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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily the best book on Sandy so far
For many years now, the only book we had to read on Sandy Denny was Clinton Heylin's No more sad refrains - The life of Sandy Denny, which was re-published recently. This book scores again and again of Heylin's conceited work by not being nauseously opinionated, and reads in a much more academic way. But, in a good way. It considers different areas of Sandy Denny as a...
Published on 21 Dec 2011 by Mr. C. J. Iredale

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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wish I hadn't......
It pains me to have to re-write one of my own reviews. But I had word, directly, from the author of this
book that my initial review was "patronising" and "misguided."
I don't recant very easily, but I did have a measure of disquiet as to one of my charges and, so, felt it
incumbent on me to retract the whole thing.
Far be it for me to take issue with...
Published on 20 May 2012 by Bloodnock


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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easily the best book on Sandy so far, 21 Dec 2011
By 
Mr. C. J. Iredale (London) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Sandy Denny: Reflections on Her Music (Paperback)
For many years now, the only book we had to read on Sandy Denny was Clinton Heylin's No more sad refrains - The life of Sandy Denny, which was re-published recently. This book scores again and again of Heylin's conceited work by not being nauseously opinionated, and reads in a much more academic way. But, in a good way. It considers different areas of Sandy Denny as a subject, such as her life, her writing, recordings made by her, her contemporaries etc. It reads well and Philip Ward doesn't have this arrogance that Heylin's book unfortunately slips into again and again.

Sandy Denny, as a subject to analyse and discuss, is one that has not caught on in the same way that say, Nick Drake has; this is a shame as her work at it's best is certainly an equal, and her life story, sad though it was, also is interesting and draws us in. This book is to my mind the best (so far), and if you like her music, you will find this a light and balanced read. It also has some wonderful photos, many of which I have not seen before. It has some stills from the 1975 London Weekend performance with Fairport of which only 30 seconds is currently on YouTube; the stills here suggests there is more out there.

I would highly recommend this to anyone with an interest in Sandy Denny.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The book of the blog., 26 Dec 2011
This review is from: Sandy Denny: Reflections on Her Music (Paperback)
At long last Philip Ward's book of his excellent website blogs. The book reflects that style and, I think, makes it a book to dip into rather than read cover to cover. The articles range from the thought provoking personal reminiscences e.g. "Sites of memory..." to the rather more academic "Digression into Theory". I really like the variety of approaches. I think you already need to know a bit about Sandy's story to really appreciate Philip's reflections and original research he has done over years. Highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written biography set it in its time, 8 Oct 2012
This review is from: Sandy Denny: Reflections on Her Music (Paperback)
Sandy Denny is one of my all time favourite female singers. I said is rather than was even though she died in 1978 as I own many of her recordings and listen to them often so that her voice is an ever present background in my life. I spotted this book amongst the catalogue of the publishing company, Matador, decided to buy and read it with a view to discover more about the personality that lay behind her music. I was not disappointed.

In the early 1970s as a member of the band Fairport Convention Denny established folk rock as a new genre in popular music. Ward's book recounts her biography and sets it in its time. Her early life on the 1960s folk club circuit to solo career in the late 70s, through a troubled personal life to an almost slapstick but tragic death from a fall down the stairs at her parents' home, is well narrated along with attempts to explain the reasons behind the events which marked her life.

Denny has a golden voice and Ward describes it well. He tells how she attempted to take her music in a new direction in an effort to establish herself as one of Briton's leading singer song writers. She showed early promise with the song "Who knows where the time goes". The songs that followed are less memorable. Ward's attempts to find meaning behind the lyrics are understandable but are largely unnecessary as it is the sound of her words with the music which counts and not the meaning. To be fair Ward points this out even though he devotes a whole chapter to understanding her songs.

There are other books that may better recount Denny's biography which I have not read and Ward lists them amongst his references along with crediting the recollections of those who knew her. This book must make a valuable addition but also stands up well on its own.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'must have' for Denny fans, 27 July 2013
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This review is from: Sandy Denny: Reflections on Her Music (Paperback)
Excellent book for anyone interested in the life and songwriting of Sandy Denny. Contains pictures not seen before in any other book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the facts are straight, delivery not late, 31 May 2013
By 
Murray Walters (stockholm,sweden) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sandy Denny: Reflections on Her Music (Paperback)
A pleasure to read and confirm information in, as a companion to the recently released box set it is the ultimate fair weather friend, a comfy chair under cover when it is raining works as well.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The definitive book on Sandy Denny?, 3 Jan 2012
By 
Ian Williams "ianw" (Sunderland, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Sandy Denny: Reflections on Her Music (Paperback)
Alas, no.

But what we do have is a literary collage or mosaic. The author uses different approaches to create a portrait of Sandy and her music in a way that no chronological biography could do. Each approach weaves together like thread linking them all together; this includes the author's personal response and reaction to Sandy Denny the artist which, primarily, is the way we all approach her, by reacting in our own individual ways.

This book is simultaneously thoughtful, accessible, absorbing, and a very fine appreciation of this singer who left us too soon.

I doubt whether the definitive book on Sandy will ever be written. Her contemporaries are aging, memories fading, much has already been lost. But if publisher would like to take the chance on the coffee table book about her that she deserves, Philip Ward is the man to write it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great present, 26 May 2013
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This review is from: Sandy Denny: Reflections on Her Music (Paperback)
This was a present that was greatly appreciated. It went well with No more sad refrains her life story. Thanks
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Answers some questions, 22 Feb 2013
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This review is from: Sandy Denny: Reflections on Her Music (Paperback)
He gets a bit too analytical at times, for my liking, but he has cleared up some questions for me. And he's de-mystified Sandy too.
His writing is clear and honest.. It's not hype.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a nice read, 31 July 2013
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This review is from: Sandy Denny: Reflections on Her Music (Paperback)
Lovely little book about the lady...written from a real fans viewpoint slightly let down by the last chapter when it seems like certain theories have been shoehorned in.good though
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wish I hadn't......, 20 May 2012
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This review is from: Sandy Denny: Reflections on Her Music (Paperback)
It pains me to have to re-write one of my own reviews. But I had word, directly, from the author of this
book that my initial review was "patronising" and "misguided."
I don't recant very easily, but I did have a measure of disquiet as to one of my charges and, so, felt it
incumbent on me to retract the whole thing.
Far be it for me to take issue with an author who wishes to engage in a private discourse; I just won't take
any further part.
Save for this: Mr Ward's book is beautifully written and offers fresh and engaging insight into Sandy Denny's
music. I do, however, find it uncomfortable to read the details of anyone's private life, whether with the
approval of the living, or in memory of those having since passed. That's just me.
Perhaps I should have left Sandy's music continue to speak to me, as it has done for over 45 years, rather
than try and exercise any curiosity as to the provenance of any song in particular.
I should have left well alone.
Mr Ward asserts, in his blog, that Thea Gilmore's cd "Don't stop Singing" is "ethically dubious." I am not
sure as to the "ethics" Mr Ward refers (songwriting? recording? artistic?), but I do find it an extraordinary
and extreme charge to lay on any artist. And that would include writers.
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Sandy Denny: Reflections on Her Music
Sandy Denny: Reflections on Her Music by Philip Ward (Paperback - 7 Dec 2011)
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