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December 1969


4.725 (average of 8 ratings)


British folk



Album Tracks:

  1. Come All Ye
  2. Reynardine
  3. Matty Groves
  4. Farewell, Farewell
  5. The Deserter
  6. Medley: The Lark in the Morning/ Rakish Paddy/ Fox Hunter’s Jig/ Toss the Feathers
  7. Tam Lin
  8. Crazy Man Michael

Sales (in millions):

sales in U.S. only --
sales in U.K. only - estimated --
sales in all of Europe as determined by IFPI – click here to go to their site. --
sales worldwide - estimated --


peak on U.S. Billboard album chart --
peak on U.K. album chart 17

Singles/Hit Songs:

  • none


A 2002 reissue added bonus tracks “Sir Patrick Spens” and “The Quiet Joys of Brotherhood.”

The 2007 deluxe edition moved those two songs to a second disc alongside then added yet another seven songs (most of which were recorded live in the studio for the BBC) on to that, including alternate versions of the aforementioned songs as well as “Tam Lin,” “Medley,” “Reynardine,” and non-album cuts “The Ballad of Easy Rider,” “The Lady Is a Tramp,” and “Medley: The Lady Is a Tramp/ In Other Words (Fly Me to the Moon).”


Rated one of the top 1000 albums of all time by Dave’s Music Database. Click to learn more. Mojo Magazine’s 100 Greatest Albums

Liege & Lief

Fairport Convention


“In the decades since its original release, more than one writer has declared Fairport Convention’s Liege & Lief the definitive British folk-rock album, a distinction it holds at least in part because it grants equal importance to all three parts of that formula. While Fairport had begun dipping their toes into British traditional folk with their stellar version of ‘A Sailor’s Life’ on Unhalfbricking, Liege & Lief found them diving headfirst into the possibilities of England’s musical past, with Ashley Hutchings digging through the archives at the Cecil Sharp House in search of musical treasure and the musicians (in particular vocalist Sandy Denny) eagerly embracing the dark mysteries of this music.” MD

“Only two of the album’s eight songs were group originals, though Crazy Man Michael and Come All Ye hardly stand out from their antique counterparts.” MD

Liege & Lief was also recorded after a tour bus crash claimed the lives of original Fairport drummer Martin Lamble and Richard Thompson’s girlfriend; as the members of the group worked to shake off the tragedy (and break in new drummer Dave Mattacks and full-time fiddler Dave Swarbrick), they became a stronger and more adventurous unit, less interested in the neo-Jefferson Airplane direction of their earlier work and firmly committed to fusing time-worn folk with electric instruments while honoring both.” MD

“While Liege & Lief was the most purely folk-oriented Fairport Convention album to date, it also rocked hard in a thoroughly original and uncompromising way; the Lark in the Morning medley swings unrelentingly, the group’s crashing dynamics wring every last ounce of drama from Tam Lin and Matty Groves, and Thompson and Swarbrick’s soloing is dazzling throughout.” MD

Liege & Lief introduced a large new audience to the beauty of British folk, but Fairport Convention’s interpretations spoke of the present as much as the past, and the result was timeless music in the best sense of the term.” MD

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Last updated March 28, 2011.