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Meet On the Ledge - The Classic Years (1967-1975)

Fairport Convention

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iTunes Editors’ Notes

If you had to pick just one British folk-rock band to download, and could only choose a single album, this collection would have to be it. Meet on the Ledge: The Classic Years (1967-1975) spans the group's genesis, before they hooked up with golden-throated singer Sandy Denny, on a few years after her accidental death and the departure of guitarist and guiding light Richard Thompson. Due attention is paid to their most fertile period in the late '60s, while the songs included from the less successful eras are just the ones you want. The group showed quite a knack for songcraft, from the traditional numbers they adapted ("Tam Lin," "Matty Groves") to the contemporaries they covered (Leonard Cohen, Gene Clark, Joni Mitchell, Dylan) and those they wrote themselves (the Thompson or Denny-penned numbers, most notably the title tune). There were other British folk-rock bands, of course; some were weirder (Incredible String Band) or Renn Faire-ish (Rennaissance) or traditional (Steeley Span). But in bringing British Isles music together with rock, folk and even jazz elements while totally kicking ass, classic-era Fairport is peerless.

Customer Reviews

One of The Best Ever!

One of the best English Folk-Rock Bands ever whether it was Ian Matthews, Sandy Denny, Richard Thompson, Dave Swarbick, Trevor Lucas and Sandy Denny again leading Fairport Convention. The music was always of high quality and essential to any music collection. Still it is a travesty that this only what is available of the 1967-75 era stuff in America. Fans need to lobby iTunes and their record label A&M/Universal in America to have albums such as "What We Did On Our Holidays", "Unhalfbricking","Liege and Lief","Full House" and "BBC Sessions" released in America and customers can access these classic tunes.

A superb introduction to Fairport Convention

This double album is the best introduction to the halcyon years of Fairport Convention (1968-1974) available. Most of the tracks here are essential, especially from 1968-1969. I'll never understand why "Mr. Lacey" and "Book Song" are included in such compilations; they are neither stylistically apropos nor particularly good songs. I would have preferred "No Man's Land" and (especially!) "Nottamun Town" to replace these tracks. Still, the earlier years are worthily represented. Sandy Denny and Ian Matthews (has there EVER been a better pair of vocalists in one band?) shine on the earlier material. The later periods of Fairport (especially from the albums "Nine" and "Rising for the Moon") are well represented as well, and although this material does not reach the heights of the earlier stuff, it is well worth getting. None of this material postdates 1976, I believe, so it does not include the more current incarnation(s) of the band...but this is a fine compilation.

Meet On The Ledge

Different strokes, as they say, for different folks. Philosoph doesn't care for 'Mr. Lacey" and "Book Song." and would rather have "Nottuman Town" and "No Man's Land". I'll meet that assessment almost half-way. I too would have included "No Man's Land", but "Nottuman Town" leaves me indifferent. I'm quite pleased to see "Book Song", but "Mr. Lacey" is on the fence for me. It's kind of a novelty, so perhaps it's included to show their range. There's no perfect compilation that can please everyone- but this is overall an excellent one, which I would strongly recommend as a starting place for someone new to Fairport Convention.


Formed: 1967 in London, England

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '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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