At last! The long awaited CD release of Ralph's legendary 'Bridge of Sighs' album. I say legendary for three reasons. Firstly, due to distribution problems at the time of its original release, it is the album most likely to be missing from many collection. Secondly, many of these songs have become concert favourites, 'Mr Connaughton' and 'The Hiring Fair' to name but two. Finally, no less than five of these track have not been available in any form since its original release in 1986; several others can only be obtained on long deleted compilation albums. Songs such as 'Little Actress' and 'Holiday Romance' are as good as anything Ralph has ever written, and their absence till now from the re-release schedule is little short of criminal!
As usual, Ralph is accompanied by a host of famous names, many of whom have at some stage been a part of Fairport Convention. Richard Thompson fans may like to consider buying this album, if only for his guitar solo on the title track!
The only low point to the album comes with the song 'Dreams of You', which was a re-recording of Ralph's other hit (yes folks, he had two!). Never one of his best songs (it charted soon after 'Streets'), the original was better. However, the original, though available on a couple of compilations, is now very difficult to obtain, so I guess that even this song will be welcomed by many of people. It is also slightly disappointing that there are no additional tracks on this release. (There was a single released about the same time which they could have included.) Nevertheless, the tracks they have given us are generally of such high quality that it would seem peevish to complain. This is Ralph at his best, and a must for anybody with an interest in his music.