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Mick Houghton’s Sandy Denny Playlist

February 17, 2015 | by Faber Social

Tags: Folk, Playlist, mick houghton, sandy denny

Sandwiched between Sandy Denny’s first home tape of ‘Who Knows Where the Time Goes’ and the last song she demoed, ‘Makes Me Think of You”, is an inevitably flawed overview of her work in a mere 15 songs. Three tracks from the three albums released by Fairport Convention in 1969 include ‘Fotheringay’, which first got me hooked on her still-unmatched voice. Fotheringay, the group she formed in 1970, saw her songwriting skills spiral; the otherwordly ‘Late November’ and dramatic ‘John the Gun’ remained unreleased (by Fotheringay) for 37 years but were recorded for her first solo album The North Star Grassman and the Ravens. It’s represented here by the eerie title track and ‘Next Time Around’, a cryptic portrait of ex-boyfriend Jackson C. Frank. ‘Quiet Joys of Brotherhood’ majestically multitracks Sandy’s voice; it was influenced by a 1958 recording of the Bulgarian State Choir. I simply had to include ‘Solo’ which includes the lines ‘I’ve Always Kept a Unicorn’, as well as the one-take ‘No End’ which always stops me in my tracks. The selection ends with Sandy’s return to Fairport and the astonishing ‘One More Chance’. Rendezvous’s reflective ‘All Our Days’, sung absolutely live with a full orchestra quashes any notion that Sandy Denny had nothing left to offer in the last years of her life.

– Mick Houghton
Photo credit © Ray Stevenson