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Fotheringay Fotheringay album cover
3.56 | 43 ratings | 10 reviews | 21% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
rock music collection

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Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Nothing More (4:37)
2. The Sea (5:32)
3. The Ballad Of Ned Kelly (3:34)
4. Winter Winds (2:13)
5. Peace In The End (4:02)
6. The Way I Feel (4:46)
7. The Pond And The Stream (3:20)
8. Too Much Of Nothing (3:55)
9. Banks Of The Nile (8:04)

Total Time: 40:03

Bonus tracks on 1987 CD release:
10. Two Weeks Last Summer (3:59)
11. Gypsy Davey (3:52)

Bonus tracks on 2004 remaster:
10. Two Weeks Last Summer (Live *) (4:28)
11. Nothing More (Live *) (4:35)
12. Banks Of The Nile (Live *) (7:38)
13. Memphis Tennessee (Live *) (3:47)

* Recorded at The Holland Pop Festival, Rotterdam on 28 June 1970.

Line-up / Musicians

- Sandy Denny / vocals, piano, guitar
- Trevor Lucas/ vocals, guitar
- Jerry Donahue/ lead guitar, backing vocals
- Pat Donaldson / bass, backing vocals
- Gerry Conway/ drums, backing vocals

- Linda Peters (Thompson) / backing vocals
- Tod Lloyd / backing vocals

Releases information

Artwork: Marion Appleton

LP Island - ILPS 9125 (1970, UK)

CD Hannibal HNCD 4426 (1987, US) With 2 bonus tracks
CD Fledg'ling Records ‎- FLED 3044 (2004, UK) Remastered (?) with 4 bonus Live tracks

Thanks to alucard for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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Buy FOTHERINGAY Fotheringay Music

FOTHERINGAY Fotheringay ratings distribution

(43 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(21%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(47%)
Good, but non-essential (28%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (5%)

FOTHERINGAY Fotheringay reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Heptade
4 stars Ah, lovely. This is progressive folk-rock at it's best. The legendary Sandy Denny and her husband, Austalian future Fairport member Trevor Lucas, brought American guitarist Jerry Donahue on board to make this fine album. Denny is at her most emotionally grand here, on the sweeping opener "Nothing More" and the gentle, psychedelic "The Sea" and "Winter Winds". Donahue's playing manages to be both virtuosic and psychedelic at the same time, without any reverb at all, just gentle volume swells and textures. There is even an epic of sorts, "The Banks of the Nile", a tragic 18th century war ballad. The covers are less successful- they do a plodding Dylan on "Too Much of Nothing" and a strange, jerky rock treatment of Gordon Lightfoot on "The Way I Feel". Lucas's Australian bushranger tribute "The Ballad of Ned Kelly" is more successful, growling along in the best early- Country Rock style. I haven't heard the bonus track CD version, but the bonus tracks look great- I see a David Cousins/Strawbs song there. Many of the songs on this album rank among Denny's best compositions, easily overwhelming some of the weaker moments. This is close to a masterpiece for English folk-rock.
Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
3 stars Sandy, queen of melody

Fotheringay's sole album is this self titled release from 1970. The band took their name from an early Fairport Convention song, which in turn was named after the castle in England where Mary Queen of Scots was put to death by her cousin Queen Elizabeth the First of England in 1587.

Effectively a Fairport Convention spin off project, "Fotheringay" is founded on the wonderful signing voice of Sandy Denny (the only guest singer on any Led Zeppelin track - "The battle of evermore"), the voice and guitar of her soon to be husband Trevor Lucas, and the lead guitar of Jerry Donahue. While there are therefore significant similarities with the music of Fairport, this is actually closer to sounding like a Denny solo project, the folk influences being somewhat less here.

