Sandy Denny,
(1972; Universal Island, 2005)

Sandy has probably gained iconic status, courtesy of the David Bailey photograph that adorns the cover. One can't help but be fixated by Sandy's steely gaze, perfectly framed by her cascading auburn hair. The album is Sandy's second solo outing and was originally released in 1972.

Sandy is probably the most mainstream and accessible album from Sandy's solo career, perfectly marrying the folk sensibilities of her writing style with more accomplished arrangements and Sandy's solid vocal performance that never falters. Production credits this time belong to Sandy's then-husband Trevor Lucas, and she is once again accompanied by a number of musicians from her previous associations with Fairport Convention and Fotheringay.

"Listen Listen" is a beautiful song where simple understated verses give way to a more rousing chorus with Sandy's multi-tracked vocals and amassed mandolins, courtesy of Richard Thompson. "The Lady" is an altogether more elegiac affair with Sandy's voice soaring in and out of the piano accompaniment, further embellished by the sumptuous Harry Robinson string arrangement.

Sandy also includes a couple of songs by other writers. She brings clarity to Bob Dylan's "Tomorrow is a Long Time," where she is accompanied by some striking pedal steel playing and Linda Peters' (later to become Linda Thompson) distinctive harmony vocals. Also included is a haunting cover of Richard Farina's "Quiet Joys of Brotherhood."

This remastered issue contains five bonus tracks. Firstly, two songs that Sandy had recorded for the soundtrack to the film Pass of Arms, and three Denny compositions; a French language version of "Listen, Listen" ("Ecoute, Ecoute"), a demo version of "Sweet Rosemary" and a live version of "It'll Take a Long Time" recorded a few years later with Fairport Convention.

by Mike Wilson
10 June 2006

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