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Fairport Convention Rosie album cover
2.38 | 41 ratings | 5 reviews | 5% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Rosie (3:36)
2. Matthew, Mark, Luke & John (3:53)
3. Knights Of The Road (3:53)
4. Peggy's Pub ( 2:24)
5. The Plainsman (3:17)
6. Hungarian Rhapsody (3:12)
7. My Girl (5:13)
8. Me With You (3:38)
9. The Hen's March Through The Midden/ The Four Poster Bed (2:48)
10. Furs & Feathers (4:32)

Total time 36:26

Bonus Tracks on 2004 Remaster:
11. Mathew, Mark, Luke & John (Live *) (5:39)
12. The Hen's March Through The Midden/ The Four Poster Bed (Live *) (2:48)
13. Rosie (Live *) (4:03)
14. The Claw (Live *) (2:05)
15. Furs & Feathers (Live *) (4:53)

* Recorded at The Howff, London 23/04/1973

Total Time: 55:54

Line-up / Musicians

- Dave Swarbrick / vocals, fiddle, mandolin (4), acoustic guitar (7)
- Trevor Lucas / vocals, 6- & 12-string acoustic guitars, producer
- Jerry Donahue / electric & acoustic guitars, backing vocals
- Dave Pegg / bass guitar, mandolin (4), vocals
- Dave Mattacks / drums (4,9,10), percussion (8), piano (6)

- Sandy Denny / backing vocals (1)
- Linda Peters / backing vocals (1)
- The Swarbrick Brothers (Dave, Cyril & Eric) / vocals (8)
- Richard Thompson / electric & 12-string acoustic guitars (1)
- Ralph Mc Tell / acoustic guitar (8)
- Gerry Conway / drums (1,3,5)
- Timothy "Timi" Donald / drums (2,6,7)

Releases information

Artwork: Mick Haggerty

LP Island - ILPS 9208 (1973, UK)

CD Island Remasters ‎- IMCD 152 (1992, Europe)
CD Island - IMCD 309 (2004, UK) Remastered (?) with 5 bonus Live tracks

Thanks to alucard for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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FAIRPORT CONVENTION Rosie ratings distribution

(41 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(12%)
Good, but non-essential (49%)
Collectors/fans only (24%)
Poor. Only for completionists (10%)


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Heptade
1 stars This is possibly the poorest of Fairports albums from 1967-79. A new lineup featuring singer/guitarist Trevor Lucas and guitarist Jerry Donahue improved the band immensely in the vocal and lead guitar departments, but the material is mostly awful. The notable exceptions are "The Plainsman", a soulful countryish song by Lucas and "Matthew Mark Luke and John", a rousing folk-rocker. The rest of the album veers between the insipid (Swarbrick's gooey ballad "Rosie" and ridiculous ("Peggy's Pub", "My Girl"). The seeds of Fairport's later persona as local pub dwelling jokesters were sown here. There are a couple of decent jigs and reels, but they're really just time wasters. Certainly this album is of no interest from a "folk-prog" viewpoint, being mostly uninspired pub rock. Fortunately, the creative juices would start flowing again on the their next album, "Nine".
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars The best track was history before it appeared on this album

Fairport's follow up to the 1971 concept album "Babacombe Lee" took a couple of years to surface, the space being filled by the excellent "History of Fairport Convention" collection. The line up here retains the Swarbrick/Pegg/Mattacks core, but Simon Nicol has moved on, at least for the time being. In come guitarists and vocalists Trevor Lucas and Jerry Donahue. The family nature of the band is wonderfully demonstrated by the appearance of Sandy Denny, Richard Thomson, and Gerry Conway on specific tracks, plus guest appearances by other folk luminaries such as Linda Peters (Thompson), and Ralph McTell. Lucas immediately installs himself at the producers desk and contributes two of the songs.

Generally seen by the Fairport faithful as a turn for the worse, there is no doubt "Rosie" lacks the inspiration and sense of adventure of the band's earlier days. Pegg and Swarbrick tend to take control of the song writing, but appear to be relying on material which would have struggled to find a place on albums such as "Unhalfbricking" or " ..holidays".

The opening title track is a curiously mellow song, with a "Meet on the ledge feel", although the mood is more romantic than mournful. Sandy Denny and the Thompsons provide sympathetic background harmonies on the chorus. "Matthew, Mark, Luke and John" follows in similar fashion, with a simple but catchy refrain.

Trevor Lucas takes lead vocal for the first time on "Knights of the road", a song which is more country than folk, the multi-tracked vocals being effective but rather alien. The first real burst of traditional Fairport we get is on Dave Pegg's instrumental "Peggy's pub" (note the pun in the title) which is similar to "The cuckoo's nest" medley on "Angel delight".

Lucas's second contribution, "The plainsman" borrows the melody from a traditional song called "Tramps and hawkers". It is a lovely melody, but being aware of the original song, I would have preferred to hear that version here.