The album opens with a couple of reflective Denny compositions. "Nothing more" and "The sea" both focus on Sandy's emotional delivery style, the latter sounding like a fine updating of "Who knows where the time goes". "Winter Winds" follows a similar pattern, with Denny's delicate vocals being given significant dominance over the sympathetic acoustic backing. In terms of Denny's song-writing, by this time she had become highly competent at creating melodies which suited her voice well. Lyrically, the subjects covered, as evidenced by the titles, are traditional folk fare covering subjects such as the seasons, the sea (sic), and the countryside. There is however a slight laziness in the lyrics, which use the right words, but do not actually say anything by way of portraying a picture or telling a story. "The pond and stream" is better lyrically, finding Sandy becoming bored of city life and yearning for open spaces.

Five of the nine tracks are composed by Sandy Denny, one being a collaboration with Trevor Lucas. Lucas also writes "The ballad of Ned Kelly" which he sings. He has a fine voice, not unlike that of Gordon Lightfoot, whose "The way I feel" opens side 2. Indeed, Lucas also takes lead vocal on that track, delivering a fine performance. "Ned Kelly" has a barroom sing-a-long chorus, as does the Denny/Lucas composed "Peace in the end". This was released as an unsuccessful single, the pleasant optimistic lyrics and melodic chorus sadly failing to capture the imagination of the singles buying public.

The remaining tracks are a cover of a Bob Dylan composition and an adaptation of a traditional song. "Too much of nothing" is interesting as, although it was written in 1967, it did not actually appear officially on a Dylan album until the release of "The basement tapes" in 1975. The song, which was also covered by Peter Paul and Mary, therefore has the feel of a song by The Band more than by Dylan himself.

The closing "Banks of the Nile" sees Denny reverting to the sparsely backed vocal style on which this album is founded.

In all, a highly melodic album which largely acts as a showcase for the vocal talents of Sandy Denny. The jigs and reels, and indeed story telling of Fairport Convention are absent, but then this was never intended to be a Fairport album.

The LP comes in a very attractive gatefold cover, with a mediaeval flavoured illustration of the band on the front, a tasteful crest on the back, and a photo of the band playing live inside.

Review by greenback
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars At the listen of the first track "Nothing More", the music seems to announce textures slightly reminiscent of the first line-up of the Renaissance band, as revealed by the Baroque piano, by the typical melancholic electric guitar solos and by the rhythmic acoustic guitars. Unfortunately, a rather straightforward folkier, rock and country style occur thereafter. Fairport Convention and the other bands of this era having a female lead singer come to mind when it is time to compare the actual music. There are many modern folk artists who sound alike. Sandy Denny's lead vocals are a sure value. The music is quite good but sounds pretty deja vu. The tracks are not really progressive, and the folkier character is the strongest element, despite there are some borderline country elements. The album thus stands on the frontier separating the prog folk and the prog related styles.

Rating: 3.5 stars

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars First album of a hastily assembled group (partly by American folk producer legend Joe Boyd) that was the alternative to Sandy Denny going solo. Actually she fell in love with Trevor Lucas of the very weird pure folk group Eclection (out of which came out also the drummer Gerry Conway) and this band quickly came to be her working tool, but not just her accompanying band. Graced with a drawn group portrait and the fake arms on its back cover, the debut album is a very competent folk rock album, but would've been much more convincing if it had not a bunch of country rock tracks (courtesy of Trevor Lucas and his Aussie heritage), so don't be surprised if you like better Denny's compositions, it's not an accident, but simple folk vs country thing.

Soooo aside the obligatory Dylan cover Too Much Of Nothing (and more surprisingly a Gordon Lightfoot cover), the album does have the semi-stinking country rockers like Neal Kelly, but there is plenty of excellent tracks as well. This includes the enchanting album-opening Nothing More, one of these tracks that showed why she left Fairport. The Lightfoot track The Way I feel is probably the best I heard cover of one of his song, it holds some powerful drumming from Conway, some dramatic vocals and great dual guitars and even a solid tempo change to allow some final wailing. The Sea is another pure beauty in the folk realm adding much charm to the album, while Peace In The End is one of those song that have a slight country tinge, but it's nothing over-dramatic >> there are more coming up and not quite as good.

