At the time of her death in 1978, Sandy Denny was probably still best known as the singer with Fairport Convention
. However, she is held in high esteem by her peers--Judy Collins
and Emmylou Harris
have covered Sandy's songs, while the Bangles
and Beth Orton
cite her as an influence. Who Knows Where The Time Goes?
provides a comprehensive overview, confirming Sandy as arguably the finest female singer/songwriter Britain has produced. This collection spans Sandy's whole career, from the early folk club days right up to the never-before-heard home demos, as well as including a number of live and previously unreleased performances from Sandy's short--but enormously influential--spell with Fairport.
Sandy won the prestigious Melody Maker Best Female Vocalist award two years running but, intriguingly, when she left Fairport in 1969, she chose not to pursue the solo career which so obviously beckoned. Instead, as the 70s dawned, she recorded a duet with Robert Plant on Led Zeppelin IV and won her only gold record as part of the star-studded stage production of the Who's Tommy. After that, Sandy formed Fotheringay. The band only stayed together long enough to record the one eponymous album, but Who Knows Where The Time Goes? collects together tracks from the aborted second album, as well as some unreleased live cuts from the band.
When Sandy finally did begin a solo career she drew on a deep well of influences, including the impressive traditional repertoire she had gathered while playing the folk clubs as a teenager. She was also a fan of 50s rock & roll and Chuck Berry's "Memphis, Tennessee" is here, together with her cover of the Everly Brothers "When Will I Be Loved". With such immaculate taste in covers, it is easy to overlook the fact that Sandy Denny was also an impeccable songwriter in her own right and songs such as "Listen, Listen", "Solo" and "For Shame Of Doing Wrong" are ample proof of that. Who Knows Where The Time Goes? testifies to the great lost talent of Sandy Denny--a life which blazed brief but, oh, so bright. --Patrick Humphries
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