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Fairport Convention - Meet on the Ledge - The Classic Years 1967-1975 CD (album) cover


Fairport Convention


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4.98 | 6 ratings

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5 stars So we have a Fairport Convention complilation.

The first CD presents the Sandy Denny years. The first album is represented by Joni Mitchell's Chelsea Morning, and it's nothing to write home about, other than being a decent cover. Amongst the other early albums, there are good choices in terms of song selection, but the band was still finding its way during this time. So the beauty of Fotheringay is offset by the relatively bland, derivative Mr. Lacey. What does stand out in these early tracks are the never disappointing vocals of Sandy Denny and the guitar of Richard Thompson. Things pick up a bit with a nice cover of Dylan's I'll Keep It With Mine, and Thompson's Meet on the Ledge. The band is starting to forge an identity here, and the listener can feel it. By the time we get to Unhalfbricking's Genesis Hall, the psychedelic jamming on A Sailor's Life, and Denny's Who Know Where the Time Goes, Fairport is in full form, often melding folk melodies with a droning rock base.

Liege and Lief is represented by the incomparable Matty Groves, as well as, among others, Tam Lin and Crazy Man Michael. These are songs upon which the Fairport reputation is based, and they are stunning. This is pure musical magic.

The second CD covers the later years, after Denny left. Again, all of the band's albums are covered, from Full House forward. Of course Sloth is here, which should be required listening for everyone. There's a marked drop off of quality however -- Denny's gone, and eventually so is Thompson as well. Give the band credit for soldiering on, and occasionally coming up with a Bring 'Em Down or One More Chance, which once again has Denny's vocals.

I'm generally not a fan of compilation/greatist hits albums. They invariably hit the high points, but often miss the mid-points which are so nuanced and give a band an identity. However, unless the listener feels compelled to buy all the excellent Fairport albums, I can't imagine a better compilation for Fairport Convention -- hence 5 stars.

jammun | 5/5 |


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