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Forest Full Circle album cover
3.35 | 37 ratings | 7 reviews | 14% 5 stars

Good, but non-essential

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Studio Album, released in 1970

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Hawk The Hawker (5:48)
2. Bluebell (3:10)
3. The Midnight Hanging Of A Runaway Serf (5:04)
4. To Julie (3:36)
5. Gypsy Girl & Rambleway (4:01)
6. Do Not Walk In The Rain (3:54)
7. Much Ado About Nothing (3:10)
8. Graveyard (5:46)
9. Famine Song (2:12)
10. Autumn Childhood (6:22)

Total time 43:03

Line-up / Musicians

- Martin Welham / 6- (2) & 12-string (1,2,5,10) acoustic guitars, electric harpsichord (10), harmonium (9), piano (3,6), violin (3), percussion (3,6,10), whistle (3,8), lead (3,6,10) & backing vocals
- Derek Allenby / mandolin (2,3,5,7,10), harmonica (1,6,10), percussion (5,10), whistle (3,8,9), lead (1,5,7) & backing vocals
- Hadrian Welham / violin (1,3), bass (1), acoustic guitar (2-6,8,10), cello (2,8), whistle (8,9), percussion (2,3,6), lead (2,8) & backing vocals

- Gordon Huntley / steel guitar (1)

Releases information

Artwork: Joan Melville

LP Harvest - SHVL 784 (1970, UK)
LP Music On Vinyl ‎- MOVLP1798 (2017, Europe)

CD EMI ‎- TOCP-7697 (1993, Japan)
2xCD Beat Goes On - BGOCD 236 (1994, UK) Remastered and bundled with "Forest"
CD Harvest ‎- TOCP-70342 (2008, Japan) Remastered by Peter Mew

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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FOREST Full Circle ratings distribution

(37 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(14%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(35%)
Good, but non-essential (46%)
Collectors/fans only (5%)
Poor. Only for completionists (0%)

FOREST Full Circle reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Sean Trane
3 stars Full Circle is very similar to the debut epnymous album , but does take things a little further (but only slightly so). The music still hovers around the late 60's folk somewhere around Fairport Convention and Incredible String Band but almost without percussions.

There is slightly more room for the instruments than on their first album: the tracks are noticeably longer leaving more space for interplay. Highlights are the instrumental for Julie, Gypsy Girl , Graveyard and Autumn Childhood.

If a proghead unfamiliar to this group would like to investigate them, I can advise them to start with this album. Not that it is intrisically better than the debut, but one will find more elements that a proghead can relate to in this album. Not Essential listening in the frame our this site but quite enjoyble , nevertheless.

Review by Eetu Pellonpaa
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars This album synthesizes both brutal and beautiful elements, and the raw acoustic tunes create weird and very enchanting music. There are much medieval influences as a basis, but the overall aesthetics are not luckily much idealized or fantasy related, but sincere and realistic, filled with mystery, misery and violence. Music is peaceful but partly disturbing too. "Bluebell" was quite good track, and the last song "Autumn Childhood" is very weird with strange rhythm changes and several compositional parts. "The Midnight Hanging of A Runaway Serf" was also quite affecting in its ancienct sinister realism. "Graveyard" is also very beautiful and quite accessible song, but maybe best of them for me would be "Gypsy Girl & Rambleway", describing a love affair via very raw medieval sounds, in the end getting lost of psychedelic haze. Before this number there is also a fine instrumental track named "To Julie", which could have been performed by real ancient bards due the authentic feeling of it. This record is recommended sincerely for fans of depressing middle age music. As a hint, at least for me this album took several spins to open up properly, and worked best for setting up moods for sitting down to feast table, carrying ancient gastronomic delights.
Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars The thing that actually kind of creeps me out about this album is how similar the sounds are to any number of paisley underground bands from the early eighties. Green on Red, the Long Ryders, the Leaving Trains, Rain Parade, the Three O’Clock, and even the Golden Palominos to a certain extent. These are bands that I took a liking to when progressive music went to sh!t around 1979. Asia and Marillion just weren’t enough to quench the thirst for new music, and R.E.M. only put out an album every year and a half or so, so the sound of the Paisley Underground set was a great appeal for a kid from the mountains who’d grown up with plenty of American country music and had an appreciation for steel guitar and psych treatments on Heartland folk standards. Imagine my surprise the first time I listened to this reissue of a Woodstock-era Abbey Road record by a trio of British wyrd folk and heard some of those same sounds a full decade before they appeared in Los Angeles studio’s with American country rockers playing them!

