Fairport Convention – Fairport Convention (1968)

Artist Credit
Joe Boyd Producer
Harvey Brooks Composer
Ben Carruthers Composer
Judy Dyble Autoharp, Composer, Electric Autoharp, Piano, Recorder, Vocals
Bob Dylan Composer
Fairport Convention Group, Primary Artist
Paul Ghosh Composer
Jim Glover Composer
Andrew Horvitch Composer
Ashley Hutchings Bass, Composer
Tyger Hutchings Guitar (Bass), Jug
Martin Lamble Drums, Percussion, Violin
Ted Lloyd Producer
Todd Lloyd Producer
Clare Lowther Cello
Iain MacDonald Jew’s-Harp, Vocals
Ian MacDonald Composer
Ian Matthews Vocals
Ian McDonald Composer
Joni Mitchell Composer
Simon Nicol Banjo, Composer, Dulcimer, Guitar, Guitar (12 String), Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Violin, Vocals
George Painter Composer
Emitt Rhodes Composer
Donald Silverstein Photography
Richard Thompson Composer, Guitar (Acoustic), Guitar (Electric), Mandolin, Vocals
John Wood Engineer

By far the most rock-oriented of Fairport Convention’s early albums, this debut was recorded before Sandy Denny joined the band (Judy Dyble handles the female vocals). Unjustly overlooked by listeners who consider the band’s pre-Denny output insignificant, this is a fine folk-rock effort that takes far more inspiration from West Coast ’60s sounds than traditional British folk. Fairport’s chief strengths at this early juncture were the group’s interpretations, particularly in the harmony vocals, of obscure tunes by American songwriters such as Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Emitt Rhodes, and Jim & Jean. Their own songs weren’t quite up to that high standard, but were better than many have given them credit for, with “Decameron” and “Sun Shade” in particular hitting wonderfully fetching melancholic moods. It’s true that Fairport would devise a more original style after Denny joined, but the bandmembers’ first-class abilities as more American pop-folk-rock-styled musicians on this album shouldn’t be undersold.

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