Come all you wild young men…

So here we have two records by a band I have loved almost since first hearing them. I have suffered at times it seems through many incarnations, some glorious and some far from satisfactory. I have never been disappointed by a live performance but often bemused by those records.

Fairport Convention have been a constant on my musical landscape. They are one of the very few bands I can say I have bought everything they have ever released and regretted a good amount of it at times but I keep doing it. This may be the definition of fan or stupid. To be honest there is always at least one or two moments I can revisit again and again.

My first foray into the heady world of folk rock, other than Jethro Tull was Fairport’s album Nine. It is distinguished by being an album by a band that has no actual original members performing on it. Of course I didn’t know that at the time. It is also a multi-national album with Jerry Donahue from the USA, Trevor Lucas from Australia and Swarb, Peggy and DM providing the English.

So excitement prevailed when I scored a pretty good copy of Nine along with Rosie. nineNo original members present on either but still two solid mid seventies efforts from the band. Swarb’s vocal on To Althea from Prison is a thing of joy, wah wah fiddle on Bring ‘Em Down is amazing and Donahue’s guitar playing is as spectacular as you may need. This makes Nine the stronger album, although Rosie being patchier does have The Plainsman and I have always enjoyed Furs and Feathers and Rosie, they get a little sentimental at times.

fairport_nineI remember the joy of Nine when I first heard it, I also remember me and my friends attempting to recreate the back cover at our first Cropredy festival. If I ever find my photograph I may post it here. Soon after these albums Sandy rejoined and things changed with her addition, not for the worse but just different.

That first Cropredy we staggered to was 1982. A feature of it was the reformation of the Nine line up. This was a dream for me as I rocked out to Bring ‘Em Down and Polly On The Shore in a befuddled haze. Watching the videos on youtube proves the band were similarly befuddled but having a great time. It was however a 16 yr old’s epiphany of what makes live music so special.

A week later we were all at the Monsters of Rock festival lurching around to Saxon, Uriah Heep, Status Quo, Hawkwind; Gillan and Anvil. It was a heady summer obviously.

These two are part of a more extensive Fairport score I made at garage sales today. They were the first two I played in a sentimental haze. In with them was Angel Delight, Rising for the Moon and In Real Time. I then got a little carried away and ordered Full House and Unhalfbricking. There is something about that countdown to Cropredy time that causes sentimentality to take control.

My mind was reeling…

Al Stewart is not usually someone you connect with cutting edge anything, he is however apparently the first popular artist to use the word f*ck on a record. Now every blue eyed thug is dropping an f-bomb at the thought of a syllable.

Poor old Al he of the gentle bedsitter songs and historical obsessions as well as the cinematic allusions has been passed by. Popular culture has moved on with little room for Al’s gentlemanly cursing.

Love Chronicles has quite possibly the worst possible album coverchronic and the best backing band including most of Fairport Convention and Jimmy Page. It also has the almost sidelong track outlining Al’s love adventures through his at that time brief life in 1969.

He may need a box set nowadays if he was to attempt to chronicle his ensuing conquests.

Al has been described as fay on certain internet forums. His songs especially in this album are quite charming chronicling a very middle class life of the 60’s. It is not by any ways a dangerous album. It is however quite a fun listen but not for the fainthearted who may shy away from hippy dippy idealism and orange fur jackets.

Standing on a golf course…

I realized this weekend I had not been crate digging anywhere, even though yesterday we must have driven past at least 10 or 12 garage sales and at least one thrift store. Redmond2We were all too busy enjoying the sun and the water in beautiful Central Oregon. It is also true to say that no music had been purchased or listened too all weekend.  This is incredibly sad.

I also realized I had essentially spent the last two days on a golf course.

The irony is I don’t play golf, I don’t even pretend to understand the game, long walk spoiled etc.

This morning I sat enjoying this view, my coffee and In the Land of Grey and Pink by Caravan. It seemed totally appropriate to play that most English of bands from the Canterbury scene as I sipped coffee in the high desert.

Now I have to find a good vinyl copy of the album to enjoy at home and complete the loop and explain the importance of the album to me.

When I got home this afternoon I did find my latest online purchases, Songs for Beginners by Graham Nash and Rise Up Like the Sun by the Albion Band, both of which I am sure will find their way here this week

You are living a reality I left years ago…

Over the last two weeks I have been finding many a Crosby, Stills or Nash album as I rummaged around various thrift stores and garage sales. All of them are in excellent shape the last one I found was a copy of the Crosby Stills and Nash album which as far as I am concerned should be in any collection. I found it at the amazing House of Records in Eugene,house of records it is in almost mint condition and for only $5, I am going to be honest and say I have no idea which version or pressing it is but it sounds great. It is also the only album I found in a record store.

House of records was a lot of fun, we got there 15 minutes before it closed and that may have been lucky for the wallet. It is literally a house that is jam packed with records, most reasonably priced and all looking good.

I have no idea where this treasure trove of Crosby, Stills and Nash albums came from. It is not like I found them all in one place, so it was not one collection turning up all at once.

csnyI am finding that the Crosby and Nash albums may be my favorites right now. Crosby’s slightly odd approach to songwriting has always been fun and Nash has always had a pop sensibility that was easily overlooked because of his band mates obvious rock talents. Although I have to admit to  a soft spot for Stills vocals.

The weakest album so far has been the Stills Young band album which is not really surprising even thought it does contain Long May You Run.