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Fairport Convention

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Fairport Convention Gottle O' Geer album cover
1.56 | 28 ratings | 4 reviews | 11% 5 stars

Collectors/fans only

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Studio Album, released in 1976

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. When First Into This Country (2:29)
2. Our Band (2:01)
3. Lay Me Down Easy (5:14)
4. Cropredy Capers (3:08)
5. The Frog Up The Pump (Jig Medley) (3:14)
6. Don't Be Late (3:21)
7. Sandy's Song (3:34)
8. Friendship Song (3:00)
9. Limey's Lament (4:36)

Total Time: 30:35

Bonus track on 2007 remaster:
10. Angles Brown (4:00)

Line-up / Musicians

- Dave Swarbrick / vocals, violin, viola, mandolin, mandocello, autoharp, dulcimer, acoustic guitar
- Dave Pegg / bass, mandolin, backing vocals, arrangements (1,5)
- Bruce Rowland / drums, percussion, piano, organ, backing vocals, producer

- Eric Johns / electric guitar (1,7)
- Martin Carthy / acoustic guitar (4)
- Ian Wilson / electric guitar (4)
- Simon Nicol / electric guitar (9)
- Nick Judd / piano (2,6)
- Robert Palmer / harmonica & backing vocals (6)
- Benny Gallagher / accordion (6), backing vocals (2,6,9)
- Graham Lyle / dobro (8), backing vocals (2,6,8)
- Jimmy Jewel / saxophone (6)
- Henry Lowther / trumpet & flügelhorn (6)
- Bob Brady / backing vocals (6)
- Roger Burridge / backing vocals (6)

Releases information

Artwork: Eckford/Stimpson

LP Island - ILPS 9389 (1976, UK)

CD Island - IMCD 262 (1999, UK)
CD Island Records ‎- 984 587-6 (2007, Europe) Remastered by Melvyn Abrahams with a bonus track

Thanks to alucard for the addition
and to Quinino for the last updates
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FAIRPORT CONVENTION Gottle O' Geer ratings distribution

(28 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of rock music(11%)
Excellent addition to any rock music collection(7%)
Good, but non-essential (11%)
Collectors/fans only (36%)
Poor. Only for completionists (36%)

FAIRPORT CONVENTION Gottle O' Geer reviews

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

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by kenethlevine
1 stars Perhaps because of their considerable influence and the highly respected artists passing through their ranks, Fairport Convention has tended to receive more than their fair share of accolades relative to the actual quality and standalone appeal of their work. This is especially true when you consider the enduring high standards of peers like Steeleye Span, Spirogyra, Strawbs, Horslips and Lindisfarne among others. The tendency to overrate Fairport does not, however, extend to this awful effort from 1976, which even die-hards cannot endorse. It makes the backsliding works of the aforementioned groups seem brilliant by comparison.

I suppose one could cut them some slack given that the group had just splintered and the remnants were left with a contractual obligation, but it would help if they at least sounded like they were trying to do something, even appeal to a certain audience or get a hit single. In other words, "Gottle O'Geer" just sounds apathetic and lazy, which is perhaps the biggest sin for an artist, and cannot be excused. It also registers absolute 0 on the prog-o-meter, and the style of playing is very dated for a folk rock band. Every point (that is, both of them) takes forever to get across, with only "When First into this Country" reaching competency level.

Truly for collectors only.

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
2 stars No laughing matter

OK, this is not Fairport's finest hour, or even half hour given the brevity of the album. The album, which is the only one to be released under the abbreviated name (no "Convention") was recorded at a time when the band was in some disarray, with only Dave Swarbrick, Bruce Rowland and Dave Pegg left as full time members. Trevor Lucas and Sandy Denny had once again left the band along with Jerry Donahue. The album actually started out as a Swarbrick solo project, but in the end Island Records put it out under the Fairport name and used it to finalise their contract with the band.

On the plus side, a host of guests contributed to the album, including Martin Carthy, Gallagher and Lyle and Simon Nicol, the engineer for the album. This through leads to the album having a very un-Fairport like feel, the songs being generally anonymous.

There are just two traditional songs here, both arranged by Dave Pegg. The opening "When first into this country" is a decent up-tempo folkish piece, but it lacks the strength to lead off the album, especially when compared to "Rising for the moon" on its predecessor. "The frog up the pump" is a good old traditional reel, and in Fairport terms one of the few album highlights.

The drowsy drinking ballad "lay me down easy", written by Swarbrick and Rowland, actually comes across quite well, whereas any expectations of a Faiport classic on the teasingly titled "Cropredy Capers" are quickly dispersed by the lifeless dirge which ensues. "Don't be late" has the sound of a 1940's boogie-woogie number, complete with brass.

"Sandy's song" was actually written by Sandy Denny under the title "Take away the load". Swarb makes a decent attempt when singing this soft reflective ballad, but it is clear that the song would be best heard with Denny's pure tones. Her version is available on her "Who knows where the time goes" compilation. The cover of Gallagher and Lyle's "Friendship song" features said duo, the song being a simple folk pop song with a "Come on and get it" refrain.

The album closes with "Limey's lament", another Swarb/Rowland number which at least challenges their harmonic vocal dexterity.

In all, an admittedly weak entry in Fairport's vast discography. While the protagonists are to be admired for trying to do some things which were a little different, in the end this must be seen as an unsuccessful experiment.

Incidentally, I am not sure how widely he expression "Gottle O'Geer" is known, but it relates to what a ventriloquist reputedly says when trying to say "Bottle of beer".

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
1 stars If I expire, I'll go down below

Fairport Convention is a band with many different faces (with an emphasis on both different and many). Even if I'm personally not very fond of the bands 60's period with Sandy Denny on vocals, I must say that the period between 1973 and 1976, consisting of the four albums Rosie, Nine, Rising For The Moon and the present one is their worst period. We are a long way away from the very good and quite progressive Full House and Babbacombe Lee albums here. Fortunately they would make many much better albums later on too.

This album is the least folky one they had done since the very debut in 1968. This is basically a straightforward Pop album. Our Band is very close to the style of 10cc!! It is clear that they're having fun. Piano is the leading instrument on several songs, which is very unusual for Fairport. Don't Be Late is dominated by brass instruments! Which is even more surprising, but it isn't a very pleasant surprise!

Reading through the credits you find more interesting instruments like organ, electric dulcimer, autoharp, mandocello and many guests performing on guitars, trumpet, fluegel horn, saxophone, dobro and harmonica and more. The most notable guest is Simon Nicol who soon would return to the band full time and steer the band in the right direction. But even with this list of surprising features, this album is as boring as the disastrous Rosie.

Cropedy Capers and The Frog Up The Pump flow into each other and are the only typical Fairport British Folk numbers on the whole album. But unfortunately not very inspired! The drums are especially lame. There is nothing here up to par with the best tracks from the uneven Nine album.

If there is a positive thing about this album it is that they got rid of the obvious Country influences that plagued the previous three albums. But the British Folk and progressive aspects are still almost completely gone. As it turns out, the cover art is the best thing about this album, portraying a jester which is a recurring theme in progressive rock. But the album is sadly not very progressive at all.

This is for completionists only.

Latest members reviews

1 stars A first review of one of my favorite bands from the 60's and 70's. So let's begin with my least favorite record of them. The last on the island record label. After the polished but good 'Rising for the moon' record, the band fell apart. What was left of them, made this record together with a bunc ... (read more)

Report this review (#863692) | Posted by Ferdy | Tuesday, November 20, 2012 | Review Permanlink

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