Fairport Convention are often credited with being the first English electric folk band. Formed in April 1967, Fairport rapidly developed from playing cover versions of American 'west coast' style music to an individual style which melded rock music with traditional English tunes and songs. The lineup of their most celebrated album, Liege & Lief, comprised Sandy Denny, Ashley Hutchings, Dave Mattacks, Simon Nicol, Dave Swarbrick, and Richard Thompson.
Affected by numerous personnel changes throughout its first decade, Fairport Convention was temporarily disbanded in 1979 but played annual reunion concerts until they reformed in 1985. Since then, they have enjoyed stability and continue to tour and record regularly.
In part, the continuing success of Fairport Convention is due to the annual music festival the band organises. Cropredy Festival has been held every year since 1977 near Cropredy, a village five miles north of Banbury, Oxfordshire and attracts 20,000 fans. Now renamed Fairport's Cropredy Convention, it remains one of the key events in the UK folk festival calendar.
BBC Radio 2's Sold On Song TOP 100 songs as voted for by Radio 2 listeners put their early song "Meet On The Ledge" at Number 17. They had performed "Meet on the Ledge" on the 1969 launch of "From the Roundhouse" (a short-lived BBC-TV youth and arts programme about the London "underground scene"). In 2002 the band was given a Lifetime Achievement Award at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards and in 2006, Liege & Lief was voted the most influential folk album of all time in a public ballot, also run by the BBC.