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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant music from a brilliant band at their very peak
This is an appropriately named album as it was, indeed, Fairport Convention's "heyday". Those two-odd years with Sandy at the helm, culminating in 'Liege And Lief', saw the band's best music by far and their subsequent decline was rapid. The music is all taken from session material recorded for an indulgent BBC and is mostly cover versions of (at the time) obscure...
Published on 8 April 2003 by C. C. Williams

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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great historic interest for the Fairport enthusiast
This is a compilation of recordings made for various BBC radio programmes between May 1968 and September 1969. Although billed as an 'extended' reissue of the 1987 album of the same name, this is something of an understatement - no fewer than eight tracks have been added to the original twelve. Three versions of the band are featured here, representing the line-ups that...
Published on 19 Mar 2002 by Tim Edmonds


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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant music from a brilliant band at their very peak, 8 April 2003
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This review is from: Heyday -The BBC Sessions 1968 -1969 / Extended (Audio CD)
This is an appropriately named album as it was, indeed, Fairport Convention's "heyday". Those two-odd years with Sandy at the helm, culminating in 'Liege And Lief', saw the band's best music by far and their subsequent decline was rapid. The music is all taken from session material recorded for an indulgent BBC and is mostly cover versions of (at the time) obscure singer songwriters. The strongest impression I get from this CD is that the band had damned good taste - the songs are carefully chosen, the arrangments exquisite, the musicianship excellent (naturally) and the performances very strong indeed. Oh, and anybody who ever scoffed to hear Fairport Convention described as "Britain's answer to Jefferson Airplane" should listen to 'Reno, Nevada' to see how appropriate the description in fact was.
As if the original release wasn't good enough, this CD has been expanded with eight additional tracks featuring rare versions of some familiar numbers and a great booklet. Why only four stars rather than five? Well, there is the odd indifferent song and some of the material is non-essential and I'm not allowed to award it four-and-a-half stars. Nevertheless, anybody who's already got the three Sandy-era studio CDs can buy this with confidence.
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34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great historic interest for the Fairport enthusiast, 19 Mar 2002
By 
Tim Edmonds "tim427" (Minehead) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Heyday -The BBC Sessions 1968 -1969 / Extended (Audio CD)
This is a compilation of recordings made for various BBC radio programmes between May 1968 and September 1969. Although billed as an 'extended' reissue of the 1987 album of the same name, this is something of an understatement - no fewer than eight tracks have been added to the original twelve. Three versions of the band are featured here, representing the line-ups that recorded 'What we did on our holidays' (12 tracks), 'Unhalfbricking' (6 tracks) and 'Liege and Lief' (2 tracks). Although it was Dave Swarbrick who guested on the studio recordings for 'Unhalfbricking', Family's Rick Grech plays violin here on "Si tu dois partir" and "Cajun Woman".
The recordings are from seven different BBC sessions, four of them for John Peel (14 tracks) and two for David Symonds (5 tracks), the odd one being for Stuart Henry. Sound quality is acceptable, considering the nature of the original recordings, although a couple of tracks have a few crackles. However, the early vocals on "I still miss someone" are out of tune, and David Symonds intrudes on the start and finish of an otherwise pleasing "Fotheringay". The band are clearly enjoying themselves and several of the performances are very good - notably a superb Sandy Denny rendition of "You never wanted me".
Unfortunately the tracks are not presented in the order that the sessions were recorded, because the music has the most impact when heard in chronological order. If you programme the play order to get round this, then you can hear the progression of the band from a fairly ordinary West Coast US sound to a truly distinctive British folk-rock. The early material is dominated by covers of songs from American singer/songwriters, including Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Joni Mitchell, and this suits the duetting vocals of Ian Matthews and Sandy Denny. However, there is a more confident edge to the later tracks as the identifiable 'Fairport' sound and style emerges. The album ends with fascinating early versions of "Reynardine" and "Tam Lin", looking forward to the ground-breaking 'Liege and Lief'.
This album gets a high rating for historical interest, and is a must for the serious Fairport enthusiast, but the sound quality and the plethora of American covers brings the rating down. The general listener wanting to find out what the band was about in its early days would be better buying any one of the three studio albums from this era.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fairport Convention At Perhaps Their Best, 13 Jun 2012
This review is from: Heyday -The BBC Sessions 1968 -1969 / Extended (Audio CD)
I don't remember hearing Fairport Convention on the wireless in the late 1960s, so this came as a great surprise to me. This collection from the BBC archives has the band tackling many American songs, some from contemporaries, others from the band members' youth.

