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Fairport Convention

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Fairport Convention Red & Gold album cover
3.44 | 17 ratings | 2 reviews | 6% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1988

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Set Me Up (4:18)
2. The Noise Club (3:07)
3. Red And Gold (6:40)
4. The Beggar's Song (3:30)
5. The Battle (1:05)
6. Dark-Eyed Molly (4:30)
7. The Rose Hip (4:20)
8. London River (2:55)
9. Summer Before The War (4:30)
10. Open The Door Richard (4:56)

Total time 39:51

Bonus track on 1995 & 1999 reissues:
11. Close To The Wind (Live) (6:09)

Line-up / Musicians

- Simon Nicol / vocals, electric 12-string & acoustic guitars, dobro (10), producer
- Martin Allcock / acoustic, MIDI (2,4,8) & electric guitars, bouzouki (7), mandolin (4), fretless bass & keyboards (6), accordion (8,10), backing vocals
- Ric Sanders / electric & acoustic violins
- Dave Pegg / bass, backing vocals
- Dave Mattacks / drums, MIDI drum (2), percussion, keyboards, DX7 synth & harpsichord (7)

Releases information

Artwork: Spencer Richards with Dawn Robertson (photo)

LP New Routes ‎- RUE 002 (1988, UK)

CD Accord ‎- 104482 (1988, France)
CD New Routes ‎- RUE CD 002 (1989, UK)
CD HTD Records - HTD CD 47 (1995, UK) With a bonus track
CD Transatlantic Records ‎- TRACD 333 (1999, UK) With a bonus track

Thanks to avestin for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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FAIRPORT CONVENTION Red & Gold ratings distribution

(17 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(6%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (44%)
Collectors/fans only (0%)
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)


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 Gold plated

Released in 1989, "Red and gold" remains one of Fairport's most recent studio albums nearly 20 years later. The band are still very much alive, but these days they tend to focus their efforts on live performances.

The line up here may not include early stalwarts such as Richard Thompson, Dave Swarbrick and the late Sandy Denny, but at the time of writing Dave Pegg, Simon Nicol, Ric Sanders, Martin Allcock and Dave Mattacks have actually served far longer in the line up.

The band appear to have decided up front that they would not spend a great deal of time on the song writing, with only Alcock and Sanders making contributions in that field. The majority of the tracks are either cover versions or interpretations of traditional songs. Indeed, the title track is a cover version of a wonderful Ralph McTell song which tells a tale of the English Civil War. The story is based in the Oxfordshire village of Cropredy, which of course is these days home to the annual reconvening of Fairport. McTell actually conceived the song at Cropredy, while attending the 1985 festival. With Simon Nicol's voice being similar to McTell's, the rendition is faithful but superb nonetheless, with some fine violin playing from Ric.

The war theme continues with an interpretation of Welsh songwriter Huw Williams "Summer before the war". This Second world war based number is a lovely acoustic piece, although I have to say that to my (admittedly untrained) ear, some of the guitar work sounds slightly out of tune. On the traditional front, Martin Alcock's "The noise club" has all the feel of a reel written many years previously while his arrangement of "The beggar's song" could have been lifted straight from the "Angel delight" album. Sanders adds two wonderful violin based pieces, the short, spirited "The battle", and the reflective "The rose hip".

Not all the selections are as successful though. The opening "Set me up" is a rather nondescript lightweight number, and "London River" is a typical folk club shanty. The final track is a cover of Bob Dylan's "Open The Door Richard" which sounds for all the world like a Ringo Starr performance.

The re-released version of the album includes a bonus track, a live rendition of "Close to the wind" another soft acoustic number with some fine bass playing by Dave Pegg.

"Red and gold" does not seek to trail-blaze any new ground, but neither does it find the band simply trying to recreate past glories. This line up of the band are clearly comfortable with the style and direction they have set for themselves, and have created an album which portrays that extremely well. Fans of Fairport Convention will not be disappointed here. Those seeking the prog folk of the band's early days will have to look elsewhere, but this remains a fine album.

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
3 stars I was very lucky to give some latter-day Fairport Convention albums a chance. I have never been a very big fan of this band and I find the early, Sandy Denny-led albums overrated and somewhat boring. However, some of the band's 70's albums I find very good, especially Full House, Babbacombe Lee and Tipplers Tales. But this classic period is now rivalled by the underrated late 80's and 90's period with albums like this one, Five Seasons, Jewel In The Crown and Who Knows Where Time Goes?

Red And Gold, released in the late 80's, is not fantastic by any means but it is mostly quite good. The opening and closing tracks are the least good ones. Set Me Up is a too catchy, straightforward rock song without much Folk in it apart from a violin break. Open The Door Richard is a Bob Dylan cover and is a typical Pub rock, sing-a-long- type song. Certainly nothing progressive about these numbers.

The Noise Club, The Battle and The Rose Hip are instrumentals and these are the only numbers written entirely by band members. The inclusion of instrumentals like these is a major factor in making this album exciting and varied throughout. It makes the whole greater than the sum of the parts. Whether it also legitimates this band's position in the Prog related category is another matter, and one I leave for others to decide for themselves. Just don't expect this to be an out an out Prog album, it certainly isn't. But I like it! (Interestingly, Ian Anderson and Martin Barre are thanked on the sleve.)

The instrumental attack is more full here compared to on most older Fairport albums with keyboards on most of the tracks, most notably electric piano, and occasional unexpected stringed instruments.

This album in not as good as Jewel In The Crown, but well worth investigating if you like that one. I will continue to investigate this band's 80's and 90's albums.

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