We come now to the last two tracks on this most excellent LP.
Track 4 on Side 2 is “Night-time Girl” (2.56), a Dave Swarbrick song and quite the lightest on the record. It is a typical rag-time style sort of thing, perfectly performed as only he could, and most enjoyable. The instrument playing is, as ever on this album, faultless and a joy to hear.
There is a most fitting cadence the LP, being a Sandy Denny song called “One More Chance”, which comes in at 7.55 minutes, and is thus the longest track on the LP. It is a mighty, epic, classic performance, well up with all the rest of Sandy Denny’s best songs. Its length is in part due to a long, and quite brilliant lead guitar solo in the middle, played of course by the inimitable Jerry Donahue. This is a perfect end to a perfect record; there are no duff tracks, nor even any duff moments. In this technical sense, this is therefore the best Fairport Convention LP of all time.
Why, then, is it not my favourite? How is it that “Nine” features in my top 10 albums of all time, but this one doesn’t? The reasoning is complex, but it lies in the fact that with the possible exception of “Restless”, there are no truly outstanding pieces here. Nevertheless, nothing detracts from the splendid quality of this offering.
I do have the deluxe expanded CD version of this album, but before we come on to the that, I must deal with the curious CD “Many Ears To Please” [a phrase taken from the song “Rising for the Moon”], which I think I mentioned briefly in a previous post.