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Fairport Convention - Rising For The Moon CD (album) cover


Fairport Convention


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3.27 | 43 ratings

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Easy Livin
Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Is it too late to change the way we're bound to go?

The late Sandy Denny's final album with Fairport Convention found her departing on a real high. This is almost entirely due to the final track, "One more chance" which is for me the finest thing either she or Fairport ever did. The song is truly a folk prog masterpiece. It opens with Denny's distinguished vocals delivering a delightful lyric. With such a powerful and emotional performance to conclude her career with the band you would think the track had served its purpose and the album concluded. But what follows is a quite stunning instrumental passage which gradually develops from an almost ambient start through violin and guitar passages to a soaring crescendo leading to the return of Denny's vocals, multi-tracked, to send the track on its way to those heavenly parts reserved for only the absolute cream of musical performance. I can only hope I have managed to convey a glimpse of the majesty of this song.

While the band clearly saved the best for last here, this is a highly competent and enjoyable album. The opening title track is an upbeat light folk rock number with a strong violin basis. Jolly is an appropriate word to describe this toe tapper, which, while hardly challenging, is well crafted and highly enjoyable. "White dress" is a soft reflective Swarbrick ballad sung by Denny, along the lines of "Who know where the time goes". Denny is writer or co-writer of a good number of the tracks here, Dave Swarbrick's overall contributions in particular being notably low key.

On the down side, it is just as well Denny is in such fine form, as what tracks there are by the other band members are variable at best. This may be down to the extended line up, with no less than seven Fairport stalwarts being present. Rather than leading to a meeting of the minds, this seems at times to dilute, not strengthen some of the other tracks. Both Trevor Lucas "Restless" and "Iron Man" are prosaic, and do not represent his undoubted talent well at all.

Musically, the album is one of Fairport's least folk influenced overall, being considerably heavier than usual. Even Denny's ballads are more akin to her solo work than her previous time with the band.

In all though, essential for the good tracks, especially the sublime "One more chance".

Sadly, Sandy Denny would never record with Fairport again. Her untimely death robbed the music world of one of its finest female voices.

Easy Livin | 4/5 |


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