What We Did on Our Holidays
|What We Did on Our Holidays|
|Studio album by Fairport Convention|
|Recorded||June–October 1968 at Kingsway and Olympic Studio No. 1|
|Genre||Folk rock, folk|
Island ILPS 9092 (UK)|
A&M SP 4185 (US)
|Fairport Convention chronology|
|Singles from "What We Did on Our Holidays"|
US self-titled release on A&M Records
What We Did on Our Holidays (released as Fairport Convention in the United States) is the 1969 second album by the band Fairport Convention. It was their first album to feature singer-songwriter Sandy Denny, whose "haunting, ethereal vocals gave Fairport a big boost", according to Richie Unterberger. The album also showed a move towards the folk rock for which they became noted, including tracks later to become perennial favourites such as "Fotheringay" and the song traditionally used to close live concerts, "Meet on the Ledge".
Following the departure of Judy Dyble, the band conducted auditions for a replacement singer, and Sandy Denny became the obvious choice. Simon Nicol has said "it was a one horse race really...she stood out like a clean glass in a sink full of dirty dishes".
The album has been described by author Richie Unterberger as "a near-ideal balance between imaginative reworkings of traditional folk songs ... quality covers of contemporary folk-rock singer-songwriters, some quite obscure ... and original folk-rock material by various members". Simon Nicol has cited the album as his favourite.
The cover features a sketch of the band performing, described in the album credits as "from a blackboard assaulted by Fairport Convention" and the reverse of the original sleeve a photograph of the band performing. The Island Masters 1990 re-release IMCD 97 also features a portrait of Sandy Denny.
In the USA, the album was released by A&M Records (SP-4185), containing an identical track listing but featured new cover art, and was retitled Fairport Convention.
In 2008 Four Men With Beards released a 180 gram version of the album that is being distributed by City Hall Records.
Reception and influence
|Rolling Stone||(favourable) |
|The Village Voice||A−|
In a contemporary review for The Village Voice, American critic Robert Christgau deemed Fairport Convention the "most interesting unknown group" he had listened to in some time, highlighting their take on "Pentangle-style ballads" and Bob Dylan's "I'll Keep It with Mine". Neal Casal, of Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, later listed What We Did on Our Holidays as one of his favourite albums of all time.
|2.||"Mr Lacey"||Ashley Hutchings||2:55|
|3.||"Book Song"||Iain Matthews, Richard Thompson||3:13|
|4.||"The Lord Is in This Place...How Dreadful Is This Place" (based on "Dark Was the Night, Cold Was the Ground" by Blind Willie Johnson)||Hutchings, Thompson, Denny||2:01|
|5.||"No Man's Land"||Thompson||2:32|
|6.||"I'll Keep It With Mine"||Bob Dylan||5:56|
|1.||"Eastern Rain"||Joni Mitchell||3:36|
|2.||"Nottamun Town"||Traditional, arranged by Denny, Matthews, Thompson, Simon Nicol, Hutchings, Martin Lamble||3:12|
|3.||"Tale in Hard Time"||Thompson||3:29|
|4.||"She Moves Through the Fair"||Traditional, arranged by Denny, Matthews, Thompson, Nicol, Hutchings, Lamble||4:14|
|5.||"Meet on the Ledge"||Thompson||2:50|
|6.||"End of a Holiday"||Nicol||1:07|
|Bonus tracks on reissue|
|13.||"Throwaway Street Puzzle"||Hutchings, Thompson||3:30|
|14.||"You're Gonna Need My Help" (recorded live for BBC Radio's "Symonds on Sunday" show, producer John Walters and engineer Tony Wilson; first transmission: 9 February 1969)||McKinley Morganfield||4:11|
|15.||"Some Sweet Day"||Felice and Boudleaux Bryant||2:32|
- Sandy Denny (as Alexandra Elene MacLean Denny) – vocals, acoustic & 12-string acoustic guitars, organ, piano, harpsichord
- Iain Matthews – vocals, congas
- Richard Thompson – electric, acoustic & 12-string acoustic guitars, piano accordion, sitar on "Book Song" (uncredited), vocals
- Ashley Hutchings – bass, backing vocals
- Simon Nicol – electric & acoustic guitars, electric autoharp, electric dulcimer, backing vocals
- Martin Lamble – drums, percussion, violin, tabla & footsteps
- Bruce Lacey & his robots on "Mr. Lacey"
- Claire Lowther – cello on "Book Song"
- Kingsley Abbott – coins on "The Lord Is in This Place...," backing vocals on "Meet on the Ledge"
- Paul Ghosh, Andrew Horvitch & Marc Ellington – backing vocals on "Meet on the Ledge"
- Peter Ross – harmonica on "Throwaway Street Puzzle"
Production and other credits
- Recorded at Sound Techniques, London and Olympic Studio No. 1, London (except "The Lord Is in This Place..." recorded at St. Peter's Church, Westbourne Grove, West London). Further work recorded at Morgan Studios, London
- Engineered by John Wood, Sound Techniques, London
- Photography by Richard Bennett Zeff & Annie Brown
- Design by Diogenic Attempts Ltd.
- Unterberger, Richie. "Fairport Convention: What We Did on Our Holidays > Review" at AllMusic. Retrieved 7 October 2011.
- "Fairport Convention: Meet on the Ledge". Reinhard Zierke. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
- "Sold on Song – Song Library – Who Knows Where The Time Goes". www.bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 3 August 2008.
- "THE BIRTH AND HEYDAY OF FAIRPORT CONVENTION". Retrieved 4 May 2008.
- "Fairport Convention – Keeping Cropredy in the Happy Family". Retrieved 5 April 2008.
- Liner notes
- "Fairport Convention: What We Did on Our Holidays". Reinhard Zierke. Retrieved 2017-06-02.
- Mendlesohn, John (6 September 1969). "Fairport Convention". Rolling Stone. San Francisco: Straight Arrow Publishers, Inc. (41): 28.
- Christgau, Robert (10 July 1969). "Consumer Guide (1)". The Village Voice. Retrieved 20 October 2017.
- "Interview: Neal Casal (Ryan Adams & the Cardinals)". stereokill.net. Retrieved 19 May 2010.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 14 May 2014. Retrieved 13 May 2014.