The song you see before you today has long been a favorite of mine,since I first heard it by Nico back in the day.
It wasn’t long after that, that I found the version by Fairport Convention, which quickly become my favorite.
‘I’ll Keep It With Mine’ was written and recorded (as a demo) by Bob Dylan in 1964.
It was soon recorded by Judy Collins, then Nico (on Chelsea Girl) and then by Fairport in 1969 for the album ‘What We Did On Our Holidays’.
The single of the tune was only released here in the US.
‘I’ll Keep It With Mine’ is one of those Dylan songs that provides a strong bedrock, yet was only brought to full flower in the hands of other performers.
While I love Nico’s version, the Fairport recording is beyond sublime.
When they recorded ‘What We Did On Our Holidays’, Fairport Convention had just brought in Sandy Denny to replace Judy Dyble, and began what I consider to be their peak era.
I pretty much dig everything Fairport did, but the brief period when Denny, Iain Matthews and Richard Thompson were all in the band produced some spectacular music.
At their best, they were always a unique synthesis of US West Coast sounds – with Jefferson Airplane being an important touchstone – and a unique English lyricism, adjacent to much of the best popsike of the day.
The fact that they had two beautiful lead voices, in Denny and Matthews, and one of the greatest guitarists in rock history in Thompson, made them one of the great bands of their time.
Their version of ‘I’ll Keep It With Mine’ drifts in gently, like a leaf on the wind, building slowly into a stunning chorus where all of Fairport Convention’s greatest elements combine into something truly special.
By the time they recorded ‘Unhalfbricking’, Matthews was out of the band, and after their landmark ‘Leige and Leif’ Denny was off to join Fotheringay.
If you haven’t explored the first four Fairport albums, and you’re a fan of folk rock and psyche, do yourself a favor and dig in.
Until next week.
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