Sunday, May 23, 2010

Sandy Denny: Bushes and Briars

Rather to my surprise I find I am the owner of a rare CD: Sandy Denny: The BBC Sessions 1971-73.

Because, according to Wikipedia:
A one disc compilation of Denny's solo BBC recordings was released on Strange Fruit Records as The BBC Sessions 1971-1973 in 1997 that due to rights issues was withdrawn on the day of release thereby creating a highly collectable disc (up until the release of the comprehensive Live at the BBC Boxset in 2007).
I am surprised, because I am sure I bought it from a high street record shop - maybe even dear old Pendulum Records in Market Harborough.

I chose Sandy Denny's for one of my first first Sunday videos (as is the way with Youtube that video has since been taken down) so it is high time we heard from her again. Note that this "Bushes and Briars" is not the well-known English folk song (as sung by Julie Christie in Far From the Madding Crowd) but a different song, composed by Denny herself.

Incidentally, another track on the CD is her perfomance of Whispering Grass. I remember, at the age of 13, being entranced by it and managing to record a snatch of it from a Radio One trailer for one of these sessions.


David Blake said...

Yes, I bought it from Norman Baker's old employers, Our Price Records.

Unfortunately Sandy died tragically early in 1978, so we won't hear anything recent from her. But there is a 19 CD set coming out in October, of which 8 or so CDs are supposed to be unreleased material. The CD you have is also on a BBC box set which came out a few years ago.

She was one of Britain's best singers and is much missed. I don't know what her politics were. Maybe Lord Bonkers knows?

Philip Ward said...

Jonathan, if you have the genuine article it will be worth a lot more than you paid for it (check the Record Collector price guide). But be warned: there are lots of bootleg copies in circulation. My own copy is a bootleg bought from a market trader in Cambridge. Things to look out for are the copyright date on the CD. Is it 1997 or 2001? Is there a booklet with essay by Robin Denselow or just a paper insert? For a picture of the original see

Jonathan Calder said...

Good news, it is the genuine article.

Thanks for the tips.

David said...

Thanks for the Julie Christie link. Love that film. Last year I saw Fairport Convention perform at the wonderful David Hall (a venue in South Petherton, not the chap I was a student with) and recollected that I had last seen them, presumably Sandy Denny included, in 1976. Julian Cummins and I and several others danced in the aisles.

Jonathan Calder said...

I am afraid Sandy Denny had left the band by 1976, but I shall think of you both dancing in the aisles.