Nine [Germany Bonus Tracks]

Nine [Germany Bonus Tracks]

by Fairport Convention
     
 

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Nine was never going to be more than a fair album with some great moments, but this expanded version of Fairport Convention's ninth album is superior to the original edition, the bonus tracks all adding a measure of excitement and energy that was lacking in long stretches of that original. The nine core tracks still have the same problems of inconsistency that…  See more details below

Overview

Nine was never going to be more than a fair album with some great moments, but this expanded version of Fairport Convention's ninth album is superior to the original edition, the bonus tracks all adding a measure of excitement and energy that was lacking in long stretches of that original. The nine core tracks still have the same problems of inconsistency that one found on hearing them in the '70s, the group showing extraordinary virtuosity and musical instincts on folk-based tracks such as "The Hexamshire Lass" and "The Brilliancy Medley & Cherokee Shuffle," but lacking inspiration on "Polly on the Shore" and "To Althea from Prison." On the latter songs, the band supplied the music to traditional lyrics, and they simply fall flat -- it isn't even that the playing is bad, so much as that the failed numbers are uniformly lugubrious in the way they're treated. Part of the problem lies with the fact that while Trevor Lucas and Jerry Donahue were good guitarists, they weren't terribly interesting -- where Richard Thompson always came up with something surprising and unexpected on Fairport's songs, Lucas and Donahue stick with fairly routine pop music sounds, more in keeping with the Eagles (and the later Eagles at that) than the group that recorded Liege & Lief, Full House, and House Full. Lucas' "Bring 'Em Down" is a decent song, with some strong singing and playing by the composer and a lovely and powerful fiddle solo by Swarbrick, but it overstays its welcome and loses its cohesion -- "Sloth" it is not. Too much of the album is taken up by easily forgotten contemporary-style rockers like "Big William" and throwaways such as the countrified "Pleasure and Pain"; not even the upbeat, riff-heavy "Possibly Parsons Green" makes up for this problem. [The German bonus tracks, on the other hand, counterbalance the weaker moments among the original nine songs -- "The Devil in the Kitchen" is a superb virtuoso fiddle showcase, and the three live tracks that follow, recorded live in London on April 23, 1973; "Pleasure and Pain" fares somewhat better than it did as a studio cut, but the real treats here are "George Jackson" and "Six Days on the Road," which show a looser, freer (and more valid and accurate) version of this band at work. They might not be the kind of material that Fairport fans are necessarily buying the group's CDs to hear, but they liven up and pretty much punch up the proceedings so well that they're a very good reason -- along with remastered sound and extensive notes by Jerry Donahue -- for upgrading one's version of Nine.]

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Product Details

Release Date:
08/30/2005
Label:
Universal Uk
UPC:
0602498279663
catalogNumber:
9827966
Rank:
104383

Tracks

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Album Credits

Performance Credits

Fairport Convention   Primary Artist
Dave Swarbrick   Mandolin,Violin,Viola,Vocals
Jerry Donahue   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Trevor Lucas   Acoustic Guitar,Vocals
Dave Pegg   Mandolin,Bass Guitar,Vocals
Dave Mattacks   Percussion,Drums,Bass Guitar,Keyboards

Technical Credits

Dave Swarbrick   Arranger,Composer
Bob Dylan   Composer
Fairport Convention   Arranger,Producer
John Wood   Producer,Engineer
Jerry Donahue   Composer,Liner Notes
Trevor Lucas   Arranger,Composer,Producer
Dave Pegg   Composer
Harry Robinson   Arranger
Phil Smee   CD Package Design
Richard Lovelace   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Carl Montgomery   Composer
Earl Green   Composer

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