As with many anthologies, there are usually always some shortcomings, but happily those here are very minor ones, and the music itself is fabulous. Whether you're new to Fairport's glorious treasure trove of English folk rock, or you may simply want all your classic tracks under one roof, this wonderful 2 cd set will more than satisfy.
All the classics are here, 'Time will show the Wiser', Richard Thompson's dark 'Meet on the Ledge', hit single 'Si tu dois Partir', the epic 'Sailor's Life', Sandy Denny's sadly prophetic 'Who knows where the time Goes', the wonderfully wistful 'Ballad of Easy Rider', the grim 'Sloth', the heavily ironic 'Poor Will & the Jolly Hangman', and many more.
Another of the joys of this collection of about 152 minutes of what is effectively the 'Best of Fairport', is that running time isn't sacrificed to 'fit more in'. Consequently, we benefit from a handful of tracks around 8 minutes long (as you'll see on the Amazon sampler) in addition to 11 glorious minutes of 'A Sailor's Life'.
Musicianship is of a high calibre throughout, including the talented trio of Thompson, Denny and Swarbrick, with some spellbinding guitar, vocal and fiddle respectively. There are daring tales here, of life and death, ballads and elegies, plus some numbers which simply stretch out and rock, in a very rich and diverse collection which encompasses this iconic band's greatest albums.
Shortcomings? For me, the usual: no track personnel listings, or track lengths (tho they are on the sampler), but not enough to detract from a 5 star rating for a collection of true Fairport jewels. Another bonus is, that if you act quickly, you can obtain this gem at a laughably inexpensive price from 3rd part sellers. Act now, or live a life of regret!