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Fairport Convention - 'Babbacombe' Lee CD (album) cover


Fairport Convention


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3.74 | 61 ratings

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4 stars Folk rock didn't produce many concept albums, and this is a particularly unusual example. It details the story of a man wrongfully accused of murder in the nineteenth century and his experiences right up to his attempted execution and redemption. A strange story, but the music is compelling enough to carry it. Apparently this was a major flop, but it has survived the test of time. It was the first Fairport album in a while to be light on trad matierial- a sea shanty is the only non-original composition here. The originals are decent, leaning more towards pop/rock than folk at times, although Dave Swarbrick's fiddling and mandolin are always present. The songs have a lot of energy, a lot more rock orientation than the band had shown up to that point. There is even a an extremely psychedelic "Dream Song" which sounds like nothing the band had ever done up to that point. This lineup of the group was fairly weak vocally (Simon Nicol's vocal on "Breakfast in Mayfair" is a little wonky), but they harmonize well. The LP came with a fake newspaper booklet which was entertaining reading- I don't know if the CD reissue has anything like it. This album is worth a listen for fans of concept albums in general, but if you don't like electric folk, stay away. Horslips fans will like it a lot. This was the last really superior album Fairport would make for a while.
Heptade | 4/5 |


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