What We Did on Our Holidays
is the second album release by the band Fairport Convention
and was the first to feature Sandy Denny
, whose "haunting, ethereal vocals gave Fairport a big boost", according to Allmusic
's reviewer. The album also showed a move towards the folk rock
for which they became noted, including tracks later to become perennial favourites such as "Fotheringay" and the song traditionally used to close live concerts, "Meet on the Ledge".
Following the departure of Judy Dyble
, the band conducted auditions for a replacement singer, and Sandy Denny
became the obvious choice. Simon Nicol
has said "it was a one horse race really...she stood out like a clean glass in a sink full of dirty dishes".
The album has been described by author Richie Unterberger as "a near-ideal balance between imaginative reworkings of traditional folk songs ... quality covers of contemporary folk-rock singer-songwriters, some quite obscure ... and original folk-rock material by various members". Simon Nicol has cited the album as his favourite.
The cover features a sketch of the band performing, described in the album credits as "from a blackboard assaulted by Fairport Convention" and the reverse of the original sleeve a photograph of the band performing. The Island Masters 1990 re-release IMCD 97 also features a portrait of Sandy Denny.
In the USA, the album was released by A&M Records (SP-4185), containing an identical track listing but featured new cover art, and was retitled "Fairport Convention."
- "Fotheringay" (Sandy Denny) - 3:06
- "Mr Lacey" (Ashley Hutchings) - 2:55
- "Book Song" (Iain Matthews, Richard Thompson) - 3:13
- "The Lord Is in This Place...How Dreadful Is This Place" (Ashley Hutchings, Richard Thompson, Sandy Denny) - 2:01
- "No Man's Land" (Richard Thompson) - 2:32
- "I'll Keep It With Mine" (Bob Dylan) - 5:56
- "Eastern Rain" (Joni Mitchell) - 3:36
- "Nottamun Town" (Trad. arr. Sandy Denny, Iain Matthews, Richard Thompson, Simon Nicol, Ashley Hutchings, Martin Lamble) - 3:12
- "Tale in Hard Time" (Richard Thompson) - 3:29
- "She Moves Through the Fair" (Trad. arr Sandy Denny, Iain Matthews, Richard Thompson, Simon Nicol, Ashley Hutchings, Martin Lamble) - 4:14
- "Meet on the Ledge" (Richard Thompson) - 2:50
- "End of a Holiday" (Simon Nicol) - 1:07
Bonus tracks on reissue
- "Throwaway Street Puzzle" (Ashley Hutchings, Richard Thompson)
- "You're Gonna Need My Help" (McKinley Morganfield)
- "Some Sweet Day" (Felice and Boudleaux Bryant)
- Sandy Denny (as Alexandra Elene MacLean Denny) - Vocals, Acoustic & 12-String Acoustic Guitars, Organ, Piano, Harpsichord
- Iain Matthews - Vocals, Congas
- Richard Thompson - Electric, Acoustic & 12-String Acoustic Guitars, Piano Accordion, Vocals
- Ashley Hutchings - Bass, Backing Vocals
- Simon Nicol - Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Electric Autoharp, Electric Dulcimer, Backing Vocals
- Martin Lamble - Drums, Percussion, Violin, Tabla & Footsteps
- Bruce Lacey & his Robots on "Mr. Lacey"
- Claire Lowther - Cello on "Book Song"
- Kingsley Abbott - Coins on "The Lord Is In This Place...," Backing Vocals on "Meet on the Ledge"
- Paul Ghosh, Andrew Horvitch & Marc Ellington - Backing Vocals on "Meet on the Ledge"
- Peter Ross - Harmonica on "Throwaway Street Puzzle"
Production and other credits
- Recorded at Sound Techniques, London and Olympic Studio No. 1, London (except "The Lord Is In This Place..." recorded at St. Peter's Church, Westbourne Grove, West London). Further work recorded at Morgan Studios
- Engineered by John Wood, Sound Techniques, London
- Photography by Richard Bennett Zeff & Annie Brown
- Design by Diogenic Attempts Ltd.