Dylan Covers Week No3: Si Tu Dois Partir - Fairport Convention
Fairport Convention and Pentagle pretty much invented British folk rock back in the mid sixties. Fairport Convention is one of those bands that has gone through dozens of changes in personnel and is still going strong today but this is the original line-up featuring the legendary and wonderful Sandy Denny on vocals. Here they take a Bob Dylan standard, translate it into French and make it sound like the scratchy recording of a backwoods cajun band, the sort recorded in a barn in the fifties by the likes of Alan Lomax. This was their only hit single, nearly making the top twenty (it peaked at number 21 in 1969) and just goes to show how eclectic and open to new ideas the record buying public was in those far off days. They even appeared on Top of the Pops!
Now, listen to them playing it live on one of the late great John Peel's sessions for his radio show. And appreciate Denny's great vocal timing
By the time the single was released, they had all been in their touring van in the motorway crash that killed drummer Martin Lamble and so that line-up never played together again. Which anchors it even more in a sepia, picture-framed past.