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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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Symphonic Team
2 stars A royal selection for Napoleon

The career of Fairport Convention has been a turbulent one and their output diverse both in style and quality. I would like to divide their early career into different eras; the first one being the 60's and the first four albums. This era is not very interesting for me personally and, in my opinion, not very relevant for progressive Rock. For me the "classic" era of Fairport Convention is the one that covers the band's next three albums; Full House, Angel Delight and Babbacombe Lee. These are also the first of their many albums that make the band relevant for this website, especially Full House and the conceptual Babbacombe Lee. Then there was a weak period when the band was not sure of their direction and consisting of a revolving set of people; some joining, leaving and re-joining the band. This era produced four quite different albums that have one thing in common - they are all rather weak. The present album was the first sign of breaking that downward trend. While not as strong as its follow-up, the weakly conceptual Tippler's Tales, The Bonny Bunch Of Roses was a return to form for the band and their best effort since Babbacombe Lee from six years earlier. The style of the music, though, goes back even a bit further and reminds more of Full House with a strong base in the jigs of the British Folk tradition and none of those American influences that plagued some earlier releases are present. This is once more the kind of music that makes Fairport Convention unique.

However, even so, they made this kind of music better elsewhere, both before and after the present album. The centrepiece of the album is arguably the 12 and a half minute title track which is a slow, minimalistic and rather hypnotic piece. If this track is remarkably long for the band, the rest of this album's tracks are remarkably short. Several are under three minutes in length.

The Bonny Bunch Of Roses is a fun and pleasant listen and it was a return to form, but it is not very impressive on its own merits. I would recommend to start with other albums. After this one they would make one more album before they split the band (to reform it some years later and make more great music).

SouthSideoftheSky | 2/5 |


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