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Fairport Convention - The History Of Fairport Convention CD (album) cover


Fairport Convention


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3.91 | 20 ratings

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4 stars 3 years in the life of...

...folk-rock, blues, sweet female vocals and touches of country, rock 'n roll and 60's psychedelia... These are the main constituents of this rather satisfying compilation of the 1969-1972 period of the band that includes 6 (!) studio albums, leaving out the self-titled debut.

Unacquainted with any of their material, the recommendation to delve into this compilation for a start has definitely paid off. From the rock 'n roll moments such as Mr. Lacey to the soft and full-of-emotion Meet on the Ledge and Book Song, the band delivers different styles in great consistency. Even in simple forms, the great musicianship and the creativity are more than apparent and the melodies are touching and memorable. The dreamy vocals of Sandy Denny are very characteristic and blend beautifully with the early approach of FAIRPORT CONVENTION in the first half of the compilation.

The more folk and progressive moments such as Sailor's Life and the brilliant adaptations of the traditional Matty Groves and Bonny Black Hare have definitely caught my attention. Although the absence of Denny's beautiful vocals from the second half is obvious, there are top moments such as the long ballad Sloth and the British-folk short dynamic instrumentals Bridge Over the River Ash and the closing The Hen's March/The Four Poster Bed.

One interesting element to observe is the "a-la Moody Blues" atmosphere in the tracks up to 1970 (first 9 tracks) and the introduction of more country and "up-lifting" folk patterns in the remaining tracks up to 1972. The CD version of the compilation does not include the tracks Crazy Man Michael and Medley that appear in the LP version.

My personal favourites include the adaptations of traditional folk stories and the nostalgic and beautifully sung Who Knows Where the Time Goes and Fotheringay - but almost everything with Sandy Denny's voice in. Even if I can not judge if this compilation is representative of these 3 years, I would unreservedly recommend it to folk-rock fans, and I will be looking forward to discover the studio albums from this era.

aapatsos | 4/5 |


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