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Full House (Re-issue With Bonus Tracks)

Full House (Re-issue With Bonus Tracks)

30 Jun 1970
4.4 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 30 Jun. 1970
  • Release Date: 1 Oct. 2001
  • Label: UMC (Universal Music Catalogue)
  • Copyright: ℗© 2001 Island Records, a division of Universal Music Operations Limited
  • Record Company Required Metadata: Music file metadata contains unique purchase identifier. Learn more.
  • Total Length: 58:59
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B001KQVH2S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars 36 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,670 in Albums (See Top 100 in Albums)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Format: Audio CD
"Full House" was the fifth album by Fairport Convention but represented a significant new chapter in the group's history because for the first time it was without a female singer. At this point Sandy Denny and Ashley Hutchings had left the group and you would have thought that losing the premier folk singer of her generation in Denny would have been a fatal blow. "Full House" disproves that without much problem as Fairport Convention continued to prove itself the premier folk-rock group in England. The new singers were Richard Thompson and Dave Swarbrick who wrote most of the songs on the album. Along with Dave Pegg and Simon Nicol they do some nice harmonies, especially on the trio of traditional songs, "Sir Patrick Spens," "Flatback Caper," and "The Flowers of the Forest." Granted, the vocal are a bit less, in terms of the leads, but the instrumentation is certainly superior with this incarnation of the group, which is clear with the opening track "Walk Awhile." The showpiece here is the nine-minute "Sloth," written by the entire group (including drummer Dave Mattacks) and allowing all of the group members to show off their musical abilities.
Any borderline considerations with regards to ranking because of the shakeup in the group's composition are rendered moot by the four bonus tracks of Fairport Convention music added to this 1970 release, including mono and stereo version of "Now Be Thankful" and another pair of traditional tunes, including the wonderfully named "Sir B. McKenzie's Daughter's Lament for the 77th Mounted Lancers Retreat." Granted, "Full House" is still half-a-notch below "Unhalfbricking" and "Liege and Leif," but it is still a superb album of British folk rock.
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Format: Audio CD
Fairport Convention has proved over & over again that it is greater than the sum of its parts by surviving (and even growing from)departures of key personnel over the years. "Full House" was their first without the formidable talents of Sandy Denny, and it would be fair to describe the vocal efforts of the "boys in the band" as mainly tentative. Understandable enough, but for the most part they suit the material well, especially on the gloriously dark "Doctor of Physick" and the very moving "Flowers of the Forest". Dave Swabrick actually turns in a great vocal on the inspirational single "Now Be Thankful" (here included as a double bonus in both mono and stereo). But hey, this album is about instrumental versatility more than anything, and here it is in spades. The arrival of Dave Pegg on bass introduced a rock solid bottom line to underpin the adventurous forays of Swarb on fiddle and mandoline and the ever-magnificent Sir Richard of Thompson on titanic guitar ("Sloth", "Poor Will & the Jolly Hangman"). "Dirty Linen" and "Flatback Caper" bear eloquent testimony to the tightness of the band's ensemble playing and the whole collection bears out the oft-repeated claim that Fairport were/are the best folk-rock band ever. This remaster is a great improvement over the original release, with "Poor Will" restored to its rightful place, both sides of the "Thankful" single and the wonderful "Bonny Bunch of Roses". Superb stuff.
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Format: Audio CD
This album helped form my musical taste in my teens - from the power of "Doctor of Physick" to the precision of "Dirty Linen" this is potentially the best folk-rock album ever.
With the extra doodads on the CD it's finally time to retire my original album.
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By A Customer on 2 Jan. 2002
Format: Audio CD
Widely considered to be one of the finest Fairport albums (despite Joe Boyd's deprecating sleevenotes on the newly-reissued sister album, "House Full - Live at the LA Troubadour"), this one was recorded by Richard Thompson, Simon Nicol, and Daves Pegg, Swarbrick and Mattacks in the Spring of 1970. This celebrated line-up (which occasionally reforms at Fairport's annual Cropredy Festival) cut only this album in the studio (although the aforementioned "House Full - Live at the LA Troubadour" features them in concert, as does "The Cropredy Box", featuring them a full twenty-seven years on from cutting this album), so "Full House" is where this incarnation of Fairport's reputation largely rests.
The album is, by and large, superb. The Swarbrick/Thompson originals are of top quality, and among these, the heavy, dark "Poor Will and the Jolly Hangman" is finally reinstated to its rightful place on the album (although whether Richard Thompson still believes it has no place upon the record remains to be seen).
As to the reels, jigs and other traditional pieces here, the only-recently unearthed version of "The Bonny Bunch of Roses" (predating the version another Fairport recorded as an album's title-track by seven years) is superb, recalling such droning, modal material as "A Sailor's Life".
When taken as a whole, this reissue is near faultless. An outstanding original LP, remastered excellently, bolstered with stellar bonus material such as "Now be Thankful" and the snappily-titled "Sir B.
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