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No More Sad Refrains: The Anthology

No More Sad Refrains: The Anthology

5.0 1
by Sandy Denny
Thanks to her seminal work with the great English folk-rock group Fairport Convention through her consistently memorable solo career (which was cut short by her untimely death in 1978), Sandy Denny's haunting, dusky vocals and vividly bittersweet songwriting continue to exercise a powerful mystique.


Thanks to her seminal work with the great English folk-rock group Fairport Convention through her consistently memorable solo career (which was cut short by her untimely death in 1978), Sandy Denny's haunting, dusky vocals and vividly bittersweet songwriting continue to exercise a powerful mystique. Robert Plant has called Denny his favorite female singer, and invited her to duet with him on "The Battle of Evermore" on Led Zeppelin's fourth album. This smartly assembled two-CD set offers an excellent distillation of the artist's best and most influential work. No More Sad Refrains commences with five tracks from Fairport's late-'60s heyday, including the classic "Who Knows Where the Time Goes" (subsequently popularized by Judy Collins) and a rarely heard cover of the Byrds chestnut "Ballad of Easy Rider." The collection then dives headlong into the artist's subsequent combo Fotheringay and her often fascinating solo career, with such standout numbers as "Listen Listen," "John the Gun," "I'm a Dreamer," and "It'll Take A Long Time." The intelligently-annotated set also features several rare or previously unreleased tracks, including the rare 1972 singles "Here in Silence" and "Man of Iron"; covers of Buddy Holly's "Learning the Game" and the Everly Brothers' "When Will I Be Loved," both from the legendary folk-rock supersession album The Bunch: Rock On; and a pair of unreleased demos from Denny's return stint with Fairport Convention in the mid-'70s

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Brett Hartenbach
Like fellow Briton Nick Drake, Sandy Denny is one of the rare lesser-known artists whose extraordinary talents have been duly represented on disc over the years. No More Sad Refrains: The Anthology joins or replaces a number of previously available compilations, including an excellent box set, a couple of single disc best-of's, and Attix Tracks, an assortment of archival recordings. Though it may not be as expansive as the multiple disc set Who Knows Where the Time Goes, No More Sad Refrains may be the best introduction to Sandy Denny's career to hit the market: more affordable, while still covering 34 songs over two discs (as opposed to 43 over three), including a few rarities. And though the collections overlap on nearly two-thirds of the songs selected, less than a third are the same recordings, and these have been digitally remastered. The tracks are arranged chronologically from her first record with Fairport Convention in 1969 to 1977's Rendezvous, concentrating on her exquisite songwriting, along with a handful of well-chosen covers ("Banks of the Nile" is curiously the only true traditional song included). And while it may emphasize her solo years, her work with Fotheringay and the one-off rock & roll tribute The Bunch, is given a good overview as well. In regards to her time with Fairport Convention, with the exception of two cuts and an outtake from their seminal British folk-rock record Liege and Lief, it seems to be presented merely as a reference point (one song from each of her first two albums with the group), completely skipping her second time around with the band (only a pair of solo demos from this period are included). Fans who will have a majority of the material included here will be enticed by the previously unreleased demo version of "Stranger to Himself" and rarities such as "Here in Silence" and "Man of Iron," which were taken from the soundtrack to the movie Pass of Arms and issued as a single in 1972. Still, No More Sad Refrains is seemingly aimed more at the uninitiated than devotees, though it does an admirable job of covering a lot of territory and trying to please both. Either way, this is a fine retrospective of a terrific songwriter and what may well have been the most stunningly beautiful voice in British folk and pop. Included is a 22-page booklet featuring musician credits, photos, and informative liner notes by Denny biographer Clinton Heylin (No More Sad Refrains: The Story of Sandy Denny), who is also responsible for compiling a book documenting her recordings Sad Refrains: The Recordings of Sandy Denny.

Product Details

Release Date:
Universal I.S.


Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sandy Denny   Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano,Vocals
Dave Swarbrick   Mandolin,Violin,Viola
Fairport Convention   Track Performer
Steve Winwood   Organ,Electric Piano
Jerry Donahue   Guitar,Background Vocals
Sue Glover   Vocals
Ashley Hutchings   Bass,Vocals
Sunny Leslie   Vocals
Trevor Lucas   Guitar,Vocals,12-string Guitar
Simon Nicol   Guitar,Vocals
Dave Pegg   Bass
Jess Roden   Vocals
Bunch   Track Performer
Sneaky Pete Kleinow   Pedal Steel Guitar
John "Rabbit" Bundrick   Organ,Piano,Keyboards
Gerry Conway   Drums,Background Vocals
Timi Donald   Drums
Pat Donaldson   Bass,Background Vocals
Barry Dransfield   Violin,Background Vocals
Robin Dransfield   Background Vocals
Kay Garner   Vocals
LadybiRdS   Vocals
Martin Lamble   Drums
Graham Lyle   Vocals
Dave Mattacks   Conga,Drums
Ian Matthews   Percussion,Vocals
Linda Peters   Background Vocals
Tony Reeves   Bass
Jean Roussel   Keyboards
Clare Torry   Vocals
Ian Whiteman   Organ,Flute,Piano
Royston Wood   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Sandy Denny   Producer
Richard Thompson   Composer
John Wood   Producer,Engineer
Trevor Lucas   Producer,Engineer
Joe Boyd   Producer
Jerry Boys   Engineer
Linda Peters   Duet
Harry Robinson   String Arrangements,Orchestral Arrangements
Clinton Heylin   Liner Notes
Traditional   Composer

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No More Sad Refrains: The Anthology 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
glauver More than 1 year ago
Not every song here is great but Sandy Denny's vocals are such a thing of beauty that it is hard to find fault. If you have never heard her music you are missing out on an unforgettable experience. Few female singers projected such sadness and dignity. These 2 CDs gather many of her own compositions from her solo career and throw in a handful of Fairport tracks. I bought the Who Knows Where The Time Goes box set in LP many years ago but it is long out of print. It was more for the collector and I think this is the better overview.