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Sandy Denny lies in a field beneath trees. She is wearing a striped jumper and her hair tumbles down around her shoulders. She is looking straight into the camera.
Photo credit: Estate Of Keith Morris/Redferns, presented here via Proper Music

Classic Sandy Denny albums to be reissued

Sandy Denny albums The North Star Grassman And The Ravens, Sandy, Like An Old Fashioned Waltz and Rendezvous to be reissued on Proper & UMC.

In partnership with UMC, Proper Records have announced the reissue of four key releases by the late, great Sandy Denny. The albums were originally released between 1971 and 1977 and trace her solo output from Fairport Convention and Fotheringay to her untimely death less than a year after the release of Rendezvous, the fourth record in this new collection. 

It was with Fairport Convention that she achieved nationwide fame, and through her duet with Robert Plant on Led Zeppelin’s ‘The Battle of Evermore’ that she came to international recognition. Her influence was as strong on subsequent generations of folk musicians (she’s there in the singing of Katherine Priddy and Ellie Gowers) as that of her Fairport bandmate, Richard Thompson, and she received a namecheck in the 1980 Kate Bush song, ‘Blow Away (For Bill)’. 

Fotheringay followed Fairport Convention, disbanding after a solitary album. Sandy Denny quickly moved on to making solo records, albeit with musicians from her previous ventures. Her first album (reissued here), The North Star Grass Man And The Ravens, featured the instantly recognisable talents of Richard Thompson on guitar, as well as John Wood (producer of Nick Drake and many other 60s and 70s notables) at the controls. It is widely recognised as one of the high points of British folk rock, reaching the UK Top 50 charts in September 1971. 

Sandy arrived the following year, produced by Trevor Lucas and featuring ‘Sneaky’ Pete Kleinow from The Flying Burrito Brothers and New Orleans legend Allan Toussaint. From the distinctive opening chords of instant classic, ‘It’ll Take A Long Time’, this is the definitive Sandy Denny album – achingly beautiful, dripping in autumnal melancholy – and unsurprisingly adored by fans worldwide. 

Like An Old Fashioned Waltz continues in that romantic, melancholy vein. Released in early 1974, following a reunion with Fairport Conventon, the album featured Diz Disley on guitar, Danny Thompson on bass and Tony Coe on sax. Highlights include ‘Solo’, ‘No End’, ‘Until The Real Thing Comes Along’ and ‘Whispering Grass’. 

The final album in this reissue series, Rendezvous, was intended to be her commercial breakthrough. Featuring a Joni Mitchell-esque jazz backing (Steve Winwood is in there on clavinet), it opens with the classic, ‘I Wish I Was a Fool for You (For Shame of Doing Wrong)’, a Richard Thompson cover (Thompson once again appears in the credits, alongside old friends Dave Mattacks and Dave Pegg). It would be her last studio album. Sandy Denny died following a brain hemorrhage in April 1978.

The four solo Sandy Denny albums currently being reissued are presented, “with scrupulous attention to the detail of the original UK first pressings and available in audiophile 180gm vinyl”. They are now available to purchase via the Proper Music website