Sandy Denny: 19 Rupert Street

Sandy Denny is one of the greatest of all English female singers and although she never achieved mainstream success during her lifetime she has steadily gathered more admirers in the 33 years since her untimely death at the age of 31. A 5 CD set A Boxful of Treasures was released by Fledg’ling in 2004 and it’s a fine tribute covering her entire career. Just when we thought we had it all, Universal/Island Records recently released a massive 19 CD retrospective containing her entire studio recordings, outtakes, demos, live performances, interviews and much more besides.

And now there’s even more. 19 Rupert Street was the house in Glasgow where Scottish folk singer Alex Campbell lived and this is where Sandy Denny recorded these songs on 5th August 1967. Recorded on a home tape machine they showcase Denny in a relaxed atmosphere singing with acoustic guitar, and occasionally joined by Campbell. The songs are mostly folk standards and they include the traditional ‘She Moves Through The Fair’ – a song she introduced to folk-rock band Fairport Convention when she joined them a year later. The one original Denny composition is a very early version of her best known and much loved song ‘Who Knows Where The Time Goes’.

This isn’t where you’d start if you’ve never heard Sandy Denny before. But the intimacy of these basic recordings shines through along with the sheer enjoyment she is having and, of course, that wonderful voice. As Dave Cousins says in the notes to the album: “This recording shows Sandy as she was when I first met her – bright and funny, with a voice that could pin your ears back or melt your heart.”

19 Rupert Street is released in Japan through MSI on 19th September.

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