This is an album which has entered into folklore (or should that be folk-rocklore!). Fairport moved away from their early American indulgences of covering little known Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen songs to produce the quintessential English sound that they are still famous (!) for today. This album mixes traditional song (Tam Lin, Matty Groves, Lark in the Morning)with tracks penned by members of the band. The album has something for everyone; There is storytelling in the adulterous Matty Groves and the mystical Tam Lin; there is poigniancy in Farewell, Farewell; an ode to togetherness in Come all Ye and the tragedy of Crazy Man Michael. The latter is possibly the apex of the songwriting partnership of Richard Thompson and Dave Swarbrick with its melancholy mood and storyline. The musicianship and fine arrangements are evident throughout the album but nowhere more so than on the Medley where the violin and guitar drive the music on while the bass and drums lay down a solid foundation. Often copied but never bettered, this is the album which gave Fairport Convention the tab of the founding fathers of folk-rock. It hasn't got the production values of today (it was made 33 years ago) and some of the songs may be longer than most would be today but don't let that put you off because this is one of the most rewarding albums of the genre.
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