Reissues (Universal/Island UK)
Sandy Denny had a voice to fall in love with, one full of elegant, longing beauty. So why didn’t she ever break through in America? Probably because her music always sounded very English (even when she was trying not to, on the latter two titles here), and rocking out wasn’t her natural instinct. That said, these albums remain wonderful, and fans will rejoice over the demos, outtakes and live tracks on the bonus discs — featuring material previously released only on expensive boxed sets or not at all. Considered her best solo set, 1972’s Sandy was effectively a prime-era Fairport Convention album, and peaks with “It Suits Me Well” — a timeless traditional song, except that she wrote it. Like An Old Fashioned Waltz was conceived as a pop album (in the pre-rock sense), but wound up revealing the most about her love life: You can get a cheap thrill from the nasty kiss-off ”Friends” if you know it’s about Pete Townshend. Released after a maternity break (and alas, soon before her death), 1978’s Rendezvous has a few duds (she didn’t need to cover “Candle in the Wind”), but the opening “For Shame of Doing Wrong” is both her heaviest rocker and the best Richard Thompson cover on record.
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