Sandy Denny – The Notes and The Music – A Collection of Demos and Rarities

Sandy Denny was one of the UK’s finest singers. She was voted Melody Maker’s greatest female singer for 2 years in a row in 1970 and 1971. She was also, legendarily, the only guest vocalist Led Zeppelin ever used. Robert Plant later said, ‘It was a beautiful spectacular moment for both of us. A beautiful exchange of two vocalists.’

Sandy Denny’s signature song Who Knows Where The Time Goes was voted All Time Greatest Folk Song by BBC Radio 2 listeners but this is just one song among over fifty songs she wrote and recorded between 1968 and 1978, the greatest body of work by any British female songwriter of her time. Sandy Denny’s finest recordings and song writing were celebrated on a sell-out UK tour in May this year. The Lady: A Homage to Sandy Denny featured an array of singers interpreting her work, including Maddy Prior, Joan As Policewoman, Green Gartside and Thea Gilmore alongside fiddler Dave Swarbrick and guitarist Jerry Donahue who originally played with Sandy in Fairport Convention and Fotheringay. The Barbican Show on May 23rd was filmed and will be shown on BBC4 in the coming months (the final date is yet to be confirmed).

Now, due to the phenomenal and totally unprecedented demand for Island’s Complete Sandy Denny Box Set, released in November 2010, Universal Music is issuing a limited edition 4 CD version.

The original box set has become one of the most collectible box sets of all time; changing hands for between £1000 – £1500 and now, for fans that missed out, this new four disc edition will include choice selections from the box set’s 19 discs. The new 4 CD edition will be limited to 3500 copies worldwide and boasts 75 tracks, including 17 demos taken from Sandy’s home recording tapes. Among these is the first known recording (from 1967) of Who Knows Where The Time Goes, plus further home demos, rarities and alternate versions of many Fairport and Fotheringay classics as well as outtakes and demos from her solo albums.

Housed in a hard back book style package like the 2007 Live at the BBC collection, The Notes & The Music – A Collection of Demos and Rarities also includes rare photos, art work, and explanatory notes about the tracks selected.

Fairport Convention celebrated their 45th year anniversary today…

Fairport Convention, legendary pioneers of British folk rock and still one of the most enduring names in popular music, celebrated their 45th birthday today as band (Sunday 27 May 2012).

Happy Birthday Fairport!

Formed in north London during the ‘summer of love’, Fairport Convention played its very first gig on 27 May 1967 in a Golders Green church hall. Avidly championed by John Peel, the band rapidly became popular on the club and college circuit. A record contract followed and Fairport went on to ‘ invent’ the musical genre of British folk rock.

Fairport Convention went through frequent personnel changes in its early days nurturing world class talents such as Richard Thompson and the late Sandy Denny along the way. However, maturity has brought stability and the current line-up has been together for over a dozen years.

Fairport Convention has outlived most of its contemporaries from the fertile 60s music scene and, 45 years on, remains one of the busiest bands around. During that time, Fairport has won a coveted BBC Lifetime Achievement Award and Radio 2 listeners voted their groundbreaking album Liege & Lief  ‘The Most Influential Folkrock Album of All Time’.

Fairport Convention and its 45-year history will be the subject of a major music documentary to be screened on BBC4 television in summer 2012.

The current line-up of Simon Nicol (lead vocal, rhythm and electric guitars), Dave Pegg (backing vocals, bass guitar, mandolin), Ric Sanders (violin), Chris Leslie (lead vocal, fiddle, bouzouki, mandolin) and Gerry Conway (percussion and drums) still packs venues on its annual UK-wide tours.

The band is also well-known for staging one of the UK’s major music festivals, Fairport’s Cropredy Convention. Now in its thirty-second year the festival attracts up to 20,000 festival-goers and was described by The Guardian as “as much a British summer institution as Wimbledon.” The event is also a partner of the BBC Young Folk Award and provides a main-stage showcase for each year’s winner.

This year, Cropredy will also reflect the anniversary with special guests and Fairport alumni joining the host band on stage – confirmed guests include co-founding member Richard Thompson, fiddle maestro Dave Swarbrick, drummer Dave Mattacks and guitarist Jerry Donahue. Thompson will also play a headline set in his own right.

