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FAIRPORT CONVENTION "Close to the Wind" Mooncrest CrestCD035

Take two albums previously available on CD, stick the tracks in a bag and pull out the first fifteen, add a live version of "Close to the Wind" and what do you get?

What you get is an album of good quality music, but totally devoid of cohesion or feel. Sorry but I'm afraid this adds nothing to an already extensive Fairport Convention catalogue.

I like to think that albums are put together with attention to the feel created by the track order - test this theory by using the random button on the CD player. "Red and Gold" and "The Five Seasons" are both good albums and, if currently unavailable, would stand reissuing, maybe as part of a 2 for 1 package. The line-up on the two is the same, unusual for Fairport I know.

There is no mention anywhere on this package that the material has been previously available. The notes try to give a history of the band in four paragraphs!

If the band had any input into this I will be surprised - as this sells their fans short. Anyone who hasn't got these tracks will enjoy "Close to the Wind" but would be better buying the originals.

Anyone skimming this review might think I don't like Fairport or their music - you couldn't be further from the truth. I value their immense contribution of the last 30 years, and can't wait for their next new work.

" Close to the Wind" - Come on your fans deserve better.

Dave Beeby

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This album was reviewed in Issue 33 of The Living Tradition magazine.