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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Thorough Anthology Currently Available
Like many Baby Boomers, I first heard Sandy Denny on Led Zeppelin's "Battle of Evermore." However, over the past three decades, I have gone on musical journeys which included a trip to the the British folk/rock scene and artists like Steeleye Span and Pentangle, featuring wonderful female vocalists Maddy Prior and Jacqui McShee respectively. But the most...
Published on May 5, 2001 by Steve Vrana

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Not quite as enjoyable as I'd expected.
Murray Hall.
Published 3 months ago by Douglas


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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Most Thorough Anthology Currently Available, May 5, 2001
This review is from: No More Sad Refrains: The Anthology (Audio CD)
Like many Baby Boomers, I first heard Sandy Denny on Led Zeppelin's "Battle of Evermore." However, over the past three decades, I have gone on musical journeys which included a trip to the the British folk/rock scene and artists like Steeleye Span and Pentangle, featuring wonderful female vocalists Maddy Prior and Jacqui McShee respectively. But the most stunning vocalist was Fairport Convention's Sandy Denny.
This 34-track, two-and-a-half hour anthology chronologically covers Denny's career from 1969's Fairport Convention through 1977's solo album Rendezvous. [She died the following April of a brain hemorrhage at age 30.] There's been some quibbling over what is--or isn't--on this anthology when comparing it to the Who Knows Where the Time Goes box set. I bought the box set on vinyl when it came out in 1986, and roughly half of the tracks on this new anthology are repeated from the earlier box set. But there are some worthwhile additions on this new collection which make it of special interest to Denny's fans. The following tracks are not available anywhere else: Fotheringay's "The Sea" from their only album which also included Denny's future husband Trevor Lucas; Buddy Holly's "Learning the Game" performed by The Bunch, which also featured Richard Thompson on guitar; "Here in Silence" and the 7-minute "Man of Iron" originally released as a single from the soundtrack to the film Pass of Arms; "Carnival," from Denny's third solo album Like an Old Fashioned Waltz; demo versions of "Stranger to Himself" and "One More Chance" where Denny accompanies herself on guitar and piano respectively; and the Richard Thompson-penned "For Shame of Doing Wrong." There are another half dozen tracks here not on the earlier box set that you would otherwise only find on the import anthology Listen Listen (1999).
So even if you already own the earlier box set, there is more than enough here to justify purchasing this anthology as well. If you don't already own it, your decision is already made since it's out of print right now. So pick this up and enjoy the most engaging voice of British folk. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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31 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A timeless talent., July 8, 2003
This review is from: No More Sad Refrains: The Anthology (Audio CD)
There will always be musicians out there who you know are at the top of their game, masters of the craft who should not be missed -- and yet you never really find the time to explore their musical gifts. In my case, my sin of omission was Sandy Denny, whose music I knew solely through her work in two incarnations of Fairport Convention -- a passing acquaintance at best. Now, through the two-disc anthology No More Sad Refrains, I finally know just how good Denny is.
The anthology isn't really for Denny enthusiasts. Most of them will already know this music by heart. But for those of us newly come to her altar, this set is a treat -- an excellent introduction to some truly magical songs and a truly gifted voice. And with 34 tracks totaling 2 1/2 hours of music, there's a lot of learn.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great tribue to an underappeciaed artist, August 4, 2000
By 
Rick Banales (Los Angeles, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: No More Sad Refrains: The Anthology (Audio CD)
This is one of the best examples of a record company doing right by an artist for a change! Sandy Denny was probably one of the best songwriters to come out of the British Folk-Rock, "bedsit bard" genre, and almost assuredly the most important vocalist from the era. This two-cd collection brings together most of her best work from her days with Fotheringay, Fairport Convention, and her solo albums. This is music that automatically takes you to the misty moors and cozy folk clubs of England. It's too bad that artists like Sandy Denny and Nick Drake are not around to recieve the appreciation of music lovers firsthand, but at the very least their artistry is being recognized by more and more people everyday. As to the earlier review-I didn't think that the production and remastering on this album is sub-standard for source material from the seventies, in fact I didn't even think about the sound at all the first time I heard this amazing collection-I was just carried away by the lovely sound of Sandy's voice.