And just how well they do them! Eric Andersen's 'Close the Door Lightly When You Go', Jackson C Frank's 'You Never Wanted Me', Richard Fariña's 'Reno Nevada', Gene Clark's 'Tried So Hard', the Everly Brothers' 'Gone, Gone, Gone'... these are just some of the songs that truly shine, and which they make their own rather than merely cover. Whilst I quite like a lot of Fairport's folk music, and the version of 'Tam Lin' here is amazing, what we have here I find preferable to the jigs and reels that were soon to make up much of the band's repertoire.

The sound quality varies, there's a slightly intrusive DJ intro and outro on one track, not every song stands up well -- such as the strained original 'If It Feels Good, You Know It Can't Be Wrong', and Bob Dylan's 'Percy's Song' isn't one of my favourites -- and there are a few vocal and musical fluffs, but altogether I find myself playing this CD more than any other by the band.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fairport...fair deal, 27 April 2012
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This review is from: Heyday -The BBC Sessions 1968 -1969 / Extended (Audio CD)
The sadly missed bell-like qualities of Sandy Denny's vocals and Richard Thompson's brilliant guitar work star in this particularly impressive collection of Fairport favourites. Buy Lieg and Lief for a true indication of folk-rock class.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good historical record for Fairport Enthusiasts, 7 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Heyday -The BBC Sessions 1968 -1969 / Extended (Audio CD)
Some of the reviews here are really good and I cannot disagree. I bought the CD as my LP was worn out because it was played too much and "If It Feels Good... " became unplayable - this was probably because I scratched it whilst terminating the only weak track early. The sound quality on the album was awful and it is not really improved on the CD as most of the tracks suffer from terrible distortion and dreadful wow and flutter from the master tapes. I suspect that the wow and flutter accounts for some of the recordings sounding out of tune. It is just two stars for sound quality.

I love the music ,however, and I am not disturbed by all the American covers. Fairport covered "Reno Nevada", "Gone,Gone,Gone" and "You Never Wanted Me" particularly well. This album takes me back to my youth when I used to listen to John Peel who really liked Fairport and did his best to promote them. We were also able to hear their progression to the top Folk "Rock" group all on the BBC. The CD has covers of songs from the albums "What We Did On Our Holidays", "Unhalfbricking" and "Liege and Lief" but the LP does not except for Percy's Song.

This CD also gives you the chance to compare Fairport with Judy Dyble on the first studio album and Judy's replacement on the following studio albums - Sandy Denny. Try comparing Judy's version of "Reno Nevada" and "I Don't Know Where I Stand" with Sandy's versions . Sadly, Sandy Denny died young and what a loss to music in general as she was very versatile and so were the rest of the band. Swarbrick, Thompson, Denny, Nicol became some of the greatest folk musicians of all.

