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4.6 out of 5 stars27
4.6 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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on 19 November 2002
I hadn't heard Morris On since those mellow evenings back in the 70's when my student friends and I would return from the pub and immediately put it on the stereo accompanied by much twirling and gyrating ( our version of Morris dancing!)Now listening to the CD twenty five years later it's better than I remember : lovely tunes and as you would expect from the musicians assembled some stunning playing. This record has a sponteneity which appears to be natural, humour and verve.Needless to say John Kirkpatrick is superb on concertina, accordian and harmonium, though that is not to play down the contribution of the others who are equally effective. However the thing that holds it together for me is the drumming of Dave Mattacks. Always the consummate folk rock drummer Mattacks' performance here is spot on : he always seems to get it dead right and the drums are right there at the front of the mix, just as they should be. It is dance music after all. Some might say that the production is a bit untidy, certainly by modern standards, but for me that helps create the atmosphere.
Overall this is a classic album, every track excellent with Princess Royal and The Willow Tree the standouts for me. Pure class!
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on 21 October 2002
For ten years after this album was originally released, Morris dancing was hip. This is the one that started it all. Three members of Fairport Convention, plus a brief appearance from Shirley Collins made this a must-have album. It's disappointing to see that there are no bonus tracks. Listening to the chunky bouncy instrumentals, you could even say Morris dancing was funky. It was presumably reissued because of the success of "Grandson of Morris On". The presence of Richard Thompson on this one gives this one the edge. Not as good as a real Fairport album, but still pretty good.
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on 14 August 2012
There are few English traditions as widely ridiculed, and perhaps misunderstood today than the practice of morris dancing, at the very least in the present day. Placing this album in the context of when it was created, in the golden age of electric folk, morris dancing was, according to the mastermind of the album Ashley Hutchings, very much on the way out. Thus whatever your thoughts on this tradition a debt of gratitude is owed to Fairport alumni Hutchings, Thompson and Mattacks, joined by accordion and concertina maestro John Kirkpatrick and fiddler and acoustic guitarist Barry Dransfield for taking morris dancing in a curious direction, and indeed leading to revival of the practice somewhat.
The material here is of course, all traditional, and there are some little heard gems of tunes featured on the album. Particular highlights are to be found towards the end of the album, with the Kirkpatrick-driven "I'll go and 'list for a sailor" making amusing listening. The heaviest track on the album "the cuckoo's nest" also has perhaps the dubious honour of being one of the most sexist songs in English Folk. Shirley Collins and her faltering vocals make a very welcome contribution on "Staines Morris" and "Willow Tree". Indeed, the raw musicianship of the participants, combined with a sense of amateurish endeavour and creative boredom, makes for a very varied but entertaining listen. The star of the show has to be the barnstorming drumming of Dave Mattacks, whose energy manages to keep the very occasional lulls in the playing acceptable.
Overall, an album that amuses and informs, while all the time conveying a sense of a school project that somehow got out of hand. Almost makes me want to don the bells and handkerchiefs and do a little drunken prancing, almost!
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on 20 September 2006
In theory I should hate this album and the only reason I ever listened to it in the first place was because I got it for 50p in a Cheapo section of Forbes record shop in Dundee nearly 30 years ago. Morris dance music was not really what I was into at the time but I did like some of the Fairport related stuff so I thought I would take a chance. It's great! Many of my friends and indeed family can't quite understand this but I find something charming about the whole thing. I was also a big fan of Son of... and The Complete Dancing Master. John Kirkpatrick's playing is wonderfully atmospheric and the whole business of NOT trying to make this an exercise in "preserving" the traditional arrangements and not using so called original instruments is brilliant and brings these songs and tunes to life. This may not be what some of the more "traditional" folk fans want to hear but they have all already got one hand permanantly over one ear already
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on 29 August 2011
Richard Thompson's menacing guitar especially on Cuckoo's Nest is a sine qua non. Hutching's bass playing is as good as he's ever done - fantastic! The singing has the right blend of lust and tunefulness. It's great. Silly, but great.
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on 13 November 2010
Amazing to listen again to music last heard quite a number of years ago, on modern technology, that can be heard on CD/PC/iPod - just wonderful!
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on 28 May 2008
I intially bought this years ago and enjoyed it; I did however, after the album was scratched beyond playing I bought it again on cd. For a period in 2005 I was working in and around deepest Surrey, and I listened to this while driving in the area; this album reminds me of the leafy hedgerows and public houses I was staying in. It is hard to conceive in this day and age how massively unfashionable this idea was back in 1972, but it has the pedigree of Richard Thompson, Dave Matacks and Ashley Hutchins (all ex Fairport) and the production sounds raw and rough and suits the music beautifully. Great stuff!
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on 8 May 2014
It's quite simple, This album is brilliant... Morris on will brighten your day get your feet tapping and you'll soon be dancing....

I was lucky enough to see the Albion Band performing with the Albion Morris dancing at Norwich Folk Festival, the whole crowd were spellbound and the cheering when on for a long while after as we kept calling them back never wanting the performance to end...

As the title tells you this is an album of Morris Dance music, played by some of the most talent musicians of their day, with such talents things could have easily gone wrong, but Ashley Hutchings persuades such talents as Richard Thompson, Dave Mattacks, John Kirkpatrick, Barry Dransfield, to play traditional Morris music in doing so they have created an album that influenced many and have been credited with boosting the Morris revival....

Other than all that the Music is jolly and fun, so buy this album get out your white handkerchiefs and start dancing....
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on 19 January 2013
I had this album on vinyl in the early 1970's. Like so many of my records they were damaged or stolen during many a student party! To be reunited with this superlative album, which I'd only just found out to be available on CD, is wonderful. What a line-up of real folk heroes and what playing. Fabulous stuff. Go, buy.
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on 5 February 2010
Have almost worn out my vinyl copy of this album.Morris on Great to now have it on cd, it will be a treasured addition to my collection and I will thoroughly enjoy listening to it once again.
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