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Dreamer, April 9, 2004
This review is from: No More Sad Refrains: The Anthology (Audio CD)
Sandy Denny was one of the great female songwriters of the 1970`s in England - perhaps the greatest. Sadly Sandy died from a fatal fall from her stairs in 1978.
All her records are filled with atmosphere and great songs. It must have been a very hard job to try and cover her recording career on only 2 CD`s. But I really think this collection does it very well.
Even the title of this collection covers the weary mood that always can be felt in Denny`s songs; even in her most up-beat moments.
There are no songs included from her short time with the Strawbs, but beginning with Sandy`s song "Fotheringay" from the 2nd "Fairport Convention" album the songs come chronologically.
"Fotheringay" would later give name to Sandy`s own band, which she formed in 1969 with Pat Donaldson, Gerry Conway, Jerry Donahue and Trevor Lucas, who would later be her husband.
From "Unhalfbricking" comes "Who Knows Where The Time Goes" - one of her most moving songs.
From the classic folk-rock album "Liege and Lief", an album dominated by Sandy`s unique voice, come two great Richard Thompson songs, "Crazy Man Michael" and "Farewell Farewell". Good to see "Farewell Farewell" here, a song which has often been overlooked. The rare outtake "Ballad of Easy Rider" is good and interesting. Personally I think "The Deserter" would have been a nice inclusion. It was the song that turned me on to Sandy`s voice and music.
Sandy left Fairport Convention in 1969 to start her new band "Fotheringay". Their only record is represented here by 4 songs. 3 of Sandy`s own compositions and the traditional "Banks of the Nile". Sandy`s songs are great, especially "The Pond and the Stream", but I would have replaced the 8 minutes long "Banks of the Nile" with a couple of songs from the never released 2nd Fotheringay album; for instance "Gypsy Davey" or the Fotheringay version of "Late November". Both these songs can be found on the box-set "Who Knows Where the Time Goes".
Sandy began her solo career with the terrific album "The North Star Grassman and the Ravens". Most of the songs from that album would have been worthy of being selected for a compilation like this. "Late November", "Next Time Around", "John the Gun" and the title tracks are all well-chosen. The music on the album not much ulike the Fotheringay style, no surprice since the musicians a practically Fotheringay supported by friends like Richard Thompson, whose distinctive guitar style can be heard on all tracks, and Ian Whiteman.
In 1971-1972 Sandy and her Fairport/Fotheringay friends recorded an album of 1950`s favourites; I assume just for fun. But it turned out the be a great album and I think it sold pretty well. The album was called "The Bunch" and Sandy`s two best permonces on that album are inluded here. Buddy Holly`s "Learning the Game" and the Everly Brothers` "When Will I Be Loved" - a great duet with Linda Peters (Thompson).
Sandy recorded two songs for a film soundtrack called "Pass of Arms" which were also released as a single. The songs are unlike Sandy`s usual style - written by Elford/Fraser - they`re interesting, but not very good. Included here for collectors.
From Sandy`s 2nd album "Sandy" there are 5 songs. All great, but I think the acapella version of Richard Farina`s "Quiet Joys of Brotherhood" is too special to be included here. I would have chosen the beautiful "Sweet Rosemary" instead.
From "Like an Old Fashioned Waltz" there are also 5 songs included. All good choices; here "Solo" and "Friends" are the standout songs.
Sandy rejoined Fairport Convention after that album. She did one studio-abum and a live album with them this time. I was fortunate to see them here in Denmark a couple of times: they were great and really big time at that point. Swarbrick, Mattacks, Donahue, Pegg, Lucas and of course Sandy - terrific.
Here are included two demos for the Fairport Convention album "Rising for the Moon". Both very strong. "Stranger to Himself" and "One More Chance", both highlights on the Fairport album which also includes classics like "White Dress" and "What is True"; and of course the glorious title track. If you want these songs go for the original Fairport Convention album.