The usual Cd reissue comes with three bonus tracks (sometimes more), most of them likely from their second unreleased album, my version having Gypsy Davey and Two Weeks Last Summer from that session, recently available through the reworked tapes of the second album. Another bonus track, and much worthier is the lengthy Banks Of The Nile, where the band really lets go of itself. A really awesome track that pushes Fotheringay in the prog folk realm

Review by Tarcisio Moura
4 stars I was reallly surprised how good this CD was. I got it recommended by a friend who knew I was a Fairport Convection (and Sandy Denny) fan. After a short (but eventful) stay at FC, Denny left that famous band to form his own group under guidence of producer Joe Boyd and her future husband Trevor Lucas. This project named under one fo Denny´s best known songs from her FC days is not widely known, which is really a pity, for it concentrates some of her best songs ever plus some strong tracks by others.

I enjoyed very much the low key sound of the group as a whole: they were fine musicians working for the music, not for their egos. It is ok for me that Lucas tunes are a bit too simple and not entirely convincing, as it is his cover of Dylan´s Too Much Of Nothing, but they are just some minor flaws, on an otherwise very powerful album. Denny´s opener Nothing More is a fine showcase of her talents both as an original singer and a sensitive songwriter. The Sea, Winter Winds and The Pond And The Stream are other strong compositions, while her interpretation of the traditional Banks Of The Nile is as poignant as anything she has done in the Fairport fold. The band is shining on that track too, making it the most progressive tune in the whole album.

Another surprise is the cover of Gordon Lighfoot´s The Way I Feel: very well arranged, played and sung, this tune is one of Fotheringay´s highlights for its emotional and convincing interpretation. My Hannibal CD booklet and tracklist gives no hint that Two Last Weeks In Summer and Gypsy Davey were not included on the original LP (now I know they were in fact recoorded for their second, shelved, album). Both are great bonus tracks and fit very well with the others. Nice touch (my CD does not include the 3 live tracks of the UICY release).

Fotheringay was a very promising group that unfortunatly never really reached its full potential. But they left a very fine debut CD that I recommend to all fans of prog folk.

Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars "Fotheringay" is the eponymoustly titled debut full-length studio album by UK folk rock act "Fotheringay". The album was released through Island Records in the UK and A&M Records in the US in June 1970. "Fotheringay" was a short-lived act forming in 1970, recording this debut album, and disbanding again in 1971. The band was formed by lead vocalist Sandy Denny after her departure from Fairport Convention (whom she recorded and released three albums with during 1968-1969). In addition to Sandy Denny on lead vocals, piano and guitar, the band featured Sandy Denny´s future husband and former Eclection and future Fairport Convention member Trevor Lucas on vocals and guitar (there are a couple of pictures in the booklet where those two look more than a little in love). Drummer Gerry Conway was also a former member of Eclection and would be the future drummmer for Jethro Tull. Lead guitarist Jerry Donahue would also be a future member of Fairport Convention. Bassist Pat Donaldson was a very experienced session musician who had played with lots of different musicians throughout the 1960s. So this was a unit of experienced and skilled musicians.

The music on the album is a combination of British folk/rock songs and US influenced folk/rock/country songs. Sandy Denny wrote the songs "Nothing More", "The Sea", "Winter Winds", "The Pond And The Stream" which are all in the British folk/rock tradition and by far the most intriguing compositions of the album. Sandy Denny and Trevor Lucas wrote "Peace In The End" which has an American country sound to it which doesn´t sound right along side the above mentioned material. "The Ballad Of Ned Kelly" was written by Trevor Lucas and is also in the American country style. Fotheringay also covers the Gordon Lightfoot tune "The Way I Feel" and even though this one is also influenced by American folk and country it´s the most interesting song here in that style. There´s some truly great guitar playing in that one. There´s a Bob Dylan cover on the album too in "Too Much Of Nothing". Honestly it´s one of the low points of the album. "Banks Of The Nile" is a traditional British folk/rock song re-arranged by Fotheringay. It´s one of the better songs on the album.

