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Author Topic: UnConventional  (Read 2011 times)
GubGub (Al)
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« on: October 16, 2019, 11:10:53 AM »

Has the Fairport UnConventional boxed set ever been discussed here in specifics or was it issued before TAW became established?

I remember being disappointed by it when it came out because the sound quality of so many tracks was so bad and I hadn't really listened to it again since then. Some of it has now been superceded by better quality issues of tracks on the BBC & Come All Ye boxes but I have just listened to a playlist of tracks that remain unique to this box and there is now even less that I feel the need to go back to. Having said that, the recording of Reno Nevada is definitive and possibly Time Will Show The Wiser too and the radio sessions (non BBC) and live tracks by short lived line ups are worth hearing too.
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RobertD
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2019, 11:50:27 AM »

Not sure about the discussion of it but share your assessment in general, despite not having the other two sets you mention. I’d have to scroll through again but I remember some of the more recent tracks sounding as dubious as ones from 1968. That being said I thought there were some gems-Flowers Of The Forest, the version of Reno you mention, the Manor tracks and Babbacombe Lee outtakes were good. Overall like most of the Free Reed sets in the end I think it fell flat
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GubGub (Al)
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« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2019, 12:24:38 PM »


Not sure about the discussion of it but share your assessment in general, despite not having the other two sets you mention. I’d have to scroll through again but I remember some of the more recent tracks sounding as dubious as ones from 1968. That being said I thought there were some gems-Flowers Of The Forest, the version of Reno you mention, the Manor tracks and Babbacombe Lee outtakes were good. Overall like most of the Free Reed sets in the end I think it fell flat


I have mixed feelings about the Free Reed boxes in general. The writing in the accompanying books is uniformly dreadful but musically this is the most disappointing. The RT box is generally excellent as is most of Cropredy Capers. I like the Ashley Hutchings box too, though i know others are less fond of it. I don't have the Swarb or Pegg boxes.

I recommend the Come All Ye box Robert. It contains all of the Babbacombe Lee & Manor material from Unconventional & more in far better quality plus a lot of other rare and previously unreleased stuff with decent quality control. There is heavy duplication with the BBC box but if you don't have that either Come All Ye is a winner.
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RobertD
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« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2019, 01:21:27 PM »

Thanks for the tip. I believe I have had that on my must get list but have yet to do so. Agreed the RT set is the best. I found it funny how Schofield kind of had a dig at the font size and colors of Watching The Dark being difficult to read but he practically did the same thing with Cropredy Capers! But agreed that is also a good set. The Hutchings one had a lot of repeats with the Guv’nor series and I thought the themes of the discs was unnecessary. How better to illustrate the work of Ashley than showing how he wasn’t static-working on a theatre production while simultaneously working on a dance album. If ever a set were chronological that should have been the one. Never got the Peggy set, but rather enjoy Swarb’s, though it leans a bit more traditional.
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GubGub (Al)
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« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2019, 01:34:56 PM »


Thanks for the tip. I believe I have had that on my must get list but have yet to do so. Agreed the RT set is the best. I found it funny how Schofield kind of had a dig at the font size and colors of Watching The Dark being difficult to read but he practically did the same thing with Cropredy Capers! But agreed that is also a good set. The Hutchings one had a lot of repeats with the Guv’nor series and I thought the themes of the discs was unnecessary. How better to illustrate the work of Ashley than showing how he wasn’t static-working on a theatre production while simultaneously working on a dance album. If ever a set were chronological that should have been the one. Never got the Peggy set, but rather enjoy Swarb’s, though it leans a bit more traditional.


Fair point about the Ashley set. When I bought it I didn't know much of his work outside Fairport and some Albion band stuff so it introduced me to a lot of new music. I have since become something of an Ashley obsessive though that has not so far extended to Rainbow Chasers or the "documentary" albums. I may re-organise the box on ITunes into chronological order.

Yes the trad element is why I did not go for the Swarb box. Trad folk is not really my thing. The only solo work of Swarb's I have is Smiddyburn & Flittin though I am tempted by Lift The Lid & See and The Celidh Album if I could find them at a sensible price. Not sure that Swarb holds much appeal for me without a backing band or at least the duo with Simon N.
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GubGub (Al)
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« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2019, 02:07:38 PM »




Fair point about the Ashley set. When I bought it I didn't know much of his work outside Fairport and some Albion band stuff so it introduced me to a lot of new music. I have since become something of an Ashley obsessive though that has not so far extended to Rainbow Chasers or the "documentary" albums. I may re-organise the box on ITunes into chronological order.




Just had a look and I've already done it!  Grin
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RobertD
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« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2019, 02:25:06 PM »



Thanks for the tip. I believe I have had that on my must get list but have yet to do so. Agreed the RT set is the best. I found it funny how Schofield kind of had a dig at the font size and colors of Watching The Dark being difficult to read but he practically did the same thing with Cropredy Capers! But agreed that is also a good set. The Hutchings one had a lot of repeats with the Guv’nor series and I thought the themes of the discs was unnecessary. How better to illustrate the work of Ashley than showing how he wasn’t static-working on a theatre production while simultaneously working on a dance album. If ever a set were chronological that should have been the one. Never got the Peggy set, but rather enjoy Swarb’s, though it leans a bit more traditional.


