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Fairport Convention

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Fairport Convention Nine album cover
2.88 | 37 ratings | 3 reviews | 5% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1973

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. The Hexhamshire Lass (2:28)
2. Polly On The Shore (4:52)
3. The Brilliancy Medley: Cherokee Shuffle/ To Althea From Prison (5:07)
4. Tokyo (2:49)
5. Bring'Em Down (2:49)
6. Big William (3:23)
7. Pleasure &Pain (4:58)
8. Possibly Parsons Green (4:40)

Total Time: 31:06

Bonus tracks on 2005 remaster:
10. The Devil In The Kitchen (Fiddlestix) (Live *) (2:49)
11. George Jackson (Live *) (3:54)
12. Pleasure & Pain (Live *) (4:59)
13. Six Days On The Road (Live *) (3:44)

* Recorded at The Howff, London, England on 23 Apr 1973.

Line-up / Musicians

- Dave Swarbrick / lead (1,4,7) & backing vocals, violin, viola, mandolin (7)
- Trevor Lucas / lead (2,6,9) & backing vocals , acoustic guitar, co-producer
- Jerry Donahue / electric & acoustic guitars
- Dave Pegg / bass guitar, mandolin (3), backing vocals
- Dave Mattacks / drums, percussion, harmonium (4), clavinet (5), bass (3)

Releases information

Artwork: 'Wendy' D.M. and Phillip Stirling-Wall

LP Island - ILPS 9246 (1973, UK)

CD Island - IMCD 154 (1992, UK)
CD Island Remasters ‎- IMCD 310 (2005, UK) Remastered by Paschal Byrne with 4 bonus Live tracks

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

(37 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(5%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(22%)
Good, but non-essential (62%)
Collectors/fans only (11%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)


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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Heptade
3 stars This is actually one of Fairport's more "progressive" albums. The lineup included a really good singer, Trevor Lucas, whose mellow baritone is most suitable. The lineup also included American guitar whiz Jerry Donahue (later of the Hellecasters, not Hellacopters), who lays down some mind-blowing licks. Three tracks are proggy highlights: "Polly on the Shore", which contains a wicked wah wah violin solo, "Bring 'Em Down", a long original which has a very atmospheric extended middle section, and "To Althea From Prison" which is based on a historical letter and is a nice ballad which would not be out of place on any 70s prog album. The rest of the album contains the usual jiggy instrumentals, traditional songs, and an upbeat 50s-style rocker in "Possibly Parsons Green". Only "Big William" seems like a holdover from the horribly jaunty "Rosie" album. It's one of of the band's least folky albums, but one of their more stylistically experimental and definitely one of the best in a rather spotty, if always entertaining discography.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars "Stone Walls do not a prison make, Nor iron bars a cage. Minds innocent and quiet take that for an hermitage." (Richard Lovelace, 1618-1658)

Fairport's ninth studio album was released just five years after their first. The line up had of course already changed completely swith numerous others coming and going in-between. Some stability was however demonstrated here, the band being the same as that which recorded the previous "Rosie".

By now, Trevor Lucas and Jerry Donahue were firmly integrated into the band, the former being heavily involved in the song writing and arrangements too. While there are no epics here along the lines of "A sailor's life" or "Sloth", the mood is generally similar to that created by those songs, and thus rather more progressive than "Rosie".

Things start off in traditional fashion with "Hexhamshire lass", an upbeat lyrical jig, the words being borrowed from folk legend Bob Davenport. Apart from "The brilliancy medley", this aspect of Fairport is largely absent from the album. The reflective Dave Pegg composition (with traditional lyrics) "Polly on the shore" is more representative of the general mood of the album. Dave Swarbrick also adds his own melody to the words of 17th century poet Richard Lovelace on "To Althea from prison". The words were actually written while he was in prison for supporting the royalist opposition. Coincidentally, Lovelace attended Charterhouse school, the birthplace of Genesis a couple of centuries later.

Jerry Donahue's "Tokyo" is a strange title for a very British sounding reel to end the first side. The second side is dominated by Trevor Lucas, who writes or co-writes all the songs. This results in a strangely un-Fairport like atmosphere much of the time. "Bring 'em down" has a drinking song feel, the tired and emotional singing of the chorus and the slurred violin being perfect for such a number. "Big William", co-written with Swarb, is the low point of the album, a mediocre song with indulgent lyrics.

The two collaborate again on "Pleasure and pain", which sees Lucas's country influences coming to the fore, Swarb's vocals being warm and soothing. The track sums up the congenial atmosphere of the album nicely. We close with Lucas's "Possibly Parsons Green", another country tinged song, the title of which bears no direct relationship with the lyrics.

In all, a good Fairport album which mixes traditional folk with country and reflective balladry.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars Nein bitte!

Nine is a very uneven album featuring some very good material, but also some very bad material. Tokyo, with its excellent guitar, bass, drums, violin and keyboards (do I hear a harpsichord in there?) sound very much like it could have been recorded by the Dixie Dregs - it rocks! This is really one of the best Fairport instrumentals that I have ever heard. The other instrumental on this album, The Brilliancy Medley & Cherokee Shuffle, is also good, even if altogether more traditional than Tokyo, and it doesn't rock half as much as Tokyo does.

The traditional The Hexhamshire Lass and the Fairport original Bring 'Em Down are also quite good songs. The rest of this album, however, is quite boring. Overall, this album has more of an American feel to it than earlier albums. This is especially true of Pleasure & Pain - a pure Country rock ballad. Horrible and the worst track on this album! Country is just not my cup of tea and I think that Fairport should stick to playing music from this side of the atlantic.

Only for fans and collectors this one.

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