The musicianship is excellent on the album. The shared vocal duties by Sandy Denny and Trevor Lucas works well. They are both great strong and distinct sounding vocalists. The rhythm section works very well too. I´m especially fond of drummer Gerry Conway´s style. Jerry Donahue is the one who most deserves a special mention though. His guitar playing on this album is nothing short of outstanding.

The album features a well sounding production job. The sound is warm and pleasant with an emphasis on the organic, which suits the material perfectly. "Fotheringay" is a good quality folk/rock album although I could have done without the US country influences which I feel disrupt the flow of the album. It´s too bad this would be their sole album release, as there is certainly a lot of promise here. A 3 star (60%) rating is warranted.

Review by Warthur
4 stars Fotheringay is a pleasant little project from Sandy Denny and various backing musicians, who play in a manner highly reminiscent of Denny's former berth in Fairport Convention. Unfortunately, Fotheringay were hampered by not quite having a guitarist quite as imaginative and spellbinding as Richard Thompson, but for the most part they are still able to present a competent folk rock collection that is elevated from "acceptable" to "good" by the carefully balanced vocals of Denny and Trevor Lucas.

If anything, in fact, it's Lucas who's the real find on this album, since in him Denny had found a male vocalist easily on a par with her own high standards. Ironic then, that after the dissolution of the project that Lucas (along with guitarist Jerry Donahue) would end up joining Fairport Convention! (Indeed, bassist Pat Donaldson is the only Fotheringay not to join the Fairport lineup at some point after the winding-up of this project).

Review by BrufordFreak
COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
5 stars This was Sandy Denny's breakaway album from FAIRPORT CONVENTION--before she went on a solo career--and amazing record it is! She is joined by four stellar musician/vocalists--male--in ECLECTION's Trevor LUCAS on guitars and Gerry CONWAYon drums and POET AND THE ONE MAN BAND's Jerry DONAHUE on guitars and Pat DONALDSON on bass. This is a deceptively powerful album due to its rather soft, slow, and laconic song starts. But you need only follow Ms. Denny's incredibly emotive storytelling and the way the band joins in to build toward each song's climax before you will find yourself hooked. Only three songs are penned by Denny and they are jewels but the male-lead vocal songs are quite good as well. What makes Fotheringay such a powerful album is the amazing recording and powerful emotions in both Sandy Denny's vocals and lyrics but also all of the accompanying musicians. I just love the clarity and feel of the mix of the guitars, piano, and drums. Each and every song is artfully done, with subtle flourishes and idiosyncracies that make them so delightful to listen to time and time again. If there's a weakness in the album, it's in the recording of the vocalist's voices--especially in songs which try to display the band's singing in harmony like 'The Ballad of Ned Kelly' (3:36) (7/10) and, to a lesser degree, 'Peace in the End' (4:03) (8/10). But the listener can easily get past this as, let's face it: there have not been many vocalists in the history of recorded music with the gifts that Sandy Denny had.

Favorites: Denny's three: 1. 'Nothing More" (4:39) (10/10),'2. 'The Sea" (5:33) (9/10), and 'The Pond and the Stream' (3:20) (8/10); the most proggy tune on the album, 9. 'Banks of the Nile' (8:04) (10/10); the wonderful harmonized vocal approach to Gordon Lightfoot's 'The Way I Feel" (4:45) (9/10), and;'the delicate 4. 'Winter Winds' (2:13) (8/10)

1. "Nothing More" (4:37) a Sandy Denny-penned song that is one of the most shining examples of Prog Folk perfection you'll ever come across, Sandy Denny is something so special and this is a great band. The only song on the album on which piano appears as the lead accompanist of the vocalist and band. (10/10)

