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Fairport Convention Rising For The Moon album cover
3.37 | 47 ratings | 5 reviews | 6% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1975

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Rising For The Moon (4:07)
2. Restless (3:58)
3. White Dress (3:43)
4. Let It Go (2:00)
5. Stranger To Himself (2:50)
6.What Is True (3:33)
7. Iron Lion (3:27)
8. Dawn (3:43)
9. After Halloween (3:38)
10. Night Time Girl (2:55)
11. One More Chance (7:55)

Total Time: 41:49

Bonus tracks on 2005 remaster:
12. Tears (B-side) (4:09)
13. Rising For The Moon (Sandy original demo) (3:06)
14. Stranger To Himself (Sandy original demo) (2:17)
15. One More Chance (Sandy original demo) (3:46)

Line-up / Musicians

- Sandy Denny / lead (1,3,5,6,8,9,11) & backing vocals, piano (1,11), electric piano (4,6,9), acoustic guitar (5)
- Dave Swarbrick / lead (4,10) & backing vocals, violin, viola (3,9), mandolin (3), autoharp (3), dulcimer (5), acoustic guitar (6,9)
- Trevor Lucas / lead (2,7) & backing vocals, acoustic guitar
- Jerry Donahue / electric, slide (7) & acoustic (2,8) guitars
- Dave Pegg / bass, backing vocals
- Dave Mattacks / drums (1-3,8,11), percussion (1,3,12)
- Bruce Rowland / drums (4-7,9,10,12, percussion (5,7)

Releases information

Artwork: Marion Appleton

LP Island - ILPS 9313 (1975, UK)

CD Island - IMCD 155 (1992, Europe)
CD Island Remasters ‎- IMCD 312 (2005, UK) Remastered with 4 bonus tracks

Thanks to alucard for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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FAIRPORT CONVENTION Rising For The Moon ratings distribution

(47 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(32%)
Good, but non-essential (47%)
Collectors/fans only (15%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FAIRPORT CONVENTION Rising For The Moon reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by 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.

Review by Joolz
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars A Mixed Bag

I must have bought Rising For The Moon soon after it was released in 1975 on LP, so for 30 years I have a) loved it and b) believed it to be an underrated classic until finally obtaining it on CD last year. I have to declare from the outset that, aside from this album, I find much of Fairport Convention's music somewhat uninspiring, this despite owning several of their albums at one time or another. I appreciate the part they played in creating English folk-rock in the late 60s, but they soon lapsed into a cosy middle-aged-spread blandness which continues to this day. For me, Rising For The Moon was a little oasis in these sands of mediocrity. And of course, the jewel in the crown is the glorious voice of Sandy Denny.

Viewed from the perspective of the noughties I can see that my memory was only partially correct. Some of this is fantastic - worthy inhabitants of any adult-compiled CDR. Sadly, it is equally true that the good is accompanied by the not-so-good, the originality-challenged seriously-deficient-in-ideas department of slow meaningless generic 'love' ballads. Let's get these out of the way first. White Dress is a pleasant slow love song. What Is True is a pleasant slow love song. After Halloween is a ..... non-descript parlour-band Denny ballad with a short Swarbric viola solo. So much for the dregs. A fourth Denny song is borderline OK - Stranger To Himself is saved by a hypnotic drum pattern and a far more original arrangement based on a one-note synth bass.

Next we find a group of 4 country-folk-rock songs, two from Swarbrick and 2 from Trevor Lucas [one of 3 ex-Fotheringay members, and Denny's husband]. Let It Go is a stripped-down laid-back chugger with a strong Swarbrick vocal [though his singing voice is an acquired taste!], on which he exhorts us to "let it breathe, let it live, let it go". Night-Time Girl is an up-tempo gently rocking song, very driven by Swarbrick's fiddle and some lush harmonies supporting his vocal. Lucas's pair are both about 'the railroad', lolloping country-rockers defined by his deep resonant voice and some astonishingly wonderful harmonising from Denny. I adore Restless, a song brilliantly evoking a mid-western hobo "born between a river and a railroad" hopping on and off trains because "there's something in the wind seems to call me like a friend / so I guess that I'll be on my way, on my way again". In Iron Lion he is an engine driver, a similar song with a rock-and-rolling accompaniment but a little less memorable.

Finally to the crème de la crème, the main reason why anyone would want to buy this album - 3 big Sandy Denny numbers with full-band arrangements. First up is the title track - Rising For The Moon - an up-tempo song with brilliant jogging rhythm, fantastic melody and an even better chorus, terrific fluid guitar and fiddle solos and some lovely meaty male harmonies. This is very much an 'up' song, a make-you-feel-better type of thing and one of my all-time favourites. It seems to be about her role as a musician in a band. Dawn is a melancholic ode to lost love where tears fall, hearts bleed and clouds storm on a barren land. It too gets the big band treatment, especially the chorus of massed-Dennys wanting to "sleep .... oh to sleep in peace once again". One More Chance has Denny "calling all olive branches and laid off doves" to piano accompaniment on a lilting song with gentle band support. But then she asks "is it too late?" and invokes a darker mood altogether in a 'middle-8' section. So far so alright-ish, and the song fades ..... but very quietly, a rhythm guitar can be heard. Gradually the band return for a rousing rock coda mostly featuring electric guitar, before building to a climax with the "is it too late?" refrain.

