Universal (2 CD) 2012
This is Sandy Denny’s fourth solo album (and sadly the last she recorded before her untimely death in 1978 aged just 31) originally released back in 1977 on the Island label. This two CD re-issue is a must for fans of her songs and singing as it is a two disc set with lots of added demos, outtakes and live recordings. Plus you get very informative sleeve notes from Patrick Humphries.
The musicians on here make for an impressive line-up including fellow Fairport Convention members at the time Sandy Denny was back in the band for a second time – Dave Pegg, Dave Swarbrick and Dave Mattacks, plus former Fairport Convention members Richard Thompson and Jerry Donahue, plus of course Sandy Denny’s husband Trevor Lucas produced the album. Steve Winwoood and John ‘Rabbit’ Bundrick (Free/The Wailers) also appeared on the album.
The first CD has the original album including the wonderful ‘One Way Donkey Ride’, the country rock of ‘I Wish I Was A Fool For You’ and the jaw dropping cover of Elton John’s ‘Candle In The Wind’. There are five bonus songs of which ‘Full Moon’ with Dave Swarbrick’s weaving solo an undoubted highlight.
The second CD has four demo recordings including ‘No More Sad Refrains’ which is worth listening just to hear the wonderful voice. ‘Candle In The Wind’ is stripped of its big sound of the album version to a simple piano backing and again you can only marvel at her vocals. There are a few interesting curios like the choral version of ‘All Our Days’.
You can only wonder what musical direction she would have taken, perhaps the jazzy ‘Gold Dust’ gives some clue. Interestingly in the sleeve notes she stated in an interview that she did not really see herself as a pure folk artist.
An artist who has gained more recognition and plaudits since her demise and listening to this CD you can see Sandy Denny was one of the finest vocalists of her generation. A CD to add and treasure in your collection.
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GOODBYE JUNE Switchblade Heart (Earache)
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