Things take a decided turn downwards as side two leads off with Pegg's "Hungarian rhapsody", a sort of "Smoke on the water" type narrative but devoid of a decent melody or interesting story. Swarb's "My girl" reverts to the romantic reflections of the title song, the two being very similar in style and substance. If "Hungarian rhapsody" was at best mediocre, we have possibly the band's worst song ever in "Me with you". The cod 40's feel of the performance, complete with slight megaphoned vocals, is truly awful.

Fortunately, we are left without a sour taste in the mouth, as the traditional instrumental "The hens march through the midden/The four poster bed" finds Fairport delivering what they do best. I have to say the track, which predated the album by appearing on the "History of Fairport Convention" (if that makes sense!) is one of my absolute favourite Fairport jigs and reels. Swarb's fiddle on "The four poster bed", is some of the most inspired he has played. We close with Swarbrick's "Furs and feathers", a rather strange tale of a king who disguises himself as a beggar. The verses are quite effective, but the chorus is prosaic.

In all, "Rosie" is not as bad an album as the press it receives might imply. Admittedly, it does have a couple of stinkers, but there is enough good material here to justify investigation by the Fairport faithful. From a prog perspective though, there is little if anything of value.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
1 stars In 1971 Fairport Convention was at the top of their game with the adventurous and clearly Prog related concept album Babbacombe Lee completing a series of good albums with Full House and Babbacombe Lee being my personal favourites. The follow up - Rosie - didn't come about until 1973 and represented a very different and clearly much less interesting Fairport.

While in 1971, when progressive rock was just taking off, Fairport Convention was not too far away from the Prog movement. In 1973, however, they seem to have been totally oblivious of the very existence of anything progressive (despite that 1973 was probably the single most popular year for the Prog genre). There is nothing progressive about Rosie whatsoever. And worse, strong American/Country influences had crept into their music (and would continue to haunt them on subsequent albums Nine and Rising For The Moon). There are still a couple of decent jigs that are clearly the only worthwhile moments of the album, but overall Rosie is a poor album with little relation to the Prog related Fairport of Full House and Babbacombe Lee (and several later albums). Most of the material here is closer to generic Pub rock and Country rock than to British Folk or anything progressive. If you like Full House, Angel Delight and Babbacombe Lee and would like to hear more from this interesting band, I would recommend to stay away from this album (as well as from Nine and Rising For The Moon) and go directly for Tipplers Tales or some of their more recent albums like the great Jewel In The Crown.

I still haven't heard the much hated Gottle O' Geer or all of the bands 80's albums, but I cannot imagine that they can be less interesting than Rosie. This is probably the low point of their career.

A release for the most devoted fans only.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Rosie" is the 8th full-length studio album by British folk rock act Fairport Convention. The album was released through Island Records in February 1973. Itīs the successor to "Babbacombe Lee" from 1971 and there have been several lineup changes since the predecessor. Simon Nicol left the band and former Fotheringay members Trevor Lucas (vocals, acoustic guitar) and Jerry Donahue (guitar) joined. Simon Nicol was the last remaining member from the original lineup which meant that the lineup on "Rosie" didnīt feature a single original members of the band. The album was produced by new member Trevor Lucas. "Rosie" was re-released in 2004 with five bonus tracks. All bonus tracks were recorded Live In London on the 23th of April 1973.

Even though no original members are left in the lineup the music is still unmistakably the sound of Fairport Convention. Folk rock with a warm sound and great clever humour. Just listen to the witty "Hungarian Rhapsody" for evidence of the mentioned humour. The music features lots of acoustic (and electric) guitars, mandolin, and fiddle and some pretty strong vocal performances too. The addition of the skilled lead guitarist Jerry Donahue means a lot for the music. His contributions to the songs provide an extra dimension to the music. But the addition of Trevor Lucas is also a treat. The musicianship is overall very strong from all involved. The tracks are vers/chorus structured and there are not many instrumental parts in the music. This is predominantly vocal and song oriented music.

The sound production is very warm, organic, and pleasant. One of the best sounding albums from the band up until then. So upon conclusion "Rosie" is another strong album by Fairport Convention. Following up the bizarre concept story of "Babbacombe Lee (1971)" and the incredibly high quality of that album was always going to be a difficult task, but Fairport Convention reach port with at least half the gold. A 3.5 star (70%) rating is deserved.

Review by Warthur
3 stars After Fairport Convention rekindled their ambitions with "Babbacombe" Lee, it's unfortunate that they should have followed it up with such an unambitious release as Rosie. It's not that it's flat-out bad, it's just that it's a little bland - why, even the cover art suggests mediocre wallpaper in a mid-range suburban cul-de-sac house. The performances are good, but the material feels awfully simplistic.

At its best, the simplicity feels like part of the point - Fairport almost hitting on a "Brit-country" style. Nonetheless, it still feels like their weakest effort since their self-titled debut album, but whereas that falls slightly short due to the band not having hit on their sound yet, Rosie falls down because of the band getting just a little too comfortable with their sound.

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