This album was initially released in 1968 when, unbelievably, the band were all still teenagers. If you are looking for the 'Folk Rock' sound that Fairport later made their own then this perhaps is not the best place to start. Fairport Convention's excellent debut album is more American west coast influenced than anything the band later recorded, with influences such as The Lovin' Spoonful, Gene Clark, Leonard Cohen and Moby Grape being the most noticeable. This album is interesting because it must feature two of the first, if not the first, cover versions of songs by the then unknown Joni Mitchell ('I Don't Know Where I Stand & 'Chelsea Morning') and contains glimpses of the genius of guitarist Richard Thompson, which were later to develop so dramatically that he is now considered widely to be one of Britain's finest ever guitarists. The packaging and sound quality on this remastered edition is excellent, with lot's of previously unseen photos from this time and sleevenotes from founding band member Ashley Hutchings. The album offers plenty of interesting moments, highlights including 'Time Will Show The Wiser' and 'If' and also includes four bonus tracks, including at long last on CD, their bizarre debut single 'If I Had A Ribbon Bow'. This album certainly has a lot of charm and is highly recommended. However, if you are a newcomer to Fairport, I would recommend their next album 'What We Did On Our Holidays' as a starting point. This album still has traces of the West Coast influences of the debut, as well as the first examples of their 'Folk Rock' sound. It is also the first album to feature the awesome vocal talents of Sandy Denny and is one of the best albums of the late 1960's. After that, this debut album is a great purchase!
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