One of the many Jewels in this 4-CD set that crowns Fairport Convention's first 35 years is the super 172-page full-colour Book that accompanies the set: Variously described as "Truly Jaw-dropping" (fRoots), "Awesome" (HMV Choice), "Definitive" (Irish Music), this book now stands as the new and definitive History of the Band, written by researcher and long-time fan Nigel Schofield. (See his books and booklets in Free Reed's Martin Carthy and Peter Bellamy sets).
This vast work combines a most detailed year-by-year Fairport history: one of the most complete discographies yet assembled: extremely detailed track-notes on each of the set's 72 rare tracks (and notes on legion other Fairport recordings and covers): an analysis of the songs of Richard Thompson and Bob Dylan that have received the Fairport Treatment, and fascinating diversions into the careers of Sandy & Trevor, Bruce Lacey and David Rea.
Many of the Book's photographs, concert-shots and press-clippings (as with the Tracks on the set!) are previously-unpublished rarities, straight from the archives of Dave Pegg, Simon Nicol, Ashley Hutchings, Dave Swarbrick, and drawn from the elite of Fairport Fans, Friends-of-Fairport and Convention-Completists around the world!
In-depth interviews with Simon, Ashley and Peggy complement Nigel's meticulous history of the Band, and there are newly-minted reminiscences from Jerry Donahue, David Rea and other Fairport veterans.