Fairport Convention

A Chronicle of Sorts 1967-1969

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A major find for Fairport fanatics, this collects 23 unreleased performances from the late '60s in acceptable-to-excellent fidelity, mostly from the BBC (with a few tracks from TV clips, and one 1968 studio outtake). Running 77 minutes, it's divided roughly equally between the Judy Dyble and the Sandy Denny eras. Only one of these songs ("Reno, Nevada") shows up on the official comp of early Fairport BBC cuts, Heyday. And even then, this is a much different version than the Heyday take of "Reno, Nevada," running seven minutes and featuring some dazzling psychedelic guitar riffs. Otherwise, there's a wealth of material that's not officially available in either live or studio versions, including covers of several early Joni Mitchell songs, Bob Dylan's "Dear Landlord," Tim Buckley's "Morning Glory," Eric Anderson's "Violets of Dawn," and a send-up of "Light My Fire." Plus, it has good live run-throughs of songs from their early albums like "Chelsea Morning," "Fotheringay," "Autopsy," "Si Tu Doi Partis," and others. It's just as effective as Heyday in demonstrating the band's interpretive skills and eclecticism in their early folk-rock days, though the sound quality isn't as stellar.