Fair point about the Ashley set. When I bought it I didn't know much of his work outside Fairport and some Albion band stuff so it introduced me to a lot of new music. I have since become something of an Ashley obsessive though that has not so far extended to Rainbow Chasers or the "documentary" albums. I may re-organise the box on ITunes into chronological order.

Yes the trad element is why I did not go for the Swarb box. Trad folk is not really my thing. The only solo work of Swarb's I have is Smiddyburn & Flittin though I am tempted by Lift The Lid & See and The Celidh Album if I could find them at a sensible price. Not sure that Swarb holds much appeal for me without a backing band or at least the duo with Simon N.


I quite enjoy The Ceilidh Album & Lift The Lid. The usual cast of characters is on them-Simon, Peggy & Bruce Rowland, Beryl Mariott and Savourna Stevenson so they are both fairly upbeat sets, though not as folk rock as Smiddyburn/Flittin'. Fair enough point about the Ashley's Free Reed set being a decent introduction if you were unfamiliar. I hadn't really thought of that before.
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« Reply #7 on: October 16, 2019, 05:56:58 PM »


Fair enough point about the Ashley's Free Reed set being a decent introduction if you were unfamiliar. I hadn't really thought of that before.


The main thing I learned from the Ashley box is that I like most of the stuff he did up to and including Lark Rise, and that I pretty much loathe everything he's done since.  So that was certainly a very useful thing to find out.

Jules
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« Reply #8 on: October 16, 2019, 07:52:09 PM »

Try AH's "Twangin & Traddin" and "Street Cries" … two excellent (& very different) albums … & I also really like the Albions' acoustic period with Messrs Nicol and Leslie.
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Glen S
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« Reply #9 on: October 16, 2019, 07:53:58 PM »

I've 4 of the Free Reed boxed sets including UnConventional, but have to confess to only returning regularly to Cropredy Capers which contains loads of great material...It's my essential go to set when I'm giving Cropredy a miss (such as this year Cry) but still want to feel a part of it... Smiley
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GubGub (Al)
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« Reply #10 on: October 16, 2019, 08:47:59 PM »



Fair enough point about the Ashley's Free Reed set being a decent introduction if you were unfamiliar. I hadn't really thought of that before.


The main thing I learned from the Ashley box is that I like most of the stuff he did up to and including Lark Rise, and that I pretty much loathe everything he's done since.  So that was certainly a very useful thing to find out.

Jules


I'm slightly surprised by that. I think the box represents the 89-90 Albions quite poorly (the post Cathy LeSurf line up with Phil Beer & Simon Care. John Tams is also on the second album). Their two albums are admittedly not Rise Up Like The Sun (what is?) but I find them very enjoyable and I would have thought you might find something to like in By Gloucester Docks which has some parallels with Lark Rise. I confess that beyond that period I am pretty ambivalent. I like A Batter Pudding for John Keats, Road Movies and some of the Christmas Band stuff at the appropriate time of year.
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« Reply #11 on: October 17, 2019, 10:38:05 AM »

I always liked Give Me A Saddle, I'll Trade You A Car, 1990 though they played some of them at cropredy so the live memories may help, but never gelled with the eigties stuff though I do have a soft spot for Ashley's Gloucester Docks and Sway with me which are more side projects. I will always go back to Battle of the Field and No Roses though which I don't think have a bad track between them and the original Morris On. "Steve Ashley's" Lord Bateman always makes me look into the middle distance wistfully.

As for the box sets yes Come All Ye is probably better but I would imagine access and technology and possibly money might have helped, but I have always enjoyed that version of the Transports and very partial to the original Tale of Ale. Swarbs is great but I really enjoy the Swarbrick 1 and 2 and the It Suits Me Well : Transatlantic Anthology.

As far as Boxes go generally I really enjoyed Fledglings Shirley Collins - Within Sound, though I was ordered it before it came out and it never arrived the supplier dragging it out from before Christmas all the way to the following july and when I got a copy years later it came from Australia. Worth the wait though.
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« Reply #12 on: October 17, 2019, 04:21:43 PM »


I'm slightly surprised by that. I think the box represents the 89-90 Albions quite poorly (the post Cathy LeSurf line up with Phil Beer & Simon Care. John Tams is also on the second album). Their two albums are admittedly not Rise Up Like The Sun (what is?) but I find them very enjoyable


In which case the box set may have helped me reach a false conclusion.

Jules
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« Reply #13 on: March 04, 2020, 02:40:43 PM »

A lot of these comments make me think that I've been right to avoid box sets over the years … one rarely forms the same attachment to them as for original albums. I've got nearly 1,000 albums in my collection (yes, ok, that must be piffling compared to many of you …), but only one box set !



 
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« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2020, 12:55:40 PM »

Ugh. There is a lot I could I say concerning my feelings towards the UnConventional set. But suffice it to say that it cured me of my completist tendencies.
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