Fairport Unconventional

Fairport Unconventional

by Fairport Convention

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All but a handful previously unreleased, these 72 tracks serve up an alternate history of Fairport Convention in a manner that doesn't simply befit Britain's longest-running folk-rock soap opera, it actually amplifies the group's achievements beyond any past (or possibly future) collection ever could. The "official" story of the band, after all, can be traced on any


All but a handful previously unreleased, these 72 tracks serve up an alternate history of Fairport Convention in a manner that doesn't simply befit Britain's longest-running folk-rock soap opera, it actually amplifies the group's achievements beyond any past (or possibly future) collection ever could. The "official" story of the band, after all, can be traced on any number of collections, ranging from the original 1972 History Of album through to 1998's Fiddlestix and 2001's Some of Our Yesterdays. The group's often superior outtakes, radio sessions, and live odds and ends, however, have generally been scattered piecemeal across a plethora of other releases, many of which don't even appear under Fairport's own banner -- anthologies of Sandy Denny, Ashley Hutchings, and Richard Thompson, odd folk collections, passing label samplers, and so much more all bear treasures that even the hardcore collector might have missed. Fairport Unconventional, though it by no means scoops up each and every one of these, does at least reference them in the accompanying voluminous (170-page) booklet, then sets out to offer even more esoteric fare, drawn from sources as disparate as early TV and radio sessions, world tours, session outtakes, rehearsal tapes, and festival dates, spanning the full history of the band. Indeed, the earliest performance is a 1967 recording that marks the band's first-ever demo, and the latest is a cut from 2002's XXXV 35th anniversary album. In between, there's probably not a "favorite" Fairport song that doesn't get an airing, be it a BBC broadcast of the epic "Tam Lin," a live take on "Sloth" with Denny unexpectedly audible on the chorus, a Liege & Lief-era stab at "Sir Patrick Spens," or a Cropredy reading of "The Hiring Fair." The fact that the all-star Cropredy gathering itself is responsible for only nine of the 24 post-1979 tracks included speaks volumes for the versatility of this compilation. Another area in which Fairport Unconventional stands alone is in its refusal to bow to the tyrannies of chronology. Rather, the four CDs are presented in strictly thematic style -- even the first disc, "Fairport -- A History," only arranges the song titles themselves in chronological order. The performances themselves date from all over the place. Of the other discs, "Rareport Convention" emphasizes live and session recordings, "A Fairport History" purports to teach the history of Britain through folk ballad and rocker, and "Classic Convention" re-creates the "ultimate" Fairport compilation from the ultimate Fairport rarities. A Pete Frame family tree poster, the Cropredy Chronicles souvenir booklet, a wealth of related flyers, a mail-order fifth CD of Cropredy rarities, and the aforementioned historical/discographical booklet complete a well-stuffed package, but perhaps the most notable inclusion is the penultimate track on the fourth CD. "The Matty Groves Megamix" is a seven-minute tapestry built up from any number of different performances of that particular song, one line at a time. It's a remarkable concept, an astonishing execution, and a true labor of love. Just like the box set itself.

Product Details

Release Date:
Free Reed Imports


Disc 1

  1. Meet on the Ledge (Overture)
  2. Wings (Excerpt)
  3. If I Had a Ribbon Bow
  4. Lay Down Your Weary Tune
  5. (A) Shattering Live Experience
  6. Nottamun Town
  7. Si Tu Dois Partir
  8. Come All Ye
  9. Tam Lin
  10. Dirty Linen
  11. Staines Morris
  12. Journeyman's Grace
  13. Angel Delight
  14. The Time Is Near
  15. Polly on the Shore
  16. Rising for the Moon
  17. Reynard the Fox
  18. Rubber Band
  19. Naked Highwayman
  20. The Wood and the Wire
  21. The Crowd
  22. One Sure Thing (Excerpt)

