Fairport Convention - Heyday: The BBC Radio Sessions 1968-69

Not released until 1987
Fairport Convention are a successful English band who are credited with inventing ‘electric folk’, a subgenre of folk rock based heavily on traditional English folk songs.

 
In the late 60s Fairport Convention were becoming very successful, and frequently performed live at the BBC. This compilation, released in 1987, compiles 12 radio performances from between May 1968 and March 1969. This was a very exciting period for the band, as it was the time when their original female singer Judy Dyble was replaced by Sandy Denny. However all these performances also come from before they started recording their first album with Denny (1969's What We Did On Our Holidays), so in effect they capture the transitionary period between their first and second albums. It's very interesting to see that, like their debut album, the songs feature a great deal of covers of American singer-songwriter material, with numbers by Eric Andersen, Leonard Cohen, Gene Clark, Richard Fariña, Felice and Boudleaux Bryant, The Everly Brothers, Joni Mitchell, and of course Bob Dylan. Over the next year, with Denny on board, they would move away from this material into the realm of traditional English folk. These recordings see them still relying on their American folk-rock influences - they had changed singers, but had not yet changed style.
It also offers more recordings from the brief period where the band featured both Denny and Ian Matthews. What We Did On Our Holidays was the only album released with both singers on board at the same time, so more recordings featuring the two of them singing side by side are definately welcome.
Only one of the songs here (Mitchells' "I Don't Know Where I Stand") had already been released on their first album, and only one (Dylan's "Percy's Song") would be recorded for a future album.
Though its sound quality is obviously not quite as good as a 'proper' album, Heyday is a fantastic collection, and a truly worthwhile part of the Fairport Convention discography, chronicling a brief but fascinating period of their early career.

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