Mr. Fox

The Gypsy

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Mr. Fox's second and final album was lively British folk-rock from the halcyon days of that genre. They lacked the one or two vocal or instrumental personalities that would have lifted them to the Fairport Convention/Steeleye Span/Pentangle level, but anyone who likes the early 1970s recordings of those bands will like this too. The group really shone when they favored the moodiest material and let a spooky drone come to the fore, as on the lengthy opener, "Mendle," where the unnervingly shrill organ and Carole Pegg's vocals established an uneasy yet seductive atmosphere. It should be said, though, that it was an admirably diverse album as well, with sparsely arranged numbers that sound much like gypsies of centuries-old vintage, more straightforward and modern folk-rock treatments of traditional songs, and the upbeat finale "All the Good Times," where the Gridley Tabernacle Choir and Orchestra join in on the chorus. Important note: although this was reissued as part of the apparent two-for-one CD of their two early 1970s albums on Transatlantic, that release is missing "Mendle" -- a vital omission, as that's the best track on The Gipsy. Don't despair, however, as all of the songs, "Mendle" included, are on the 180-gram gatefold LP reissue of the album by Get Back in 2001.

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