Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography


Fairport Convention

Prog Related

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Fairport Convention Tipplers Tales album cover
3.03 | 23 ratings | 3 reviews | 13% 5 stars

Write a review

from partners
Studio Album, released in 1978

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Bottom Of The Bunch Bowl/ East Nuke Of Fyfe/ Ye Mariners All (4:22)
2. Three Drunken Maidens (2:38)
3. Jack O' Rion (11:04)
4. Reynard The Fox (2:55)
5. Lady Of Pleasure (2:27)
6. Bank ruptured (1:48)
7. The Widow Of Westmoreland's Daughter/ Random Jig (3:13)
8. The Hair Of The Dogma (1:40)
9. As Bitme (1:37)
10. John Barleycorn (4:42)

Total Time: 36:26

Line-up / Musicians

- Dave Swarbrick / vocals, violin, mandolin, mandocello
- Simon Nicol / vocals, electric & acoustic guitars, electric dulcimer, piano
- Dave Pegg / bass, mandolin, guitar, backing vocals
- Bruce Rowland / drums, percussion, electric piano

Releases information

Artwork: Peter Cook

LP Vertigo - 9102 022 (1978, UK)

CD BGO Records ‎- BGOCD 72 (1989, UK)
CD Vertigo ‎- 984 305-2 (2007, Europe)

Thanks to alucard for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
Edit this entry

Buy FAIRPORT CONVENTION Tipplers Tales Music

More places to buy FAIRPORT CONVENTION music online

FAIRPORT CONVENTION Tipplers Tales ratings distribution

(23 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(13%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(13%)
Good, but non-essential (52%)
Collectors/fans only (13%)
Poor. Only for completionists (9%)

FAIRPORT CONVENTION Tipplers Tales reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Heptade
3 stars The last of the Fairport studio albums listed here on Progarchives is actually not a bad record at all. The lineup was down to core members Nicol, Pegg, Swarbrick and Rowland, who realized their limitations as well as their strengths. Songwriting was not their strength, and here they deliver a set of well-chosen traditional material that rocks as hard as anything they every recorded, particularly the opener, "Ye Mariners All". There is even an "epic" 12 minute version of "Jack O'Rion" that's worth every minute. A rollicking rendition of "Reynard the Fox" and a version of "John Barleycorn" that is different to both Steeleye Span's and Traffic's are other highlights. The band sounds like they are having fun and are comfortable with their legacy as the orginators of electric folk. This is a very enjoyable listen that anyone with an interest in Fairport Convention or electric folk should pick up.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Time for one more

"Tipplers' tales" was Fairport's second and final album for Vertigo records, the label deciding as a result of poor sales to buy out the remainder of the contract the band had with them. Now consisting of the quartet of Simon Nicol, Dave Swarbrick, Dave Pegg and Bruce Rowland, the band was undoubtedly in decline and unsure of their future. Dave Swarbrick's growing hearing problems and the increasingly itchy feet of the band members generally meant that this would be Fairport's last album for some seven years.

This is not to say this is a poor album, or indeed that the recordings were not a happy time. By all accounts, the members thoroughly enjoyed making this album, the theme of which is loosely based around drinking. The problem was simply that this was the wrong album for the times.

Many of the tracks here are, as has become the norm, traditional pieces arranged by Fairport. We delve straight into such a number with the opening medley of two jigs and reels which introduce "Ye mariners all". The resulting three part suite is also given the umbrella title "Ye mariners all". Swarb provides the vocals here, his fine tones being heard all to rarely on Fairport albums. "Three drunken maidens" is a subtle adjustment to the traditional song title of "Four drunken maidens", the change being rumoured to dispel any confusion with the band members! This short folk song keeps things simple but amusing.

At over 11 minutes, "Jack O'Rion" is one of the band's longest tracks. It is though a medley of six traditional songs and tunes. To that extent, it has a passing similarity to "Matty Groves", "Jack O'Rion" telling a lengthy tale, followed by an instrumental passage.

The remainder of the songs are rather lightweight short pieces of lesser consequence. We have a three brief Dave Pegg compositions (one with Bruce Rowland), and a couple more traditional songs. "Lady of pleasure" is the only non-band composed song being a risqué Allan Taylor number written in a traditional style. The songs will appeal to Fairport traditionalists though, being well steeped in folk.

The final track is Fairport's take on the well known traditional folk song "John Barleycorn", a song about beer which has also been used by Traffic as the title track to an album, and has been covered by Steeleye Span among many others. Fairport's version lies somewhere between the dirge like version of Traffic and the upbeat jig of Steeleye Span, while emphasising the folk elements of the song.

In all, an album on which Fairport emphasise their folk leanings strongly. While it is probably only of any real interest to the Fairport faithful, the quality of the music and of the performances should not be understated.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars Tipplers Tales is overall more similar to Full House than perhaps to any of the other Fairport albums (that I've heard so far). And this is a good thing for me since Full House is one of my personal favourite albums by Fairport Convention. For fans of Prog Folk this album is far more interesting than any of the Sandy Denny-led albums. Among all the 70's Fairport albums, Tipplers Tales is one of the very best ones together with the aforementioned Full House and the concept album Babbacombe Lee. Tipplers Tales is also a concept album, but it does not tell a story like Babbacombe Lee does. The album is loosely based on alcohol and it's well known pleasures and problems.

Thankfully the awful American/Country influences of albums like Nine and Rising For The Moon are completely absent here. The instrumental attack is great with a plethora of acoustic and electric stringed instruments as well as keyboards and drums. Songs like Jack Orion and John Barleycorn has been heard before by other bands, but these versions are worth while. Some standouts are The Hair Of The Dogma which is very similar to the style of The Dixie Dregs! The track Tokyo from the album Nine is in the same style. This is followed by the short As Bitme which starts with just percussion for about a minute - a bit of avant-garde there, at least in Fairport's terms. Bankrupted is a fun, almost jazzy, Steve Howe like acoustic guitar piece. Could just as well be Steve Morse.

If you like Full House you will like this album too. Tipplers Tales is clearly a Prog related album that is in my top five Fairport Convention albums.

Latest members reviews

No review or rating for the moment | Submit a review

Post a review of FAIRPORT CONVENTION "Tipplers Tales"

You must be a forum member to post a review, please register here if you are not.


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.