Exposé Online banner

Fairport Convention — Liege and Lief
(Island Records 530 111-1, 1969/2007, 2CD)

by Mike McLatchey, Published 2016-06-03

Liege and Lief Cover art

A couple of weeks ago I realized I needed to reevaluate the early Fairport Convention albums — every so often I try to do this with major groups and artists that I don't seem to rate so highly or have a blurred remembrance of. I played the first two and liked them, but I was really shocked when I hit the trio of Unhlafbricking, Liege and Lief, and Full House: these were not only extremely good albums, but I realized I actually knew them really well and was nostalgic for when I used to play music. Folk rock can often just be a term that is equivalent to electric folk but with Fairport it felt like it started with psych and pop first, and its marriage to folk and tradition did all these styles favors. The vocals and musicians were all in a zone by Liege and Lief and not only were all the songs great, the flow of them from one to another, from ballads to energetic reels, was nearly perfect. Last night I played Liege again while talking about synchronicity and went from thinking it was excellent to thinking of it as a real classic, a truly special work. And then realized I had just finished up the E's and it slotted in like it was meant to be. Then I woke up this morning to find out that fiddle player Dave Swarbrick had passed away. He was brilliant on this record. Thanks for such a magical listen.


Filed under: Reissues, 2007 releases, 1969 recordings

Related artist(s): Sandy Denny, Fairport Convention, Richard Thompson, Dave Swarbrick

Latest news

2019-06-05
Legendary Co-Founder of The 13th Floor Elevators Passes Away at Age 71 – Sadly, Roky Erickson passed away on May 31, 2019. Known as the father of psychedelic music and co-founder of the ground breaking 13th Floor Elevators, Roky had a profound influence on music from the 60s to today. Plagued by his own personal demons, Roky had a difficult life and is now free of these burdens. » Read more

2019-04-24
Help MoonJune Bring Great Music to Life – Like many music lovers around the world, we’ve been thrilled and amazed to hear the recordings that have been released by MoonJune from sessions at La Casa Murada in Spain. Such label stalwarts as Mark Wingfield, Markus Reuter, Asaf Sirkis, Tony Levin, Dusan Jevtovic, Vasil Hadzimanov, and many more have gathered in various combinations at the studio to produce some of the most creative music in recent years. Now, label head Leonardo Pavkovic is offering a compilation, La Casa Murada - MoonJune Sessions, Volume One, as a fundraiser for upcoming sessions. » Read more

2019-04-10
The Pineapple Thief to Tour North America – November and December of 2019 will see The Pineapple Thief bringing their music to Canada, Mexico, and the US, and famed drummer Gavin Harrison will be on board. The band has been touring extensively in Europe, but North America will be new territory for them. » Read more

2019-03-25
Scott Walker RIP – Noel Scott Engel, better known as Scott Walker, was one of the most intriguing and enigmatic musical figures in the second half of the 20th Century. His strange career started with The Walker Brothers, an American pop group that featured no one named Walker and no brothers. After moving to England in 1965, they had a series of hit singles. Scott's solo work started with Scott in 1967. Starting in the 80s, his work took an increasingly avant-garde turn. » Read more

2019-03-20
Freedom to Spend Unearths June Chikuma's Archives – Jun (June) Chikuma is well known for her video game and anime soundtracks, but she also released an album of experimental electronic music back in 1986 called Divertimento where she indulged the kind of spontaneity that wouldn't work in a soundtrack. RVNG Int'l label Freedom to Spend is bringing this overlooked item to broader attention with a deluxe reissue. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Various Artists - Giant for a Life - A Tribute to Gentle Giant – The second of two tributes to rock's most misunderstood progressive band is another hodgepodge of tracks from the Gentle Giant catalog. Most bands seem to adopt the policy of covering the original...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues