What We Did On our Holidays is a compilation album covering Fairport’s “golden years” between 1967 and 1975 rather than their early studio LP of almost the same name. It is a good single disc Best Of though not quite a match for 1972’s History Of Fairport Convention.
Among the best tracks featured on both compilations are the band’s signature tune Meet On the Ledge, the beautiful, intricate Fotheringay and sublime Who Knows Where The Time Goes which is quite simply one of the best recordings ever made. Exclusive to WWDOOH, we also get the stirring Come All Ye and Tam Lin from the band’s landmark folk-rock LP Liege & Lief as well as Fiddlestix, a frenetic violin-led live instrumental from the early 70s.
The unfortunate omissions from the Holidays compilation for me include the epic Sloth, Book Song and nothing at all from 1971’s Babacombe Lee LP. These self-penned songs could certainly replace some of the covers which are present – Chelsea Morning lacks the euphoria of Joni Mitchell’s version and Percy’s Song doesn’t have the moving intensity of Bob Dylan’s simple guitar and vocal original.
Everyone of course has their own opinions as to which tracks to include in a Best Of for any albums-based band. Whilst What We did On Our Holidays is an excellent introduction to the classic years of Fairport Convention, it isn’t quite the best compilation available in my view. Still it’s an excellent first purchase which will hopefully lead to further FC acquisitions.