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[Leonard Cohen]

This classic Leonard Cohen song was recorded on 26 August 1968 in BBC Studio 1, 201 Piccadilly, for the Top Gear / John Peel radio show and broadcast on 29 September 1968. It was produced by Bernie Andrews. The track was released on the Heyday cassette and both CD versions and in 2002 on the Fairport unConventioNal 4CD set.

Ian Matthews sings the first verse, Sandy Danny the second; in the third verse they sing alternate lines. This arrangement sounds a bit forced, probably because Fairport felt forced to produce an arrangement different from Leonard Cohen’s. Richard Thompson and Simon Nicol play electric guitar, Ashley Hutchings bass and Martin Lamble drums.

A studio recording of this song was released in 2003 on the CD reissue of Fairport’s self-titled first album, Fairport Convention. Ian is singing alone, so this may have been recorded in the transition time between Judy Dyble leaving and Sandy Denny joining Fairport Convention.

Much later Fairport recordings of this fine song with Vikki Clayton replacing Sandy are on the 1986 cassette The Other Boot and on the 1997 Cropredy Box.


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