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4.5 out of 5 stars15
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VINE VOICEon 24 October 2009
English folk music is one of the few generes which still prompts more than its fair share of smirks. Seen by many as something not really for their collections, or serious consideration and veneration in way that Irish or Scottish music is. If you consider it alongside music of other cultures it seems somewhat lesser. Listeners have something of an issue with it, and the upshot is that fewer people than really should know a great deal about Sandy Denny. "The Music Weaver: Sandy Denny Remembered" is not only a wonderful introduction to her work but puts a strong case for reconsidering the sometimes blinkered views of English Folk Music in general.

Across two discs, Denny's career is mapped out through songs and collaborations. Her background was in Folk clubs and her music weaved the contemporary with the traditional as a generation reconsidered traditional music from all over the UK and gave it a new contemporary twist. There are some fine examples of this here from "The Banks Of The Nile" - a song dating from the days Nelson, to "Blackwaterside" to name a couple. Here the songs have her own stamp alongside the sense of history. She is probably best remembered for her work with Fairport Convention and as a solo artist and both are well represented here but this collection also includes her collaboration with Led Zepplin which doesn't usually make her retrospectives. Other collaborations with the likes of The Strawbs also mark this out.

What stands out amoungst all the music here is Denny herself. She was blessed with great vocal range, power, and beautiful sense of timing. All are demonstrated to great effect across the 2 discs. It really is a thing of beauty yet the other abding strength is her own songwriting. There are some stunning songs here. She isn't extensively covered by others or rated as highly as some of her contemporaries, but she did write "Who Knows Where The Time Goes", which is something of a Folk standard these days, and there are several wonderful examples of her songwriting talent here. "After Halloween", "Solo", and "Late November" are just a few which sound ripe for the voices of others. The depth of this collections strengths is impressive. Also included here are covers of her contemporaries and plenty of alternate demos and session tracks which are not easy to obtain without investing heavily into big boxed sets, so this primes well for all aspects of her career. Her untimely death robbed music of a wonderful talent.

This is a great way to discover some wonderful work covering a great deal of the late 60's and 70's Folk revival. As a tribute to Sandy Denny, a general introduction to the music of the period, a demonstration of what you can achieve within the confines of English Folk Music, and what a wonderful talent Sandy Denny was, this suceeds at every level.
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on 28 February 2009
A fantastic collection of wonderful songs. The brilliant Sandy Denny is sorely missed - a great interpreter of traditional and contemporary music alike. Buy this and Best of the BBC Sessions for a comprehensive overview of this uncomparable performer.
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on 11 February 2011
This record has one flaw - the puzzling (to me) omission of "Matty Groves" from Sandy Denny's Fairport Convention days. That aside it can't be faulted. I brings the best of her FC work together with her solo work and Fotheringay work. It's fantastic front to back but if I had to pick a few stand out tracks: "Fotheringay", "Who Knows Where The Time Goes?" and "Whispering Grass" send shivers down my spine - a really beautiful record - nice packaging too - don't download it get the real thing.
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on 27 December 2008
firstly,let me state i am not an expert on early 70,s folk rock,i was more of a deep purple,led zep,hawkwind type.however ,note the led zep reference there - as a kid i always read sleevenotes and on led zep 4 noticed that on "the battle of evermore" our percy was accompanied by another voice courtesy of a certain Ms Sandy Denny.who could this be ?
but at the time i never actually bothered to find anything more about this person with the haunting voice.what a loss.
so lets pass a few decades and here i am now aged 46 and via exposure to kate rusby,eliza carthy,mary hampton and rebuying led zep 4 on vinyl(again)-Classic Records have done a fantastic remastered version using their unique analoque machines,i have been listening to alot of "newer" folk music and who should come to my attention again after all these years but Sandy Denny.
walking into a record shop earlier this year i noticed this cd sat in the " we recommend ...." section - you know where i mean ?so i looked at the track listing ,which didn,t mean much to me ,other than the battle of evermore was on it and also a song that kate rusby had just released as a single "who knows where the time goes"(jam and jerusalem t.v series),so i thought why not invest £10.00 or so and give it try.
to summise,what you have here is a great introduction to a wide variety of sandy,s music via the strawbs,fairport,fotheringay,led zep( a first here i think ),the solo years and a few other hard to find nuggets - i will not dwell too much on what is rare etc,etc as i said earlier i am not an expert on sandy,s music.the tracklisting is not historical or in any sort of logical order other than it flows extremely well,so top marks for the compiler here.
finally,i notice there seems to be an awful lot of sandy denny comp.s for sale here on amazon so quite how this rates as against any of the others i cannot say - i am still a sandy denny novice.
however,i feel sufficiently impressed by the work on show here to want to explore more of her work from all sources mentioned earlier( as i write this i have purchased the "new" fotheringay 2 album),so perhaps this compilation has done its job.it is very well packaged with some great photos and very good track info.just what you need to go and explore more.
where do i start now- the 5 disc boxset or the solo albums any help from you out there?
leave any replies in the comments section below- that would be much appreciated.thanks and please do not be too critical of this review as i said i am really out of my depth here !but very enjoyable.
richard p.
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on 21 January 2013
This 2CD set will serve as the ideal introduction to Sandy Denny for anyone who has so far failed to discover her wonderful music. All of her career is covered here, from early days with The Strawbs, through to stays with Fairport Convention, then solo and with her own group Fotheringay. Every track on this album is indispensible and goes to illustrate what we lost when she left us. I have one niggle with the discs themselves - on the copy I've got whoever mastered the discs has messed up the "Cue points" so that if you (eg) select track 3 you miss the first two seconds because that is on the end of track 2.. but if you play the whole album through then that isnt a problem and cetainly no reason to mark down the star rating. This music could never be anything less then 5-stars.
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on 7 February 2009
What a loss Sandy is! Stunning, heart renching songs and poems. Stunning voice and wonderful emotional creations.

I highly recommend this.
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on 12 July 2010
Classic Denny and timeless songs from someone who always stirred the heartstrings with her magical voice.
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on 4 October 2013
Other reviewers have given the biography of Sandy Denny in good detail so no need to add to this - her voice seems to be even more haunting given the knowledge that it is fixed in the past. This collection is a must for anyone interested in our English folk-based songbirds, of which Sandy was primus inter pares.
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on 6 March 2014
I really love SD since I've listened her great voice on Liege & Lief. I really don't Know if this is the best "Anthology" ever but every single song makes me draw a part of heaven. Recommended !!!!
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on 29 December 2012
Love Sandy Denny's music anyway, but this was a lovely compilation of music, with some stunning one-off recordings that I hadn't heard before.
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