Rock And Roll Hall of Shame (Spotlight) – Fairport Convention


The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame carries a stink. Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner is also co-founder of the R&R Hall. And it is common knowledge that his personal musical taste dictates the nomination list. The list fails to include some of the more accomplished British and Canadian Bands or any artist he ‘don’t cotton to’.  He seems to have a particular distaste for British artists in the progressive wing of rock music.

What The Band is to America, Fairport Convention is to the British Isles.  Fairport Convention gave British traditional music its groove back with an electric make-over. Any band that spawns two  super-talents like Richard Thompson and Sandy Denny, earns their hall-pass for that reason alone. However, there are other reasons. They are universally credited as the inventing the genre of British Folk Rock. Their masterpiece “Liege And Lief” has been a common sighting in The Rolling Stone “Top 100 Albums” list.  From their musical loins sprang the great Steeleye Span and a host of other “Celtic Rock” bands. Of course,  they could also be held responsible for aiding and abetting later Celtic Pop phenomena Riverdance and The Celtic Women. However, we won’t hold that against them.



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2 responses to “Rock And Roll Hall of Shame (Spotlight) – Fairport Convention”

  1. Fairport Convention are a folk group not a rock band, which is probably why they are not in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Have you bothered to find out from the group if they want to be inducted into it? You are simply pushing your own point of view, fair enough but make that clear in your comments.

    • Thanks for commenting. However, I totally disagree for the following reasons. Simon Nicol in interviews has self identified the band as slotting into the “Folk Rock” catagory. Further the roots of the band can be tracked through their early covers (The Byrds, Jefferson Airplane, Bob Dylan etc…). Any band who employs a line up consisting of two electric guitars, bass, electric violin and drums are likely going to be included under the wide umbrella that is “Rock” music. I saw them live at The Roxy and would be hard put to describe music played at that volume as pure Folk without some sort of qualifier. No, they were a Rock band that hybridized Traditional Folk with spectacular results. To ghettoize their music as strictly Folk is to deny them their place in history as a transformative musical entity. As for their desire to be included, that wasn’t the focus of the article, they are deserving of recognition irrespective of their opinion of the institution. As for my POV, it should be implicit (perhaps obvious) that any writer who states a position on any subject and puts their name to it is offering a point of view. No Surgeon General’s warning required.

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