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Fairport Convention (remaster with bonus tracks)

Fairport Convention (remaster with bonus tracks)

3 Mar 2003

£8.49 (VAT included if applicable)

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 3 Mar 2003
  • Release Date: 3 Mar 2003
  • Label: UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)
  • Copyright: (C) 2003 Polydor Ltd. (UK)
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 56:58
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001KWBDDA
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 46,232 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By C. C. Williams on 15 Mar 2004
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The early Fairport Convention were a folk-rock band in the American Byrds / Lovin' Spoonful sense of the term, rather than the sense of the electrified traditional music that they would later come to embody. They were billed as England's answer to Jefferson Airplane which wasn't that far off the mark as the music on their first three albums is very similar to the pre-psychedelic Jefferson Airplane. This is their first album, as if you didn't know, and shows the band in a very embryonic form; compared to later work the music sounds rather thin and underproduced, although you can already hear the superlative musicianship that would characterize their glory years. The music is half group compositions and half cover versions of songs by Bob Dylan and Joni Mitchell among others. The band showed their characteristic good taste in their choice of cover versions, kicking off the album with a storming cover of Emitt Rhodes' 'Time Will Show The Wiser'. This is probably the highlight of the album but there are plenty of other fine moments, notably the brilliant 'Jack O' Diamonds', an exceedingly pleasant 'Chelsea Morning' and the Dylan pastiche 'It's Alright Ma, It's Only Witchcraft'. There are also a few duff moments: I've always found 'The Lobster' tedious and 'M1 Breakdown' is simple filler. Although Judy Dyble and Ian MacDonald (aka Matthews) shared lead vocal duties, Dyble's presence isn't very noticeable other than on the three Joni Mitchell cover versions. She had a pleasant enough voice, and very tuneful, but not a strong one; it is no surprise that the band replaced her soon after the album's release.
The repackaging job is quite excellent with an informative booklet containing loads of unltra rare photos of the band in their earliest days. The four bonus tracks are welcome.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By coca-ebola on 17 Dec 2003
Format: Audio CD
Yet despite that, it's not a mere curio for collectors, it's an album with a lot to offer.
Judy Dyble's certainly no Sandy Denny, but despite her unreliability onstage (all too evident on that Cropredy 2002 live disc), she doesn't tarnish this album at all - her voice blends nicely with Iain's and she handles the Joni Mitchell/Jim & Jean songs appealingly.
Apart from frequent doses of Richard's untamed blues-rocking early guitarwork (and to think he'd be inventing a new language for the instrument in a few years!), the most remarkable thing about the album is the quality of the original songs.
`If' sound like the Byrds during their '66-'67 peak. There are two underrated Richard-penned ballads, `Sun Shade' and `Decameron' (the latter reminds us that he always had depressive tendencies, even before the Scratchwood disaster). `...Witchcraft' may be a Dylan parody but at least it's a subtle one - and with some fine guitar work.
And - the great lost song on the album - `The Lobster'. Co-written by Richard and two ex-schoolmates (!) it's a mini-epic, virtually prog-rock before the term was invented. And it focuses on the guitarist himself, whose contributions point towards his more mature (post-Full House) style. In the `hushed' and `frantic' segments alike, he perfectly defines the phrase "not-a-note-out-of-place".
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Lozarithm VINE VOICE on 5 Jan 2005
Format: Audio CD
Long out of print, as I discovered after trading in the Polydor vinyl album some years ago, this re-mastered reissue includes bonus tracks including their first single, a cover of Maxine Sullivan's 1940 recording of If I Had A Ribbon Bow. The best track is probably the Dylan-influenced and rather psychedelic It's Alright Ma, It's Only Witchcraft.

Among the other original material, some of it dating from Richard Thompson's previous band, is a fair smattering of well-chosen songs from contemporary performers. Joni Mitchell was virtually unknown and unreleased on record in 1967 when this album was recorded and her own versions of the two songs here did not appear until her second album, Clouds, in 1969. The Fairports knew her as she had been in the UK at the invitation of their producer, Joe Boyd, and she had played some British dates supporting the Incredible String Band. Emitt Rhodes was still performing in the obscure group the Merry-Go-Round when they recorded Time Will Show The Wiser to open the album.
 
Dylan's Jack O'Diamonds was actually a poem which turned up on the liner-notes of Another Side Of Bob Dylan. He had given it to an actor friend called Ben Carruthers at the Savoy, who had used it in a TV play called A Man With No Papers, and subsequently recorded it with his group Ben Carruthers And The Deep, aided by Jimmy Page and Nicky Hopkins, on a flop single. One Sure Thing was a cover of a little-known duo called Jim and Jean (Jim Glover and Jean Ray).
There is no clue from this eclectic mix of songs featuring Ian Matthew and the very underrated Judy Dyble that they were to virtually reinvent folk-rock with Sandy Denny just a couple of years later.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Mar 2003
Format: Audio CD
This album was initially released in 1968 when, unbelievably, the band were all still teenagers. If you are looking for the 'Folk Rock' sound that Fairport later made their own then this perhaps is not the best place to start. Fairport Convention's excellent debut album is more American west coast influenced than anything the band later recorded, with influences such as The Lovin' Spoonful, Gene Clark, Leonard Cohen and Moby Grape being the most noticeable.
This album is interesting because it must feature two of the first, if not the first, cover versions of songs by the then unknown Joni Mitchell ('I Don't Know Where I Stand & 'Chelsea Morning') and contains glimpses of the genius of guitarist Richard Thompson, which were later to develop so dramatically that he is now considered widely to be one of Britain's finest ever guitarists.
The packaging and sound quality on this remastered edition is excellent, with lot's of previously unseen photos from this time and sleevenotes from founding band member Ashley Hutchings. The album offers plenty of interesting moments, highlights including 'Time Will Show The Wiser' and 'If' and also includes four bonus tracks, including at long last on CD, their bizarre debut single 'If I Had A Ribbon Bow'. This album certainly has a lot of charm and is highly recommended.
However, if you are a newcomer to Fairport, I would recommend their next album 'What We Did On Our Holidays' as a starting point. This album still has traces of the West Coast influences of the debut, as well as the first examples of their 'Folk Rock' sound. It is also the first album to feature the awesome vocal talents of Sandy Denny and is one of the best albums of the late 1960's. After that, this debut album is a great purchase!
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