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album coverFairport Convention's Contractual Obligation
Gottle O Geer
{Historic note about the title of this review: There is actually an album called Monty Python's Contractual Obligation. Apparently, the Pythons owed one more album on the contract they'd signed with EMI.}

Yup -- Fairport owed the label (Island, i believe) an album and converted what was apparently supposed to be a Swarbrick "solo" album to a "Fairport" (no "Convention") album.

My ex-wife and i dubbed this album (as this review is titled) "Fairport Convention's Contractual Obligation"

Yup -- it's a collection of mostly second-rank pieces. (A Major Exception being "Sandy's Song" ("Take Away the Load"), written by the late Sandy Denny.)

But, ya know -- when i hear people slamming Billy Joel for how "derivative" of REM's "It's the End of the World" his "We Didn't Start the Fire" is, i think of the fact that REM are known Thompson/Fairport fans, and i think of the wonderful cut called "Limey's Lament" on this album, and i chuckle quietly.

(The cover art on this album, BTW, is a parody of/homage to Norman Rockwell's great Saturday Evening Post covers; the jester's face is a caricature of Swarb.)