UK digitally remastered reissue of the 1970 album for Hannibal. Includes four bonus tracks, 'Now Be Thankful' (mono & new stereo mix), 'Sir B. McKenzie's Daughter's Lament...' & 'Bonny Bunch Of Roses'.
Placed in its early-1970s context, Full House
finds Fairport Convention at what seemed a crucial test: its strongest singers, Sandy Denny and Ian (now Iain) Matthews had departed for new group and solo challenges, and co-leader Ashley Hutchings had defected to found a rival ensemble, Steeleye Span
, leaving guitarist Richard Thompson
at Fairport's helm. Happily, the revamped quintet passed with flying colours, forging a leaner, more muscular sound that extended both ends of the folk-rock equation; the balance between spirited jigs and reels, and four-square rock back beats, is underlined by the fiery exchanges traded by guitarists Thompson and Simon Nicol and fiddler Dave Swarbrick
, explaining why many regard this as Fairport's strongest instrumental line-up. And, on "Sloth", Thompson prefigures the dark, modal rock epics of future solo works on an anti-war dirge that evokes a British version of Neil Young & Crazy Horse
. --Sam Sutherland