There are a few obvious reasons for the comparison. First, the opening track “Hawk the Hawker” features the late Gordon Huntley on steel guitar, not the kind of instrument you’d expect from an early seventies British acoustic folk band. There’s also a noticeable thread of harmonica and whistles floating across the arrangement, and the net effect the first time I heard it was to instantly remind me of “Honest Man” from Green on Red’s 1985 album ‘No Free Lunch’. Sure, the vocal accents are different and the paisley bands tended to have a rougher edge since most of them came out of the west coast punk days of the latter seventies, but the folkish guitar, slightly off-key vocals, and character sketch lyrics have an uncanny resemblance to the first couple of tracks on Forest’s last album. Huntley by the way was much in demand as a session player around this time, having appeared with Whistler, Elton John (‘Tumbleweed Connection’), Rod Stewart (‘Never a Dull Moment’), and as a member of Ian Matthew’s long-standing project Southern Comfort. I didn’t realize he had passed on until I listened to this album and did a bit of research. Rest in peace Gordon.

“Bluebell Dance” also has a slightly psych sound that was so prevalent in the eighties paisley music, although again this is undeniably folk-inspired and much more mellow than most of those bands. Same goes for “The Midnight Hanging of a Runaway Serf” and “Do Not Walk In The Rain”. The vocals on those two songs have driven me a bit mad trying to recall who they remind me of, but there’s definitely someone. Maybe somebody who reads this can make the connection. The electric harpsichord from the band’s debut is present here as well, and makes for a much more folk-leaning sound than the traditional piano that is also present.

Apparently the trio took a different approach on this last album, with each of the members contributing ideas and compositions that led in slightly different directions. The result is an album that plays much more like a sampler than did the contiguous theme of their debut. This isn’t nearly as much of a folk album as the first, although the mandolin, acoustic guitar and flute keep the sound in that general vein. This is especially true of the acoustic guitar-driven instrumental “To Julie” and the mandolin-heavy “Gypsy Girl & Rambleaway”.

“Much Ado About Nothing”, “Graveyard” and “Famine Song” play more like traditional British folk, especially “Famine Song” which is mostly a capella and leans a bit to a Celtic bent.

The closing “Autumn Childhood” is a bit of a throwback to the late sixties, with bard-like story-telling vocals and gentle acoustic guitar and mandolin that pick up for a while and add harmonica for a coffee-shop folk mood. This is also the longest track Forest ever recorded to the best of my knowledge, clocking in at more than six minutes.

While the first Forest album is undeniably British folk steeped in sixties sensibilities, this one is more forward-looking and experimental. It’s a good album, but I can’t say it is great. Three stars for the courage to take some chances, but not quite as good as their debut. The band hung on for a year or so after this released, but the times they had a’ changed and the direction of progressive and folk music had already passed these guys by the time they released this album (although the spirit of the music seems to have resurfaced on the American west coast a decade later). Recommended to prog folk fans mostly, and worth a spin or two if you come across it.


Review by UMUR
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
3 stars Forestīs second album Full Circle is a very nice folky prog rock album. This is another genre I donīt know much about, but a guy I meet at the public libary in the city where I live recommended Forest to me, so I thought to myself what the hell Iīll give it a try. Let me tell you something right away, these albums are very hard to get and if you find an LP version itīll cost you dearly. Well I found a CD version and Iīm glad I did as Forest is a really good band.

The music isnīt traditional folk rock but more of a blend between folk rock and pshychadelic sixties rock and a few prog rock tendencies. Personally I like the more sombre songs like Bluebell Dance and To Julie the most. Especially because of the wonderful guitar playing in those songs. Graveyard is a great song too. But overall the quality in the compositions are very high. Forest uses a lot of instruments in the songs like: mandolin, whistle, harmonica, violin, cello, piano, harmonium, electric harpsichord and percussion in addition to guitar and bass. There are no drums on the album. This of course adds to the variation between the songs and keep this album exciting the whole playing time. The singing is rather special and takes some getting used to.

The sound is really good and again I really enjoy the guitar and how it sounds.

This is a really good album and Iīll rate it 3 stars even though this is not my style of music. Itīs really good though and I enjoyed it and I even think itīs a bit different than other things I have heard in the genre.

Latest members reviews

3 stars FOREST were a two-album Psych-Folk trio from the fishing town of Grimsby, Lincolnshire on the east coast of England. They released their first self-titled album in 1969 and the album reviewed here, "Full Circle", followed in 1970. Forest's particular brand of acoustic Folk music was a little bit ... (read more)

Report this review (#2309598) | Posted by Psychedelic Paul | Sunday, January 26, 2020 | Review Permanlink

3 stars "The full circle" is the second and last album by the British group Forest and it was released in 1970, one year after their debut. Like the first Forest even this has a colourful, artistic cover which craves its respect. As earlier the group made up by Derek Allenby, Hadrian Welham and Martin ... (read more)

Report this review (#1045017) | Posted by DrömmarenAdrian | Thursday, September 26, 2013 | Review Permanlink

4 stars 7.2/10 Good Full Circle is a really pleasent album that hits a few bumps and doesn't really hit many high points. Forest' sound is really great, a true folk prog sound with that usual dark/light transition found everywhere. What Forest is trying to do I think is pulled off perfectly; There ... (read more)

Report this review (#145409) | Posted by The Lost Chord | Wednesday, October 17, 2007 | Review Permanlink

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