Sandy recorded only one more solo-album "Rendezvous" which was released in 1977, some of the best songs from that album are included here. "One Way Donkey Ride" and "I Am a Dreamer" are standouts.
This CD is highly recommendable!
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mournful, memorable melodies., June 11, 2006
By 
Peter Reeve (Thousand Oaks, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No More Sad Refrains: The Anthology (Audio CD)
This is a well thought out and well produced compilation that gives a good overview of Sandy's work. The insert notes, by her biographer Clinton Heylin, are very good, except that they inexplicably omit any mention of The Bunch - Rock On, and Pass of Arms, albums from which 4 of the tracks are taken. Pass of Arms in particular contributes the 2 most musically interesting arrangements here, so it is odd that Heylin ignores them.

The first 2 tracks, Fotheringay and Who Knows Where the Time Goes? are her best known, and deservedly so. It has to be said that her writing acquired a certain sameness, and her best later vocals are treatments of traditional songs, like Banks of the Nile. I would also add that the Judi Collins cover of Who Knows Where the Time Goes? is superior to Sandy's own version, in my opinion. Fotheringay, by the way, was the name of the English castle where Mary, queen of Scots was imprisoned.

Sandy was the archetypal late-sixties Folkie, complete with mini skirt, long flowing hair, guitar and bundle of ballads. She was sixties dolly-bird on the way to becoming seventies hippie; sixties folk-revivalist on the way to becoming seventies folk-rocker. Hers was a sweet, melodic voice that she sensibly kept within its range, and which had a persistent, mournful coloring, which she unfailingly indulged. Her lyrics are often mysterious (even to her) and always thoughtful. She and the smoke-filled Folk den were made for each other.

She died aged 31, shortly after declaring at a Royal Albert Hall concert that she would sing 'no more sad refrains', which became the title of the last track on her last album. If she seriously intended to renounce sad songs and take her writing to new places, it could have led to something great. Sadly, we'll never know.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Missing Pieces, September 30, 2000
By 
K. Laffey (Los Angeles, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No More Sad Refrains: The Anthology (Audio CD)
While any new Sandy Denny material is like manna from heaven, it is really remarkable that this collection, as well as the previous, and superior, "Who Knows Where The Time Goes" box set, haven't included the pivotal "Matty Groves". It was a staple of FM radio when it was released and, along with "Tam Lin", defined Trad rock and the genius of Sandy Denny, leading to her invitation to record "Battle Of Evermore" with Led Zeppelin. Suprisingly, not even "Tam Lin" is included in this package.
While it may be excusable that none of her work with the Strawbs is represented here, such as the original version of "Who Knows Where The Time Goes", its a shame that neither anthology featured her brilliant and last performances with Fairport Convention (except for the live recordings released on the "Live At The Troubadour" album), "White Dress" and especially "Rising For The Moon".
Having said that, kudos to A&M (aka Universal)for preserving her memory and helping to promote her place in the pantheon of popular vocalists, male or female, folk, rock, trad, bar none.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Achingly beautiful!, July 3, 2004
By 
Dennis Petticoffer (Orange, CA United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: No More Sad Refrains: The Anthology (Audio CD)
Sandy could turn any song into a sad song and wring tears from every note. This anthology is proof of that. Her album "Like an Old Fashioned Waltz," (of which five out of nine tunes appear here) remains my all-time favorite. There is just something about the catch in her voice that sends shivers down my spine. Songs like "Solo," "No End," "I'm a Dreamer," and "No More Sad Refrains," once heard, will stick in your memory forever. I can't think of a more expressive singer from the 60's or 70's (aside from Janis Joplin, who Sandy has no vocal resemblance to whatsoever).
