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New Live LPs from Fairport Convention and The Beach Boys

July 8, 2022

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The Broadcast Album 1968-1970 by Fairport Convention


Side One

1. Time Will Show The Wiser (Emmitt Rhodes)
2. I Still Miss Someone (Johnny Cash/Roy Cash Jnr.)
3. Bird On A Wire (Leonard Cohen)
4.If It Feels Good, You Know it Can’t Be Wrong (Richard Thompson/Ashley Hutchings

5. I’ll Keep It With Mine (Bob Dylan)

Side Two

1. Sickness And Diseases (Dave Swarbrick/Richard Thompson)
2. Sloth (Dave Swarbrick/Richard Thompson)
3. Billy The Orphan Boy’s Lonely Xmas (Richard Thompson)

4. She Moves Through The Fair (Trad. Arr. Fairport Convention)

Recording Details

Side One

Track 1 French TV Bouton Rouge, April 27th  1968

Tracks 2-5 VPRO Dutch TV Amsterdam, September 1968

Side Two

Track 1 BBC, Sound of The Seventies, recorded November 12th 1970, broadcast November 19th

Track 2 Radio WHPK Chicago, broadcast May 27th 1970

Tracks 3-4 BBC Top Gear, recorded December 9th 1968, broadcast December 22nd


Ashley Hutchings – bass guitar, vocals

Richard Thompson –  guitar, vocals

Simon Nicol  – guitar, vocals

Martin Lamble – drums (Side One Tracks 1-5, Side Two Tracks 3-4)

Judy Dyble – vocals (Side One Track 1)

Sandy Denny – vocals, guitar, piano (Side One Tracks 2-5, Side Two Tracks 3-4)

Ian Matthews – vocals (Side One Tracks 1-5, Side Two Tracks 3-4)

Dave Swarbrick – fiddle, vocals (Side Two Tracks 1-2)

Dave Mattacks – drums (Side Two Tracks 1-2)

Dave Pegg – bass, vocals (Side Two Tracks 1-2)

Marc Ellington – vocals (Side Two Track 3)


In this release we navigate the uncharted waters of Fairport Convention’s early voyages across the UK, European and American airwaves. Fairport initially focused on covers of future classics by US/Canadian singer-songwriters such as Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Richard Farina and Bob Dylan, but delivered these covers in increasingly extended electric versions, becoming England’s answer to Jefferson Airplane. Within two years the band evolved into the prime-movers of British electric folk-rock, mixing electrified traditional songs with outstanding original material provided mainly by Sandy Denny and Richard Thompson. Between June 1968 and July 1970 Fairport released five LPs: Fairport Convention, What We Did on Our Holidays, Unhalfbricking, Liege and Lief and Full House(July 1970) – six if we include Heyday: the BBC Sessions 1968-1969, a selection from the many BBC sessions recorded by the What We Did on Our Holidays line-up.

Fairport Convention had been formed in 1966 by Ashley “Tyger” Hutchings (bass) with Richard Thompson (guitar), a very young Simon Nicol (guitar), and Martin Lamble on drums. This first classic Fairport Mark 1 line-up was completed by the addition of Judy Dyble and Ian Matthews on vocals. This line-up released Fairport Convention and is heard here on a rare live performance of Emitt Rhodes’ Time Will Show the Wiser from French TV in April 1968. In May 1968 , the band sacked Judy Dyble and replaced her with Sandy Denny, already a major force on the UK traditional folk scene and an established singer-songwriter in her own right. The Fairport Mark 2 line-up released the two classic LPs What We Did on Our Holidays and Unhalfbricking. Heard here on Dutch TV from 1968, three of these songs were never released on a studio LP – the Johnny Cash and Roy Cash Jnr. song I Still Miss Someone; Leonard Cohen’s Bird On A Wire; and If It Feels Good, You Know it Can’t Be Wrong, a rare song-writing collaboration from Fairports’ lighter side by Richard Thompson with Ashley Hutchings. The band’s understated arrangement of Dylan’s I’ll Keep It With Mine  was originally released on What We Did on Our Holidaysas was their haunting arrangement of the traditional folksong She Moves Through The Fair, heard here from a December 1968 BBC radio session. From the same radio session comes the only known performance of mysterious Fairport Christmas joke song Billy The Orphan Boy’s Lonely Xmas featuring a guest appearance from Marc Ellington as “Judge Jackson”.