Disc 2

  1. Sir B. McKenzie
  2. Suzanne
  3. Time Will Show the Wiser
  4. Mr. Lacey
  5. Reno, Nevada
  6. Percy's Song
  7. Dear Landlord
  8. I Don't Believe You
  9. The Deserter
  10. Farewell to a Poor Man's Son
  11. Sad Song
  12. Autopsy
  13. Maverick Child
  14. Fiddlestix
  15. It's Now or Never
  16. The Lady Is a Tramp
  17. General Taylor
  18. Accountancy Shanty
  19. A Sailor's Life

Disc 3

  1. Sir Patrick Spens
  2. Wat Tyler
  3. Flowers of the Forest
  4. Fotheringay
  5. To Althea
  6. Red and Gold
  7. Lord Marlborough
  8. Adieu Adieu
  9. Here's to Tom Paine
  10. Bonny Bunch of Roses
  11. Breakfast in Mayfair
  12. Battle of the Somme
  13. Summer Before the War
  14. Get Together
  15. Genesis Hall
  16. Jewel in the Crown

Disc 4

  1. Walk Awhile
  2. John Gaudie
  3. Hexhamshire Lass
  4. Slip Jigs and Reels
  5. Poor Will and the Jolly Hangman
  6. Crazy Man Michael
  7. Rosie
  8. Farewell, Farewell
  9. Now Be Thankful
  10. Hiring Fair
  11. Stranger to Himself
  12. Sloth
  13. Who Knows Where the Time Goes?
  14. The Matty Groves Megamix
  15. Meet on the Ledge

