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Fairport Convention - The Bonny Bunch Of Roses CD (album) cover


Fairport Convention


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2.49 | 25 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars Step we gaily

Having released 'Gottle O' Geer' in 1976 under the abbreviated name Fairport, the band reverted to their full name in 1977 for this album. In the interim, Simon Nicol returned to the line up and they signed up with Vertigo records under a four album deal (which was terminated early).

The four man line up returned to a more traditional folk approach, with a number of the tracks being adaptations of traditional folk songs. Also included is a (former band member) Richard Thomson track, one by Ralph McTell, and two written by current band members.

The album is mix of upbeat jigs and reels, and dirges. On the dirge side, the 12 minute title track is naturally the centrepiece of the album. The song has similarities with the early epics 'A sailor's life' and "Sloth', Dave Swarbrick's dulcet vocals suiting the mood of the piece admirably. The song is thought to be of Irish origin, but tells the tale of Napoleon's son's wish to avenge the death of his father.

Of the jigs and reels, the closing "Royal Seleccion No 13" medley, named after a cigar brand, is full of fun and frivolity, rounding off with a spirited rendition of the familiar 'Dashing white sergeant' (aka 'Marie's wedding'). Elsewhere, 'Adieu Adieu" bears an interesting dedication to the members of the Who although the track itself is decidedly un-Who like. The song is an adaptation of another traditional Irish song called "The Newry Highwayman".

While it is reassuring to find Fairport reverting to their electric folk roots, and indeed at times to the prog folk which was scattered across early releases, this album is not particularly inspiring overall. The feature track is overlong and rather dull, while several of the shorter tracks seem prosaic.

Incidentally, all the images of Napoleon on the cover sleeve are actually of Dave Swarbrick.

Easy Livin | 2/5 |


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