Fame and Glory presents a unique collection of songs and tunes by visionary Breton composer Alan Simon. This album is very unlike any other Fairport Convention album, with a mix of live and studio tracks makes the album less coherent than it otherwise could have been. Indeed, in a way this is not even a proper Fairport Convention album at all. Representing the highlights of Fairport Convention's collaboration with Alan Simon, this compilation spans over a decade of Fairport's contributions to a project that includes the gold disc winning Excalibur song cycle and the more recent Anne de Bretagne.
The songs and tunes on this album are a wonderful evocation of Arthurian legend, Celtic mythology and Breton folklore.
The sound of Fame And Glory is far more Celtic than on any other Fairport album.The theme of King Arthur and his knights of the round table lends itself perfectly to concept albums and the theme is indeed common among Prog bands and artists. Rick Wakeman's illustrious King Arthur album is probably the best example.
The words and music are by Alan Simon with contributions by Fairport's Chrris Leslie and Ric Sanders. The music is performed by Fairport Convention with guest appearances by Jacqui McShee, Martin Barre, Dave Mattacks, Dan Ar Braz, John Helliwell, James Wood and Irish band "Flook".
A powefull sound indeed that comes from full on folk-rock on tracks such as 'Castle Rock' (the only piece to include ex-drummer Dave Mattacks) and 'Pilgrims' (with Jethro Tull's Martin Barre on guitar), or from sweeping arrangements on other songs like 'Morgane', which is a rare collaboration between Fairport and Pentangle lead singer Jacquie McShee. One of Brittany's best-known artists, Dan Ar Braz, also plays guitar on this track.
Unusually, for Fairport Convention, flute is a dominant instrument throughout the album. The flutes are apparently played by Alan Simon himself and he is indeed an excellent flautist as well as a very good song writer. Several other uncommon and interesting instruments show up in various places.
Gerry Conway — Drums and percussion
Dave Pegg — Bass guitar
Simon Nicol — guitars, vocals
Ric Sanders — violin
Chris Leslie — vocals, bouzouki, mandolin and violin
Martin Barre — Electric guitar
John Helliwell — saxophone, clarinet
Dan Ar Bras — electric guitar
Andreas Wlolenweider — harp
Alan Simon — flute
Laurent Tixier — viellie a roue
Pat O'May — Electric guitar
John Wetton — vocals
Jacqui McShee — vocals
James Wood — vocals, accoustic guitar
01 Castle Rock
03 Celtic Dream
04 Gest of Gauvain
06 Dragon Breath
08 Behind the darkness
09 La Guerre Folle
10 Fame & Glory
12 Danza Del Crepusculo
13 Marie La Cordeliere
14 Duchess Anne