|Studio album by|
|Recorded||April-May 1985 at Woodworm Studio, Barford St. Michael, Oxfordshire|
|Producer||Simon Nicol, Dave Mattacks and Dave Pegg|
|Fairport Convention chronology|
Gladys' Leap is the 14th studio album by Fairport Convention originally released in August 1985. It was recorded in April and May 1985 at Woodworm Studios, Barford St. Michael, Oxfordshire, UK. It was produced and engineered by Simon Nicol, Dave Mattacks and Dave Pegg and the assistant engineers were Tim Matyear and Mark Powell. The album features the first contributions to a Fairport album by founding member Richard Thompson since Rosie in 1973. Thompson wrote the opening track "How Many Times" and played lead guitar on "Head in a Sack".
The title comes from Gladys Hillier, who was a postwoman for Cranham, a village near Stroud in Gloucestershire, England. As a short-cut, to save a two-mile walk, she used to jump the three feet (~ 1 metre) across a stream on her round. In 1977 the Ordnance Survey agreed to name the spot in her honour, and in 2005 a footbridge was built across the stream. Fairport heard the story, and named the album in Gladys' honour.
Side one (The Folkside)
- "How Many Times" (Richard Thompson) - 3:29
- "Bird from the Mountain" (Ralph McTell) - 4:51
- "Honour and Praise" (John Richards) - 5:21
- "The Hiring Fair" (Ralph McTell, Dave Mattacks) - 5:53
Side two (The Backside)
- Instrumental Medley '85 - 5:08
- "My Feet are Set for Dancing" (Cathy Lesurf, arranged by Bill Martin) - 4:01
- "Wat Tyler" (Ralph McTell, Simon Nicol) - 5:36
- "Head in a Sack" (Dave Whetstone) - 4:23
- Simon Nicol - vocals, electric & acoustic guitars
- Dave Pegg - bass guitar, mandolin, bouzouki, double bass, vocals
- Dave Mattacks - drums, drum machine, keyboards, percussion
- Additional personnel
- Ric Sanders - violin ("Bird from the Mountain", "The Hiring Fair", Instrumental Medley)
- Richard Thompson - electric guitar ("Head in a Sack")
- Cathy Lesurf - vocal ("My Feet Are Set for Dancing")
- Harold Wells - spoken intro to "Bird from the Mountain"
- Allmusic review
- Hamilton, Alan (August 11, 2005). "A bridge too late to spare a country postwoman's muddy boots". The Times. London. Retrieved 2008-05-17.