And I must say, everyone should hear the very rich and strange ‘Melody of Birth’. And its little surprise coda is heavenly and more Liz Fraser than Liz Fraser!

I thought Caroline fitted in well with This Mortal Coil too a few years later. Very sad to hear of her death last year.


Being a bit fussy but would have been nice to include the ‘This Mortal Coil’ tracks.


As awesome as this site is for keeping up to date on archive releases from the artists I have loved forever, what I love even more about it is the artists that you help me discover that I somehow missed. I have never heard of this group ever, but I googled some clips of their songs, and their music is gorgeous. I can’t believe they were never on my radar. I went straight to Amazon and ordered this box along with the album that’s not included.

Thank you, Paul, for yet again turning me onto an old artist that I should have heard of long before now. So many other music sites are obsessed with what’s coming our RIGHT THIS MINUTE, and anything more than three weeks old is too far back to pay any attention to at all. Can’t wait for this to come so I can completely immerse myself in the beauty of this music. Her vocals actually remind me a bit of The Sundays in how pure, sweet, and sad they sound.

DJ Salinger

Already encouraging to see this set is generating interest among potential new fans, Paul. Your work here is done. I ordered it as soon as I heard about it recently… my old copies of those albums having disappeared over the years. [Note to self: stop lending albums to people when ‘refreshed’. You never remember who has them.]

They were a unique and quite special proposition even back then; I saw them live as support act on The Cure’s ‘Prayer Tour’ and fell for them immediately. ‘Between Two Waves’: yet another great hit single that never was.

Tragic that Caroline Crawley left us so soon – another wonderful voice gone.


OMG–NEVER lend albums out to people if you’re a collector. It’s amazing the number of people who don’t understand that 1) CDs are not coasters, frisbees, hockey pucks, or other such items, 2) CDs are something people typically want back. I learned my lesson back in college. My response now to “can I borrow that” is “I’d be happy to make you a mix” or, if they’re interested in a specific album, “I’m sure they have it on Spotify, or you can buy it somewhere online.”

I have over 15,000 CDs. They outnumber my friends. This is why they get preferential treatment. LOL


Good point. Never thought about it this way so far… ;-))


Man. I’m over 5,000 and thought I had a lot. :)

alan hansen

this box-set is bittersweet for me. whereas i will be very happily adding this to my Shelleyan Orphan collection to complete it, the passing of Caroline Crawley is indeed a great loss to much of what has always made music such a compelling force in my life. (also worth noting is the disappointment that b-sides were not included – there certainly is room for them without adding another disc.) i’ve had this ordered for some time now – it’ll be like christmas in july. thanks paul for posting this.

The Progster

Well my musical knowledge I thought was pretty good with music artists names etc but Shelleyan Orphan?? I have never ever heard of them they certainly never lit the charts up to any degree…The music is ok I guess but her vocals sound very flat which is a shame…maybe they were not destined for the big time…each to their own I guess but anyone who vaguely remembers them will surely be in seventh heaven when hearing that all this is coming out now.


I have never heard of them either and i see they released 4 albums which couldn’t have been distributed very well because in all my years of searching through record shops for to start with vinyl and cassettes then later CD’s i have never came across one of their albums and the covers don’t look familiar. I see their is a Cure connection with 2 ex members.


Thanks for letting us know about this. Ordered. Can’t wait!


Brilliant news. Wondering if my memory of hearing them on Annie Nightingale’s Sunday night Radio 1 show alongside the Cocteaus, the Associates, The Lover Speaks and the Colourbox World Cup Theme is imaginary as I am not sure the timing fits. They would certainly have fit in well with that playlist.