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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 29 May 2007
I was late in developing my music tastes and at 16 first heard Led Zep's Battle of Evermore and asked who is this female singer? Then I bought "Sandy" and the songs captured everything I wanted to hear in an album. Each track is perfect. Linda Thompson on backing vocals on the Dylan track and then multi tracking her own voice on "Quiet Joys of Brotherhood" and Dave Swarbrick's solo violin, not to mention Richard Thompson's guitar work. What could be better and the production is a great credit to Trevor Lucas. "The Lady" I have several versions and am amazed that it is not more covered by other artists like "Who knows where the time goes?"

It is far the best album that Sandy ever made being my favourite yet the others are of outstanding quality that should not be missed.

Listen to "Listen Listen" and then the French version "Ecoute Ecoute" and the performance does not change, try the former with a bottle of English wine Three Choirs and the latter with Cote du Duras.

This album took me onto Fairport including "Holidays" and "Rising for the moon" and more Sandy Denny and more Fairport without her. So I am forever grateful for buying this album back in 1978 and now again remastered with bonus tracks.

Recently I heard Simon Nicol performing an excellent version of "Who knows where the time goes?" and I hope that he will look at Sandy's other songs and champion these as well. You cannot replace her but you can leave it to her band mates to do her songs the justice they deserve in her untimely absence.

I am very surprised that the BBC have not yet dedicated a program about her life and music which is long long overdue.

So buy this CD and her others with and without Fairport and not to mention the brilliant and outstanding Fotheringay.
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VINE VOICEon 22 January 2002
Is it really so long since this gem first appeared? Sandy's voice still send shivers up my spine. Here she is accompanied by a high-quality group of musicians - Richard Thompson, Dave Swarbrick, Pat Donaldson, Timi Donald, Pete Kleinow and John Bundrick - supplemented by string and brass sections. Of the ten tracks, Sandy wrote eight, the balance being Bob Dylan's "Tomorrow is a Long Time" and Richard Farina's "Quiet Joys of Brotherhood". The latter has a traditional tune arranged by Sandy and is
notable for Linda Peters' harmony singing and a lyrical Swarb violin solo. This, "Listen, Listen" and "It'll take a Long Time" are for me the outstanding tracks on a delicious album.
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VINE VOICEon 13 December 2007
Listening to Sandy Denny's voice makes you realise how much the music industry short-changes us these days. Sublime and unaffected, young yet embedded with wisdom, it sweeps you away like none of today's wannabes ever will. 'Sandy' also benefits from first class arrangements, production and musicianship, with Richard Thompson and Dave Swarbrick adding valuable guitar and violin respectively. Sneaky Pete contributes some of his best pedal steel playing too, lending a country tinge to some of the tracks. By and large, this is folk at the edge of rock. 'It'll Take A Long Time' is an expansive, epic opening, while Denny's take on 'Tomorrow Is A Long Time' is one of the best Dylan covers you'll hear.

There are many breathtaking passages, such as the multi-tracked vocal on 'Quiet Joys Of Brotherhood,' unaccompanied until the momentous pause at which Dave Swarbrick takes over. The mandolin landscape of 'Listen Listen' is another. All but two of the songs are Denny's own. While they're all very good, it's the manner of their execution that gives this album an extra edge. If Celine, Mariah or Whitney is the extent of your female vocal experience, buy this and discover what a great artist really is.
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on 15 April 2009
Its not often you get all reviewers lining up in perfect harmony, but Sandy and this album deserve it.'Sandy' is sheer beauty, exceeding all expectations.If you simply love great music, without any silly and unecessary categorisations (folk, rock etc)buy this album, it can truly be called genius (unspun).
One of the greatest voices ever comes together with a beautiful set of songs.
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A few years ago I was introduced to a group called Fairport Convention by a friend. The song she played was Matty Groves, and instantly I was entranced by two things, Dave Swarbrick's fiddle, and Sandy Denny's voice. Since then I have built up a collection of Sandy Denny's albums, both solo and in groups, and these stand as some of my favourites in my collection.

She had a voice that was controlled and full of technical skill, but with a real throbbing intense passion lurking just beneath that threatened to burst free at any moment. She started out as a folk vocalist, but through her work with groups such s Fairport and her later solo albums she expanded to become so much more. Rooted in folk certainly, but overlaid with many other layers that made her unique.

This is her second solo album. It's a delicious set of folk and folk rock songs, with some light blues and jazz tinges around the edges. Front and centre is Denny's amazing voice as she gently leads us through a series of tales of life, love and loss. It's a gentle, almost mournful. Her singing is just magnetic, full of charm and beauty. It's an album to just put on and get lost in. Standout is the Quiet Joys Of Brotherhood, a track that blows Fairport's version out of the water. But it's all good.

This set contains the 2005 remasterings, which were a pure joy. The remastering is superb, and allows you to hear the colour and dynamics in Denny's voice.

