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.
Original Album released in 1968. Special thanks to Ian Maun for audio assistance, and Ian & Stephanie Rennie. Tracks 1 to 14: Produced for Witchseason Productions Tracks 15 & 16: Recorded Saturday 27th April 1968 [Printed on disc:] This compilation ℗ 2003 Polydor Ltd. (UK) © 2003 Polydor Ltd. (UK) The copyright in these sound recordings is owned by Polydor Records Ltd (UK), a division of Universal Music Operations Ltd. [Printed on rear:] This compilation ℗ 2003 Polydor Ltd. (UK) © 2003 Universal Music The copyright in these sound recordings is owned by Polydor Records Ltd (UK), a division of Universal Music Operations Ltd.