Fairport had from the very beginning devoted themselves to relentless gigging, playing around 275 concerts between 1967-1970. On 12th  May 1969 the band were travelling back down the M1 after a gig in Birmingham when their van came off the motorway. Martin Lamble was killed outright, as was Richard Thompson’s girl-friend Jeannie Franklyn. Sandy Denny was not involved in the accident – she had travelled back from the gig with her boyfriend Trevor Lucas. The surviving band members suffered major and long-term psychological traumas. To honour the memory of Martin they decided to carry on, but could not face playing their old material. Ian Matthews left to form Matthews Southern Comfort. Fairport brought in Dave Swarbrick on fiddle, and Dave Mattacks on drums – a very different drummer to Martin – and at the end of 1969 the Fairport Mark 3 line-up released Liege and Lief, now widely acknowledged as the first classic LP of electric British folk-rock.

In December 1969 the band sacked Sandy Denny following her no-show for a short tour of Denmark. Ashley Hutchings then left to form Steeleye Span and was replaced by Dave Pegg. Fairport Mark 4 comprised Richard, Simon, Dave Swarbrick, Dave Mattacks, and Dave Pegg, releasing Full Housein July 1970. This LP contained Sloth, a military allegory of a failing relationship. The version here was recorded at a May 1970 concert in the US and features extended interplay between Richard and Swarb. The Mark 4 line-up also contributes another Swarbrick/Thompson classic Sickness and Diseases, a touching tale of STDs. This was originally released on Angel Delight in June 1971 by the Fairport Mark 5 line-up, sans Richard Thompson who had left in January 1971.

Most of the members of the Fairport family have remained closely and confusingly intertwined over the five and a half decades of the band’s existence. As Simon Nicol helpfully explained “Richard left Fairport Convention in early 1971 and has been playing with us ever since.” Richard continued to tour with Sandy, and played on all her four solo LPs.  Richard’s bands have often included Simon Nicol, Dave Mattacks and Dave Pegg. Since 1976 Fairport have run their annual reunion Cropredy Conventions. They continue to tour regularly and release a new LP every two or three years containing consistently strong and distinctive material. We are very lucky to still have them.

Sleevenotes: Admiral Sir Patrick Spens (retired)

Live In Paris by The Beach Boys

Side One

1. Darlin’ (B Wilson, Love)

2. Wouldn’t It Be Nice? (B Wilson, Love, Asher)

3. California Girls (B Wilson, Love)

4.I Can Hear Music (Barry, Greenwich, Spector,)

5. Medley

Warmth Of The Sun (B Wilson, Love)

/ Don’t Worry Baby (B Wilson, Christian)

/ Please Let Me Wonder (B Wilson, Love)

/ Surfer Girl (B Wilson)

/ In My Room (B Wilson, Usher)

6. I Get Around (B Wilson, Love)

7. Sloop John B (Traditional)

8. Do It Again (B Wilson, Love)

Side Two

1. Break Away (B Wilson, M Wilson)

2. The Nearest Faraway Place (Johnston)

3. Cotton Fields (Ledbetter)

4. Barbara Ann (Fassert)

5. God Only Knows (B Wilson, Asher)

6. Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring (Troup)

7. Good Vibrations (B Wilson, Love)

8. Johnny B. Goode (Berry)

Recording Details

All tracks recorded live on June 16th 1969 at L’Olympia, Paris and broadcast on Musicorama French TV


