Liege & Lief
Released: Dec 1969
Early Fairport released some astonishing albums, from Unhalfbricking to Full House. But the group's definitive statement is 1969's Liege & Lief. Bass, drums and guitar open with an ancient druid march. Shortly afterward, Sandy Denny announces the band's intentions: "Come all ye rolling minstrels/ And together we will try/ To rouse the spirit of the air/ And move the rolling skies." This they do on an album that's at times ecstatic, moody, tender and downright mysterious. This is true earth music.