Rising For The Moon is unloved by many Fairport Convention fans - probably because it has 3 distinct styles and very little folk. Neither do the band themselves hold it in high regard - much of it has the air of a Sandy Denny solo album, and the band weren't gelling as a unit [Denny and Lucas left in December 1975]. I saw them in concert that year and I have to say it was not amongst the most memorable.

A couple of good country-folk-rock tracks [geddit?], a couple of good soft rock songs and one absolute stomper, but a very low Prog quotient. The verdict - a) I still love it, but FFW over at least three songs b) no way a classic but OK. Three stars I think.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
2 stars Sandy returns

Rising For The Moon is a very uneven album featuring some good material, but also some awful stuff. The country influence from the previous album is still there and it brings this album down. Also, there are no real jigs or reels! here, which is a large part of what I like about the band.

The songs sung by Sandy Denny are the better ones, the other songs are horrible. Dawn is in my opinion the best song here. Many reviewers have talked about the One More Chance track. To my ears it is just a half-decent power ballad. It takes more than a great guitar solo to make anything Prog!

Rising For The Moon is more of a Country rock album than a (Prog) Folk album. A decent album, but not really my cup of tea. Fairport Convention has made many far better - and for a Prog fan much more relevant - albums, both before and after this one.

Fans and collectors only.

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars This one should have been Fairport Conventions ticket back to the high life. It´s really a shame it wasn´t. All the effort to bring back Sandy Denny to the fold, and the recording company suggestion of ace producer Andy Johns to coordinate the whole project should do the trick. Sadly it did not. Johns was against the use of traditional material or covers, in a time they did a fantastic version of Dylan´s All along the Watchtower. Besides, Trevor Lucas did push their sound maybe a little too much into american styled country rock (the presence of yankee Jerry Donahue certainly did not help matters), which alienated much of their fan base. Or maybe the timing simply was not right.

Still, the music here is beautiful, with Denny delivering some of the best tunes and performances of her short career. Her and Lucas voices blend very well too. Songs like the title track, White Dress and One More chance are the highlights of this very good album. Production is a little slick, but it works. With time I´m sure Fairport Convention would find their feet and could take this line up very far. Alas, this was not meant to be, since Denny and Lucas would leave the band after the tour to promote it. Some people think it should have been a Sandy Denny album, but really it only takes a few spins to figure it is far better than most of her solo work. The magic was there, they just didn´t let it grow its debut (few) limitations.

All in all a very fine album, although not that much folk-ish. My rating would be something between 3,5 and 4 stars. I´ll round it up to four because I really love it.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Rising For the Moon was a last roll of the dice for Fairport Convention; they'd got Sandy Denny back, giving a welcome additional dimension to the band which had been missing since Liege & Lief (they'd done no less than five albums between that and this without female vocals at all), and they shifted style accordingly, moving away from the comparatively straightforward Brit-country of Rosie and Nine in favour of a taste of their classic electric folk approach comprehensively updated for the mid-1970s. In short, it was their big bid for a commercial breakthrough of the sort which their offshoot, Steeleye Span, had already accomplished.

On that level, it didn't work; it found its way into the UK album charts, for sure, but nowhere near the level that Steeleye had been accomplishing with albums like Now We Are Six, Commoners' Crown, or All Around My Hat, and after peaking at number 52 it faded away. And to some, the classic era of Steeleye Span faded away with it. Sandy Denny left again and after putting out her final solo album (Rendezvous) would die tragically young, perpetually closing the door on further reunions.

The band staggered on, with further departures hitting the lineup, and after knocking out Gottle o' Geer - one of those contractual obligation albums where the artists can't even be bothered to sound enthusiastic - they would sign to Vertigo, producing a couple of releases so tepidly received that eventually the label bought them out of their contract rather than insisting on them producing the four studio albums they'd signed on for. Patchy reunions here and there led to the group eventually re-coalescing, but to some listeners the magic had gone away, at least as far as their studio releases went, and it's certainly the case that none of their latter-day albums have really seemed as musically important as their run from the debut to this.

So, even though strictly speaking this album wasn't the end for Fairport Convention or Sandy Denny, it's hard to listen to it now without feeling a sense of finality in the air. None of the participants knew it would be the last time Sandy would grace a Fairport album - indeed, everyone was hoping that it would be quite the opposite - but as a listener, knowing that it is only enhances the moody, melancholic, nocturnal atmosphere of the album.

Stylistically speaking, this sounds a lot like Steeleye Span - with the folk-rock dial turned closer to rock than was typical for Fairport Convention, and both the "folk" and "rock" sides of that equation sounding more like Steeleye's approach to those than Fairport. It's a subtle distinction, not least because Steeleye Span started out by building on the foundation laid by Liege & Lief, but if you compare the different routes Steeleye and Fairport's music took in the intervening six years or so, this feels more like the product Steeleye's musical evolution than it does a direct followup to Rosie or Nine.

It might be an imitation, but it's a damn good one - as you'd expect from musicians who understood the roots of this particular folk-rock sound better than anyone, because they had a direct hand in laying those roots to begin with. If this is the end of Fairport's golden age, this is as good a send-off as could perhaps be expected under the circumstances - and is certainly a big step up from Nine.

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