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Liege & Lief

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Reseña de álbum

In the decades since its original release, more than one writer has declared Fairport Convention's Liege & Lief the definitive British folk-rock album, a distinction it holds at least in part because it grants equal importance to all three parts of that formula. While Fairport had begun dipping their toes into British traditional folk with their stellar version of "A Sailor's Life" on Unhalfbricking, Liege & Lief found them diving head first into the possibilities of England's musical past, with Ashley Hutchings digging through the archives at the Cecil Sharp House in search of musical treasure, and the musicians (in particular vocalist Sandy Denny) eagerly embracing the dark mysteries of this music. (Only two of the album's eight songs were group originals, though "Crazy Man Michael" and "Come All Ye" hardly stand out from their antique counterparts.) Liege & Lief was also recorded after a tour bus crash claimed the lives of original Fairport drummer Martin Lamble and Richard Thompson's girlfriend; as the members of the group worked to shake off the tragedy (and break in new drummer Dave Mattacks and full-time fiddler Dave Swarbrick), they became a stronger and more adventurous unit, less interested in the neo-Jefferson Airplane direction of their earlier work and firmly committed to fusing time-worn folk with electric instruments while honoring both. And while Liege & Lief was the most purely folk-oriented Fairport Convention album to date, it also rocked hard in a thoroughly original and uncompromising way; the "Lark in the Morning" medley swings unrelentingly, the group's crashing dynamics wring every last ounce of drama from "Tam Lin" and "Matty Groves," and Thompson and Swarbrick's soloing is dazzling throughout. Liege & Lief introduced a large new audience to the beauty of British folk, but Fairport Convention's interpretations spoke of the present as much as the past, and the result was timeless music in the best sense of the term.

Reseñas de clientes

Fairport Unconventional

Both a transitional album for Fairport and Brit 'Folk-Rock'. For a band that became reknowned for personnel change as much as repertoire, Liege & Lief is pretty consistent. Sandy Denny had pretty much taken the crown (tiara?) of folk female vocal after Ian Matthews had left (the dual vocals never being my favorite, and part of the early "UK Airplane" moniker). Swarbrick had solidly introduced the fiddle into the sound - esp. after Unhalfbricking - and Mattacks was a new mature sound in the drum/rhythm seat. They couldn't get much better, in this format, than this and most people agree. Although Denny was to leave (returning later) for the next installment, "Full House", it set the reeling folk fiddle freak outs, courtesy of Swarbrick at his best, in stone, and then Richard Thompson departed closing the door on the best era.

Best of British Folk-Rock

That Fairport was, in its brief peak, the best British folk-rock band ever is pretty much undisputed. The only arguments are about which was their best LP. Personally this is my second fave, after Full House, which curiously seems unavailable here, and seems even more curiously to be generally underrated by fans -- I guess cuz Sandy Denny isn't on it. This is very very good, the LP on which they broke away from their American folk-rock influences and really flew, and Denny did have a lovely voice perfectly suited to the old-timey material. I just think Full House rocks harder and is more solid musically -- for me, it's the height of the genre.

Fairport Convention at their most powerful

The US folk rock scene (Bob Dylan & the Byrds) truly inspired the British folk rockers. The British tend to use more of the long historied songs from the classed society of royals & serfs as well as pagan religious infuences. Richard Thompson has the best guitar tone ever on this album & Sandy Denny is uncomparable. This album is a must have! Other artists to check out if you are new to this music are Steeleye Span (more traditional), Pentangle (more jazzy) and Gryphon (more progressive).


Fecha de formación: London, England, 1967

Género: Cantautores

Años de actividad: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The best British folk-rock band of the late '60s, Fairport Convention did more than any other act to develop a truly British variation on the folk-rock prototype by drawing upon traditional material and styles indigenous to the British Isles. While the revved-up renditions of traditional British folk tunes drew the most critical attention, the group members were also (at least at the outset) talented songwriters as well as interpreters. They were comfortable with conventional harmony-based folk-rock...
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