The first disk provides a good survey of her early work with Fairport Convention and assorted bands. As great as these tunes are, they are only appetizers for the main course served up on disk two, when Sandy, emerges as an amazing solo artist in her own right. From her folk roots, she manages to incorporate rock, jazz, classical, and 30's dance hall music into her powerful compositions. My only beef with this collection is that it doesn't include "At the End of the Day" and one of her classic throwbacks ("Whispering Grass" or "Until the Real Thing Comes Along"). Otherwise, it's nearly perfect.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best of Britain's best female vocalist, March 25, 2003
This review is from: No More Sad Refrains: The Anthology (Audio CD)
I don't quite understand the complaints about the mastering; it sounds fine to me. That said, this is, as others have stated before me, one of the most complete Sandy Denny compilations yet produced. The lack of Strawbs material can be excused for the difficulties involved in licensing, and while nothing was included from the Fairport album Rising for the Moon, there *are* the demo versions of "Stranger to Himself" and "One More Chance," which are fine (and if you really want the RFTM material, that album is available on CD, and the Fairport anthology Meet on the Ledge contains four tracks from RFTM in any case). These are made up for by the inclusion of the Fotheringay and Bunch tracks (the former's album is up for remastering, the latter hasn't been seen since the '70s and isn't likely to reappear soon) and the "Here in Silence"/"Man of Iron" single..."Man of Iron" is one eerie song, and very memorable! Absolutely worth having without a doubt.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable Refrains, August 7, 2000
By 
richard odiam (Kansas City, MO) - See all my reviews
This review is from: No More Sad Refrains: The Anthology (Audio CD)
As a longtime fan of British folk rockers, Richard Thompson (who's exquisite guitar artistry embellishes much of the music on this collection) and Nick Drake, I am a late-comer to the beautiful artistry of Sandy Denny. Each song on this two CD retrospective has an emotional resonance and timelessness-a sense of the ancient, yet altogether contemporary-and is sung so magnificently, the singer and the song are inseparable. An extraordinary collection from an extraordinary artist.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant folk-rock singer died too young, May 23, 2004
This review is from: No More Sad Refrains: The Anthology (Audio CD)
Sandy died as a result of a fall in a house aged just thirty, but in the ten years before that she left an important legacy of music. Sandy is one of the most highly respected folk-rock singers of her generation and this compilation shows why. In fact, Sandy had no obvious rival on the British scene as Maddy Prior, the only other female folk-rocker of comparable stature, recorded a very different style of music. While Maddy, with or without her group, Steeleye Span, often returned to the traditional roots of folk music (even when recording in a contemporary style), Sandy quickly left the traditional stuff behind her. Sandy's music is firmly contemporary being, for the most part, mellow acoustic rock with folk influences - brilliant but very different from Maddy's music.
Sandy actually made some recordings with the Strawbs (a British folk group who later had a huge UK hit with their political song, You don't get me I'm part of the union, which became the anthem of trade unionists in industrial disputes) including her first version of Who knows where the time goes (her most famous song) but none of those recordings are included here. This compilation does, however, include some tracks from her time with Fairport Convention and Fotheringay.
The Fairport Convention tracks include her second and best-known recording of Who knows where the time goes, a song which has been covered by countless artists, most notably Judy Collins. Three tracks from the classic Liege and Lief are included, among them a cover of Ballad of easy rider (the Byrds song from the movie). The only other track from her time with Fairport Convention is Fotheringay, which became the name of Sandy's new group after she left Fairport Convention. She re-joined the group in 1974 for a while but the re-union was a commercial failure. No tracks from the re-union are included here.
The four Fotheringay tracks include the Banks of the Nile (a cover of a traditional song - rare for Sandy) and three of Sandy's own songs, best of which may be The pond and the stream.
The remainder of the collection is devoted to Sandy's solo music although it includes a duet with Linda Peters (Linda Thompson) - a cover of the Everly Brothers classic, When will I be loved. Among the solo tracks are four from her 1971 album North Star grassman and the ravens, five from her 1972 album Sandy, five from her 1973 album Like an old fashioned waltz and five from her 1977 album Rendezvous.
It is futile to compare Sandy to anybody else, as there was nobody quite like her although if you enjoy the music of Judy Collins, Joan Baez or Joni Mitchell, it is likely that you will also enjoy this collection.
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No More Sad Refrains: The Anthology
No More Sad Refrains: The Anthology by Sandy Denny (Audio CD - 2000)
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