There is a pile of extra tracks on the second disc, but as with the Northstar Grassman deluxe edition I have to say that if you already own the 2005 release then there is no real reason to upgrade unless you are a serious Denny-head.

In all this is a special album. Really beautiful music to entrance you. 5 stars.
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on 20 May 2014
The curse of overproduction strikes again. As far as Sandy Denny's solo outings are concerned, less is definitely more. Full orchestras and brass bands do not, sadly, translate into increased audience appeal. For example, compare the overwrought version of Bushes and Briars on this album with the stripped down BBC Radio version on A Boxful of Treasures to see how overproduction has robbed this wonderful song of its power. Sorry to give it only 4 stars but we don't need the "bells and whistles". All Sandy's voice needs to accompany it is a piano or a guitar- that's perfection.
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on 18 August 2009
This album is the best memorial that the late, lamented and much loved Sandy Denny deserves.

Her work with the Fairports had some beautiful peaks, "A Sailor's Life", "Who Knows where The Time Goes", "Reynardine" and others, but, as others have said, "Sandy" is her most complete set. It showcases her wonderful voice so beautifully, the pedal steel guitar playing on the opening "It'll Take A Long, Long Time" soars and weaves around her achingly perfect vocal line but that is only the door opening on a true box of delights.

Sandy was an original, a true one off and I don't think that she would ever have wanted to be packaged or pigeon-holed, which was why she left Fairport Convention as they were right at the top of their game.

You can see her need to explore different types of music on the brass-embellished "For Nobody To Hear". The musicianship on this album is amazing, Richard Thompson is, as usual, superb throughout and Dave Swarbrick also provides wonderful violin.

Unfortunately, Sandy wasn't the most outgoing person, she was shy and often suffered from bouts of self-doubt and insecurity and she sought refuge in too much drinking and she was a heavy smoker too, both of which ravaged the purity of her voice. Her drinking became a real problem towards the end of her life and she withdrew from performing as her personal life fell apart.

Her later studio albums suffer from having to disguise her damaged voice and are not really worth buying, the postumous live "Gold Dust" shows the damage she caused her vocal chords quite noticeably but "Sandy" is most definitely an album that any fan should have in their music library and Sandy's voice was at its finest here.
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While individual tracks (especially with the Fairports) may shine brighter, as a totality this was definitely Sandy's greatest LP. The recording and production are excellent throughout and after all these years when familiar with her other work one can still sense this should have been the big one. Not a single duff track and it would seem that lack of skilful promotion was the reason for the major breakthrough not happening.
However at the same time with the gift of retrospect and the story of Sandy now better known and understood through biographies, one suspects that the lady while very strong willed would never have been suited for 1970s super stardom.
Just listen and enjoy a timeless masterpiece.
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on 4 November 2016
I have to agree with Steve B's 4 star review that the original album is for the most part over-produced, even though it does contain some of Sandy's finest songs.
For this reason l bought the 2 cd edition which contains the demo versions of the album and a rare KFML 'live' broadcast recording.
The demos are stripped down versions, with Sandy accompanying herself on piano or guitar, or with the band providing basic guitar and drums backing. Whilst they are a little rough around the edges, they showcase Sandy's fabulous voice more effectively, as you can hear the subtle inflections and emotions coming through.
The radio broadcast, although far from perfect technically, is one of those rare occasions when l feel it has been worth releasing a sub-standard recording for the opportunity to hear the artist in an unusual fairly intimate 'live' situation. Whilst self-admittedly nervous, you have Sandy performing the songs with 'nowhere to hide' and despite her discomfort able to produce versions of the songs which have you listening to every note, as if you were there yourself. Some of the songs are a little truncated, perhaps due to nerves, but Sandy's pure talent allows her to improvise a little and throw in the odd instrumental and vocal embellishment.
As a singer-songwriter, and as an interpreter of traditional folk material, Sandy Denny is at the pinnacle of musicians spawned from these isles.
On this occasion, whether you mainly prefer the original album or the alternative versions is a matter of taste. If you are decided on buying this cd l would recommend listening to some MP3 samples to see if you might want to shell out the extra for the demos and radio broadcast.
If just looking to buy a Sandy Denny album l would start with the superb 2 cd anthology 'The Music Weaver ; Sandy Denny Remembered'.
If you like that, for largely self accompanied songs try 'The Best of The BBC Recordings'. And for the best Fairport Convention recordings featuring Sandy try 'Liege and Lief' or the recently released '5 classic albums' 3 of which have Sandy on vocals.
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on 4 November 2001
In this album Sandy has moved away from a purely folk feel to take in a broader range of styles including Country and Jazz, although there is a still a strong traditional feel in some songs. Sandy's voice has lost some of her earlier clarity but has gained a slightly husky tone which adds emotional weight on many of the songs. 9 tracks are outstanding, only one is slightly below par - you can make up your own mind which one! Buy it!
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