- Released: August 2, 2004
- Label: Universal Uk
- 1.Verdict (Read By Philip Sterling - Wall)
- 2.Little Did I Think
- 3.I Was Sixteen (Part 1)
- 4.John My Son
- 5.I Was Sixteen (Part 2)
- 6.St Ninian's Isle / Trumpet Hornpipe
- 7.Sailors Alphabet
- 8.John Lee
- 9.Newspaper Reading (Read By A. L. Lloyd)
- 10.Breakfast In Mayfair
- 11.Trial Song
- 12.Cell Song
- 13.Time Is Near
- 14.Dream Song
- 15.Wake Up John (Hanging Song)
- 16.Farewell To A Poor Man's Son (Bonus Track)
- 17.Breakfast In Mayfair (Bonus Track)
Personnel: Simon Nicol (guitar, dulcimer); Dave Swarbrick (mandolin, fiddle); Dave Pegg (mandolin); Dave Mattacks (electric piano, drums).
Audio Remasterers: Paschal Byrne; Don Walker.
Liner Note Author: Simon Lee.
Recording information: Sound Techniques Ltd.
Reader: A.L. Lloyd.
Unknown Contributor Role: Sandy Denny.
The group's only concept album (similar in some ways to the Pretty Things' S.F. Sorrow), built around the life story of John "Babbacombe" Lee, a Victorian-era condemned murderer. Lee's story, from his boyhood poverty to his time in the Royal Navy, his being invalided out and forced to work in the service of Miss Keyes, to her murder and his sentence of death, and the failure of the gallows three times, is told in song, and all but one of those songs are originals. The all-male Fairport seldom sang better, nor did the post-Thompson band ever play with more panache, and some of the songs are beautiful -- but a few are lugubrious, and as with most other concept albums, the fit between the songs and the larger subject ultimately isn't entirely comfortable for the listener. All of the material was confusing because the group, for some reason, never put titles on the individual songs, instead stringing them together in longer sections. The critics loved it, but the listeners stayed away in droves for the first time since the band's debut album. ~ Bruce Eder