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Robert's Tribute to Sandy Denny


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Sandy took what we'd written, turning it into a great moment [Eire Region]

The Sun (London); Nov 19, 2010; p. 7 Full Text:

(Copyright © News Group Newspapers Limited 2010)

SANDY DENNY is the only singer apart from the mighty Robert Plant to appear on a Led Zeppelin album.

But the otherworldly beauty of her contribution to The Battle Of Evermore from Led Zep IV represents just a tiny footnote to the body of work she amassed in her short life.

By the time of her death from a brain haemorrhage aged 31, the queen of folk rock had made albums with Fairport Convention, Fotheringay and The Strawbs as well as several fine solo albums.

Her most famous composition Who Knows Where The Time Goes? was voted the best folk song of all time by BBC Radio 2 listeners.

Hearing her sing it with such grace, clarity and emotion, you sense she belongs up there with the greatest 20th Century singers - Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone. Yes, she was that good.

Now a mammoth 19CD boxset collects all Sandy's known studio recordings including the classic Fairport albums Unhalfbricking and Liege & Lief, her best solo album The North Star Grassman And The Ravens and a host of other albums, out-takes and demos.

While it may be a tall order to expect you to part with '160+ of your hard-earned cash on such a mammoth set, you will be rewarded with countless hours of exceptional music.

As time passes, Sandy's influence continues to grow as these affectionate testaments show...


"LED ZEPPELIN'S association with Fairport was really strong -- I was an admirer. When Jimmy Page and I began writing The Battle Of Evermore, it was obvious that it was a twovoice part. The song itself required a response. The other voice would be the rallying cry. To hear Sandy's first vocal response to my first vocal line was amazing -- she went into this thing and I looked at Jimmy through the screen in the studio and we both just nodded.

It was one of those great moments where you have written something and somebody takes it beyond the place where it isn't some cheesy song about a medieval battle but a beautiful exchange of two vocalists.

It was a spectacular moment for both of us. Our worlds joined, we had these great moments, and then we disappeared to wave across crowded rooms as the years went by.

Sandy's music always had this amazingly lonesome lyrical quality ... but the sound, it's almost onomatopoeic because, in a similar way to Joni Mitchell, she was able to go from a very deep point in a song to flying up into this beautiful falsetto, this high pitch where she has got absolutely total control. It's a very feminine thing to do for a girl who never displayed femininity that much. She was in a man's world."

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