Fairport will be celebrating its forty-fifth anniversary throughout the year. The band started 2012 with a forty-date British tour, the concerts featuring songs from Fairport’s recent studio album, the critically-acclaimed Festival Bell, as well as material drawn from the band’s extensive repertoire.

By Popular Request is precisely that – an album of 13 songs, voted for by the fans and rerecorded by the current line-up of Fairport Convention and produced by John Gale. Fairport tell us, that they are absolutely delighted by the results and hope the fans are too. Here is the track listing:

01 WALK AWHILE 4:22
02 CRAZY MAN MICHAEL 4:41
03 THE HIRING FAIR 5:42
04 THE HEXHAMSHIRE LASS 2:30
05 RED AND GOLD 6:42
06 SIR PATRICK SPENS 3:34
07 GENESIS HALL 3:29
08 FAREWELL FAREWELL 3:01
09 ROSIE 4:16
10 MATTY GROVES 5:06
11 FOTHERINGAY 3:24
12 JEWEL IN THE CROWN 3:32
13 MEET ON THE LEDGE 4:23

Fairport Convention With Sandy Denny Live At Ebbets Field 1974

Fairport Convention With Sandy Denny Live At Ebbets Field 19743/16/2011 – Philadelphia, PA – Much to the excitement of Fairport Convention and Sandy Denny fans around the globe, Philadelphia’s ItsAboutMusic.com will release ultra rare recordings of the famed UK group recorded live at Ebbets Field in Denver, Colorado May 23/24, 1974. Produced and digitally remastered by Fairport Convention’s Jerry Donahue for ItsAboutMusic.com, the 1974 line-up of Fairport Convention on these recordings feature Sandy Denny (Vocals, Piano), Dave Mattacks (Drums), Jerry Donahue (Lead Guitar, Vocals), Dave Pegg (Bass,Vocals), Trevor Lucas (Vocals, Acoustic Guitar) and Dave Swarbrick (Vocals, Violin). This historical audio documentation catches the band at the height of their career performing to an ecstatic audience. Fairport Convention are an English folk rock band formed in 1967, who are still recording and touring today, and are considered “the most important group in the English folk rock movement”. Their critically acclaimed album ‘Liege and Lief’ helped launch the English folk rock movement. The vast number of personnel who have passed through band’s revolving door are amongst the most highly regarded and influential musicians of their era, and have gone on to work with many significant bands. Since 1979 the group has hosted the Cropredy Festival, a large annual event held in England. Individually and collectively the members of Fairport Convention have garnered numerous awards recognizing their contribution to music and culture.

Fairport Convention was formed around 1967, and originally played a “harmony-and guitar-based folk-rock style” strongly influenced by Californian groups of the day like the Byrds. The line-up that recorded their self-titled debut album in 1968 featured Richard Thompson, Ian Matthews, and Simon Nicol on guitars; Ashley Hutchings on bass; Judy Dyble on vocals; and Martin Lamble on drums. Fairport Convention didn’t reach their peak until Dyble was replaced after the first album in 1968 by Sandy Denny, who had previously recorded both as a solo act and with the Strawbs. Denny has been touted as the best British folk-rock singer of all time. This incarnation of the band would record two well-received albums. When Ian Matthews left the band in early 1969, and Martin Lamble (still in his teens) died in an accident involving the group’s equipment van in mid-1969, Fairport regrouped, replacing Lamble with Dave Mattacks, and adding Dave Swarbrick on fiddle. Their repertoire became much more traditional, and electrified traditional folk numbers would dominate their next album, ‘Liege and Lief’ (1969).

This line-up didn’t last long and by the end of the ’60s Ashley Hutchings had left to join Steeleye Span (he was replaced by Dave Pegg). Sandy Denny also left the group to form Fotheringay with Jerry Donahue. Richard Thompson remained for ‘Full House’ (1970), but by the beginning of 1971 he too had departed, leaving Nicol as the only original member. Sandy Denny would actually return to the group for about a year and a half in the 1970s, prior to her death in 1978. Fairport Convention have continued on and off for the last 25 years, touring and performing frequently. To this day, the band is supported by a devoted fan base. Now with the release of ‘Fairport Convention with Sandy Denny – Ebbets Field 1974’, one important chapter of the band’s history is preserved for generations to enjoy. Here’s a magic recording of Sandy Denny, Jerry Donahue, Trevor Lucas, Dave Swarbrick, Dave Pegg and Dave Mattacks captured live!