Part of my opening my mind to pre-punk music has been the joy of discovering Sandy Denny and Richard Thompson – not to mention the work they did together in Fairport Convention in the 1960s.
So…Two bits of news to share with you.
Firstly, nearly forty years after its’ release, Sandy Denny’s first solo album The North Star Grassman and the Ravens is being re-issued as a two CD deluxe set. According to the press release: ” Disc One of the deluxe edition features the original 1971 album with four bonus tracks. These include a band demo of ‘Next Time Around’, an early version of the song with Andy Johns at the helm, and a duet with Richard Thompson on Ernest Tubb’s ’Walking The Floor Over You’, both of which first appeared on last year’s acclaimed limited edition 19 CD boxed set. An unreleased instrumental version of the traditional ’Lord Bateman’ (left unfinished without Sandy’s vocal) appears here for the very first time. Disc Two brings together all the original songs on the album in an acoustic setting. Beginning with further rare demos from last year’s boxed set including: ‘The Sea Captain’, ‘The Optimist’, Wretched Wilbur’, ‘Crazy Lady Blues’ and an accappella demo of the traditional ‘Lord Bateman’, worked on during the album sessions. Also included are a further two traditional songs recorded for the BBC during this period, firstly ‘The Lowlands of Holland’ from a BBC session recorded for Bob Harris (sequenced here with another two BBC session performances of ‘Late November’ and ‘Blackwaterside’). And ‘Bruton Town’ taken from a BBC recording of Sandy ‘In Concert’, recorded at the Paris Theatre in March 1972 where the title track from the album, ’John The Gun’ and ‘Next Time Around’ are also performed.”
Meanwhile, the very same day, Richard Thompson releases a four CD, 80-track box set entitled Live At the BBC, the tracklisting for which can be seen here. Many of the tracks feature his then-wife Linda.