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Fairport Convention   Primary Artist
Alexis Korner   Guitar,Vocals
Martin Carthy   Guitar,Vocals
Shirley Collins   Banjo,Vocals,Guest Appearance
Tim Hart   Guitar,Vocals
John Kirkpatrick   Accordion,Vocals
Dave Swarbrick   Fiddle,Mandolin,Violin,Vocals
Sandy Denny   Guitar,Vocals
Maddy Prior   Vocals
David Rea   Guitar
Eddie Jobson   Keyboards
Jimmy Cliff   Vocals
Ian Anderson   Flute,Vocals
Joe Cocker   Vocals
Yusuf (Cat Stevens)   Guitar,Vocals
Richard Thompson   Guitar,Vocals
Stomu Yamashta   Percussion
Michael Garrick   Piano
Gary Boyle   Guitar
Jerry Donahue   Guitar
Steve Gibbons   Guitar,Vocals
Dorris Henderson   Vocals
Ashley Hutchings   Bass,Vocals,Acoustic Bass,String Bass
Trevor Lucas   Guitar,Vocals
Jackie McAuley   Guitar,Vocals
Steve Miller   Bass
Simon Nicol   Guitar,Vocals,12-string Guitar
Dave Pegg   Bass,Guitar,Vocals
Kieran Halpin   Guitar,Vocals
Ralph Richardson   Guitar,Keyboards
Martin Allcock   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Martin Barre   Guitar
Dan Ar Bras   Guitar
Mickey Barker   Drums
Barriemore Barlow   Drums
Phil Beer   Fiddle,Mandolin,Vocals,Hand Percussion
John Bonham   Drums
Bob Brady   Piano
Dave Bristow   Piano
Victor Brox   Keyboards,Vocals
Paul Burgess   Drums
Mike Burney   Saxophone
Roger Burridge   Fiddle,Mandolin
Tony Carter   Saxophone
Ron Chesterman   Bass,Vocals
Dave "Clem" Clempson   Guitar,Vocals
Gerry Conway   Drums
Steve Cooke   Bass
Mark Craney   Drums
Jonathan Davie   Bass
Alvin A. Davies   Guitar
Kevin Dempsey   Guitar,Vocals
Pat Donaldson   Bass
Sue Draheim   Fiddle
Alan Dunn   Accordion
Judy Dyble   Vocals
John Etheridge   Guitar
John Evan   Keyboards
Hughie Flint   Drums
Trevor Foster   Drums
Robert Fripp   Guitar
Graham Gallery   Bass
Steve Goldstein   Keyboards
Alan Greed   Vocals
Mark Griffiths   Guitar
Sue Harris   Oboe,Vocals
Roger Hill   Guitar,Vocals
Ian Holder   Accordion
Tony Hooper   Guitar,Vocals
Georg Hultgreen   Bass,Vocals
Gordon Huntley   Pedal Steel Guitar
Karl Jenkins   Piano,Saxophone
Martin Jenkins   Vocals
Chris Jones   Guitar
Rick Kemp   Bass
Geoff Krivit   Guitar
Martin Lamble   Drums
Ronnie Lane   Guitar,Vocals
Chris Leslie   Fiddle,Mandolin,Vocals,Hand Percussion
Cathy Lesurf   Vocals,Hand Percussion
Kerrilee Male   Vocals
Dave Mattacks   Drums
Ian Matthews   Vocals
Ian McDonald   Keyboards,Vocals
Jacqui McShee   Vocals
Doug Morter   Guitar,Vocals
William Murray   Drums
John "Poli" Palmer   Keyboards,Vibes
Doane Perry   Drums
Terry Potter   Harmonica
Cozy Powell   Drums
Bruce Rowland   Drums
Alan Spenner   Bass
Larry Steele   Bass
Liza Strike   Vocals
Roger Swallow   Drums
John Tams   Vocals
Graeme Taylor   Guitar,Vocals
Drachen Theaker   Tabla
Linda Thompson   Vocals
Jerry Underwood   Saxophone
Peter-John Vettese   Keyboards
Peter Watkins   Bass
Royston Wood   Concertina,Vocals
Gay Woods   Vocals
Terry Woods   Guitar,Vocals
P.J. Wright   Guitar
Pete Zorn   Bass
Rory McFarlane   Bass
Jean Rouselle   Keyboards
Danny Thompson   Bass
Steve Borrell   Bass
Vic Gammon   Concertina
Jimmy Holden   Drums
Binky McKenzie   Bass
Spencer Cozens   Keyboards
Julie Matthews   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals
Chris While   Guitar,Vocals
Dave Jenkins   Keyboards
Jimmy O'Neil   Keyboards
Ric Sanders   Violin
Neil Marshall   Drums
Brian Clark   Bass,Guitar
Steve Hiett   Vocals
Reginald Jones   Vocals
Mike Giles   Drums,Vocals
Mike Rosen   Guitar,Vocals
Ian Campbell Folk Group   Guitar,Vocals
Lorna Campbell   Vocals
John Dunkerley   Banjo
Mike Gregory   Percussion,Drums
Shaun Frater   Drums
Pete Giles   Bass
Peter Knight   Fiddle
Steve Alrey   Guitar,Vocals
Don Alrey   Keyboards
Bob Johnson   Guitar,Vocals
Buddy Ash   Vocals
Gordon Bache   Saxophone
Carl Barnell   Guitar,Vocals
Richard Bremner   Bass
Ayshea Brough   Vocals
Randy Buchanan   Bass
Frank Devine   Drums
Bugsy Eastwood   Drums,Vocals
Roy Everett   Vocals
Vo Fletcher   Guitar
Graham Grounds   Keyboards
Mick Haase   Vocals
Pete Hodges   Vocals
Rick Kay   Keyboards
Lyan King   Washboard
Tom Farnell   Drums

Technical Credits

Dave Swarbrick   Arranger,Composer
Sandy Denny   Composer
Fairport Convention   Arranger
Clive Gregson   Contributor
Richard Thompson   Composer
Ashley Hutchings   Composer
Trevor Lucas   Arranger
Simon Nicol   Composer,Liner Notes
Dave Pegg   Composer
Harvey Brooks   Composer
Christine Collister   Contributor
Bob Davenport   Composer
Jim Glover   Composer
Joji Hirota   Instrumentation
Chris Leslie   Composer
Dave Mattacks   Composer
Ian Matthews   Composer
Ken Nicol   Composer
John Richards   Composer
Lal Waterson   Composer
Mike Waterson   Composer
Al Jackson   Vocal Arrangements
Neil Wayne   Producer,Liner Notes
Pete Frame   Drawing
Nigel   Liner Notes
Traditional   Composer
Neil   Liner Notes
Nigel Stonier   Composer
Nigel Schofield   Producer,Liner Notes,Concept

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