2. "The Sea" (5:32) another Sandy Denny song that is built upon by her amazing band so that it sounds like the foundation for one of THE ALLMAN BROTHERS' best songs with comparisons also appropriate for bands like JONI MITCHELL and SEALS & CROFTS. Outstanding musicianship of this gorgeous, many-layered composition. (10/10)

3. "The Ballad Of Ned Kelly" (3:34) a song created by guitarist-vocalist Trevor Lucas and sung by Lucas in his Kris Kristofferson-like voice. A now-famous song that fails to impress (me; but then, I'm not a lyrics guy). (8/10)

4. "Winter Winds" (2:13) a third Sandy Denny song that opens with guitars and bass and Sandy's plaintive voice. Drums join in for the final stanza. (8.5/10)

5. "Peace In The End" (4:02) written by Sandy and Trevor strummed guitars, thick C&W bass, pedal steel guitar, choir vocals with a male in the lead, later alternating with Sandy. The chorus approach feels church-based--definitely oriented to a sing-a-long crowd-appeal. (8/10)

6. "The Way I Feel" (4:46) a Gordon Lightfoot song that opens with fast arpeggio from guitar, fast strumming from another, bass and drum lines potent with latent power waiting to bust out. Beautiful choral vocals with perfected harmonies carry this song from start to finish. Again, the little instrumental flourishes and nuances added here and there are so cool--they remind me of the sophisticated layering of peak LYNYRD SKYNYRD. (9.5/10)

7. "The Pond And The Stream" (3:20) multiple picked guitars with bass and drums in gentle support of Sandy's solo voice. A true folk song, very JONI MITCHELL-like. (9/10)

8. "Too Much Of Nothing" (3:55) a male-voiced cover of a Bob Dylan song that is delivered in a very Country & Western style and sound; the whole thing sounds like something from THE BAND, the MARSHALL TUCKER BAND, or HOOTIE AND THE BLOWFISH. Smooth and memorable. (9/10)

9. "Banks Of The Nile" (8:04) a Fotheringay/Sandy Denny arrangement of a traditional folk song, the key is, once again, Sandy's amazing vocal delivery. Great simple and sparse support from the guitar, bass and cymbals over the opening four minutes allows Sandy and the story to have the listener's full attention (as it should). Still, this is a Prog Folk song with a more rock'n'roll musical support in the second half. Full of subtleties and nuances that add greatly without distracting or detracting from Sandy's story delivery. Gorgeous outro to fade over the last 30 seconds. (13.5/15)

Total Time: 40:03

In 2008 Jerry Donahue released an album entitled Fotheringay 2 using previously unreleased material from the band's original 1970 recording sessions'some of which had seen the light of day on 1970s releases by FAIRPORT CONVENTION and SANDY DENNY. It is an equally wonderful album--definitely worth checking out! Check out "Nothing More" (4:39) (10/10), "The Sea" (5:33) (9/10), "Banks of the Nile" (8:04) (13.5/15), "The Way I Feel" (4:45) (10/10), and "John the Gun" (5:06) (8/10) (from their second album of songs recorded in their 1970 recording sessions but only released as the album Fotheringay 2 in 2008).

Five stars; a minor masterpiece of progressive rock music and a wonderful display of diverse Prog Folk.

Latest members reviews

1 stars This will be my last review on progarchives. So, Fairport is considered either prog-folk or prog-related. Ok, I can see that, since they were one of the first to develop a mixture of traditional folk songs with new instrumentation. But that doesn't mean every spin-off is also prog. No, Steeleye Spa ... (read more)

Report this review (#2444373) | Posted by Kelder | Thursday, September 3, 2020 | Review Permanlink

4 stars To me this is almost a "best of Sandy Denny" album. The songs she presents on Fotheringay is better than on any of her solo albums. I think it's a shame that she didn't get all the spotlight, because the non-Denny tracks brings the album down. However, songs like "Winter Winds", "The Pond and ... (read more)

Report this review (#68049) | Posted by 1971 | Thursday, February 2, 2006 | Review Permanlink

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