Mike Love: vocals, tambourine, electro-theremin

Carl Wilson: vocals, lead guitar

Al Jardine: vocals, rhythm guitar

Dennis Wilson: vocals, drums

Bruce Johnston: vocals, bass, organ, piano

Daryl Dragon: piano, organ, bass

Ed Carter: bass, tambourine, lead guitar

Mike Kowalski: percussion


During the 1960s Brian Wilson steered The Beach Boys to international success, his melodic abilities culminating in Pet Sounds (1966). Although widely praised and a best seller in Europe, the LP received only indifferent reviews in the US and got no higher than number 10 on the Billboard charts. Thus began a period where the band was more popular in Europe than in their native America. Their standing was not helped by the flow of inconsistent albums that followed Pet Sounds: Smiley Smile (1967), Wild Honey (1967), Friends (1968) and 20/20 (1969).

By the time the Beach Boys recorded a live show for French TV in June 1969 Brian was no longer touring with the band. In his place were Bruce Johnson and three additional key extra players, plus horns and strings as required. The end result was a surprisingly versatile and adept live band, topped with the Beach Boy’s characteristic four-part vocal harmonies. Visually they still looked out-of-step with contemporary fashion: everyone except Mike Love was wearing suits, some with cravats. Hair was strictly mid-length. Mike Love sported floor-length robes reflecting his enthusiasm for more spiritual matters such as Transcendental Meditation. After some songs the band took a synchronised bow. The Edgar Broughton Band this is not.

Darlin’ makes a strong set opener with organ high in the mix together with the guitars of Al Jardine and Carl Wilson. An impressive recreation of Wouldn’t It Be Nice is short and sweet. California Girls features two solo tambourine players and finishes unexpectedly. This tour was to promote the LP 20/20, itself a compilation of outtakes and leftover tracks from other LPs. One of the singles from this LP was a cover of the Ronettes I Can Hear Music, played here with the complex vocal middle eight intact. A five-song medley (“slow songs”) is proof of Brian Wilson’s early song writing skills and the bands ability to sing his melodies. Over minimal backing, delicious extracts from Warmth Of The Sun, Don’t Worry Baby, Please Let Me Wonder, Surfer Girl and In My Room are delivered.  A lively I Get Around is only slightly marred by Mike Love’s impression of a car and features more of that groovy organ. Sloop John B is boosted by a five piece brass section. Do It Again rocks with Dennis really walloping the drums on the intro.

Break Away is introduced as a forthcoming single, Carl sings it beautifully with a coda that vanishes into its own echo. A surprise comes with Bruce Johnston’s solo piano performance of instrumental The Nearest Faraway Place, another track from 20/20. Al Jardine leads on a version of Leadbelly’s Cotton Fields whilst Mike Love attempts to turn Barbara Ann into “Pom Pom Pompidou” but common sense prevails. God Only Knows features another great Carl vocal, with the wonderful backing vocals precisely delivered and an orchestral arrangement that closely follows the studio version. The seated and rather sedate audience respond enthusiastically. An acapella version of Bobby Troup’s Their Hearts Were Full Of Spring shows off the band’s immaculate harmonies. Warm applause greats the distinctive organ intro to set-closer Good Vibrations and the audience clap along. A rocking encore of Johnny B.Goode is an effective return to the band’s roots with the addition of support band Paul Revere & The Raiders.

The rehabilitation of the Beach Boys as a live act would continue after this tour.  By 1971 they were playing the Fillmore East, sometimes in the company of the Grateful Dead. Then came the release of Surf’s Up, with its fashionable eco theme and Brian Wilson’s evocative title track. The 1972 concerts they gave at Carnegie Hall in New York are regarded by many fans as their live peak. Whilst subsequent studio recordings have only been intermittently rewarding, the critical reputation of the run of LPs from Pet Sounds to Surf’s Up has continued to grow. This record documents the start of the Beach Boys artistic renaissance.




From → Music, Vinyl

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