Academic journal article Notes

Fairport Convention. (Sound Recording Reviews)

Academic journal article Notes

Fairport Convention. (Sound Recording Reviews)

Article excerpt

Fairport Convention. XXXV. Compass 4332, 2002.

The "thirty-five" of the disc's title refers to the number of years this legendary British folk-rock outfit has been recording together. "Together" is a term that must be defined rather loosely in this context-- members have come and gone (repeatedly in some cases) with some regularity over the decades, and the only remaining original member is singer and guitarist Simon Nicol. Not surprisingly, the band's sound and general approach have changed as well; the dour moodiness that characterized much of the band's work in the 1960s has largely given way to a much more cheerful demeanor. Whether one thinks this is a good thing will largely hinge on how one feels about singer Sandy Denny and songwtiter/guitarist Richard Thompson, whose departure from the band around 1970 marks the clearest line of demarcation between the old and new Fairport. Those who found the original group a bit mannered and heavy will likely experience its modern incarnation as a breath of fresh air; those who have worn out their vinyl copies of Unhalfbricking (A&M SP-4206 [1969]) and Liege and Lief (A&M SP-4257 [1970]) may well find the modern group shallow and unoriginal. …

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