If you can forgive the poor sound quality then it is really worth buying this album - so four stars in all for historical and comparison purposes. But if you buy this album you really need to buy the "Fairport Convention" CD (including bonus tracks) along with Judy Dyble as well.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars start here!, 23 Jun 2012
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This review is from: Heyday -The BBC Sessions 1968 -1969 / Extended (Audio CD)
the early fairport had a charm of their very own. with accomplished playing and exquisite taste, a mostly teenage band cherry pick and play their way through a selection of singer/songwriter and american folk/blues songs. and with a smattering of strong originals this is the definitive statement of the band's early years..
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heyday - Fairport Convention, 28 Jun 2002
This review is from: Heyday -The BBC Sessions 1968 -1969 / Extended (Audio CD)
This is an excellent and consistent Fairport Convention album. A mix of U.S. and U.K. folk-based songs with highly original and classy arrangements played with finesse and enthusiasm by the band. Sandy's vocals are exquisite and the vocal harmonies in general are excellent. Lots of songs, especially the U.S. originated, were never released by the band in their regular albums. The expanded version improves on the original drastically.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Some sweet days, 8 Sep 2012
By 
GlynLuke (York UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Heyday -The BBC Sessions 1968 -1969 / Extended (Audio CD)
What a sheer and utter delight.
From the crystal clear first notes of the opening track, Eric Andersen`s Close The Door Lightly When You Go, Ian Matthews` voice as lucent as light on water, you know something special is afoot. A lovely song gloriously sung.
Next is Joni Mitchell`s I Don`t Know Where I Stand. Fairport were among the first in Britain to champion Joni`s songs - much as Tom Rush did in the US - and their version of this early song is superb.
The wonderful, catchy Some Sweet Day, by the Everly Brothers` regular writers Felice & Boudleaux Briant, is a song I never tire of hearing. Bliss.
Richard Farina`s Reno Nevada is given a welcome reading, while Leonard Cohen`s iconic Suzanne is sung to a thoughtful arrangement, Matthews and Sandy Denny taking alternate verses. Ihaven`t always liked Fairport`s (or Sandy`s) covers, but this is one of the good ones.
Other covers here - on these 1968/69 sessions for the BBC - are of Cohen`s fragile Bird On A Wire, speeded up but played and sung well; the wonderful I Still Miss Someone by Johnny Cash Ian & Sandy harmonising nicely; the Everlys` Gone, Gone, Gone (much later done in a not dissimilar fashion by Robert Plant & Alison Krauss), Gene Clark`s fine song Tried So Hard, and their terrific version of Dylan`s obscure Percy`s Song, Sandy`s voice at its potent best.
The Fairports had taste!
Their second guitarist Simon Nicol`s Shattering Life Experience is tenderly sung. Richard Thompson plays immacualte guitar throughout, as you`d expect.
Bonus tracks, not on the original LP, include old favourites such as Tam Lin, Nottamun Town, Sandy`s sometime boyfriend Jackson C Frank`s You Never Wanted Me, Fotheringay, and the brilliant Autopsy, the last two composed by Sandy.
Joining the band are violinist Ric Grech, moonlighting from the excellent Family.
Dave Mattacks is incisive as ever on drums, Swarbrick is there for some tracks on violin, and drummer Martin Lamble was still alive at that point. How sad to think that both he and Sandy were to die far too young.
I`ve had this on both LP and CD now, and what an unexpected delight it still is. On its own terms it`s simply a great Fairport album. Some of the songs here never sounded better. The group seem relaxed, yet ready to take on the world - which, in their own quiet way, they did.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blinding stuff then - where are they now?, 17 Mar 2002
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This review is from: Heyday -The BBC Sessions 1968 -1969 / Extended (Audio CD)
Ah, the old days, when Iain was still Ian, Henry the Human Fly was still a grub, and dear Sandy was contributing hugely to the Chancellor's indirect tax revenues.
This welcome gem from the seemingly inexhaustible Beeb archives features some great performances, and should be part of everyone's "50 essential Fairport albums". Better than a cold pastie and a warm lager at Cropredy.
Sadly, there were at least three egos too many for one band. They were good, this lot - I wonder what happened to them all?
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous compendium of their work, 5 Nov 2013
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This review is from: Heyday -The BBC Sessions 1968 -1969 / Extended (Audio CD)
Really love every song on this album and could listen to it all day every day. Good mix of songs
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Heyday -The BBC Sessions 1968 -1969 / Extended
Heyday -The BBC Sessions 1968 -1969 / Extended by Fairport Convention (Audio CD - 2002)
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