Essential: a masterpiece of Prog Rock music
This review is based on the LP version of this album (the CD version if you can find it, apparently has additional songs). The first seven tracks formed side one, and are accoustic: Alan playing the harp and singing, with some additional accompaniment, all of of haunting and beautiful.
Fairport Convention's only concept album was built around the story of John "Babbacombe" Lee, a convicted killer who survived three attempts to hang him. Cut by the four-man Fairport lineup of Simon Nicol, Dave Swarbrick, Dave Mattacks, and Dave Pegg, the original album was a self-contained work with a specific beginning and ending. It's also never been much more than cult item in the group's early catalog, despite some spirited playing on "Little Did I Think," "I Was Sixteen, Pt. 2," "St. Ninian's Isle/Trumpet Hornpipe," and "Sailor's Alphabet." The slipcased "Island Remasters" keeps the concept and the original album's content intact – with killer sound as expected, and each song now getting its own index number – and appends a pair of bonus tracks that justify the purchase. The first is "Farewell to a Poor Man's Son," a "lost" song by the group from the BBC program on John Lee that was the inspiration for the album, and "Breakfast in Mayfair," both from an earlier lineup of the band featuring Jerry Donahue.
Nine is the ninth album by the British folk rock group Fairport Convention, released in 1973. 2005 Remastered re-issue. Bonus Tracks include 'The Devil in the Kitchen' (Fiddlestix), 'George Jackson' (Live), 'Pleasure and Pain' (Live) and 'Six Days on the Road' (Live).
Unhalfbricking is the third album by British folk rock band Fairport Convention, released in 1969. It is seen as a transitional album in their history and marked a further musical move away from American influences towards more traditional English folk songs that had begun on their previous album, What We Did On Our Holidays and arguably reached its peak on the follow-up, Liege & Lief, released later the same year. In 2004 Q magazine placed Unhalfbricking at number 41 in its list of the 50 Greatest British Albums Ever, and in the same year The Observer, describing it as "a thoroughly English masterpiece", listed it at number 27 in its Top 100 British Albums. The following year, 2005, it was included in Robert Dimery's "1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die".
Original release from this historical concert, includes the participation of several ex-members of Fairport Convention, and other importang guests, like Robert Plant and Ralph McTell. Chris Leslie (not a member from Fairport in those times) replaced Ric Sanders (who had injuried herself with a glass, however he managed to play some keyboards)
After the failure of Gottle O'Geer, a poor, unfocussed album, some core members of Fairport arranged a new record deal and decided to have some fun, having accepted their place in the musical world. Let by fiddler Dave Swarbrick and guitarist Simon Nicol, they made a couple of fun, unpretentious and surprisingly rocking electric folk albums in this and Tippler's Tales. The album features a couple of sets of vigorous jigs and reels, as always, but also some great choices of vocal material, particularly the title track, a 12.5 minute tale of the Napoleonic wars.