Monday, 22 November 2010
MUSIC: SANDY DENNY
It's here at last and here, below, is my Amazon review.
Review title: Perfection.
Rating: 5 stars
Stating the obvious, this is for the die-hard Sandy Denny fan with a hundred and fifty quid to spare. To you, gentlepersons (and to me), it's worth every penny. Denny was simply the finest British female singer in any musical genre ever and she remains unsurpassed. But I'm not going to spend much time on the music. You know what it's like without me telling you because you are interested enough to read a review of a hugely expensive box set. And if, by chance, you aren't familiar with Sandy, then go buy one of the several compilations that are available. Musically, from the very first track, it's superbly reproduced with total clarity. And from that very first track it's clear that the singer is so very special.
Now let's have a look at the presentation.
Working backward from the CDs themselves, each disc is housed within a plastic wallet for added protection with a gatefold card case. On the inside page is a photo of Sandy and on the facing page the track listing. On the back cover, for the first 11 discs, are mini reproductions of the original album covers.
As for the much vaunted extras, well... The large hardback book is nicely produced with a brief introduction to Sandy, lots of photographs, plenty of information about the various tracks on a CD by CD basis, plus comments about her by people who knew her well. This latter reminded me of the previously definitive and excellent A Boxful Of Treasures and the accompanying booklet to that is better than this more lavish production if only for the extensive biography. The rest is basically ephemera, all of which can be fitted in the accompanying folder. These bits and bobs are nice to have but they don't add a great deal. The large box itself could have been half as thin by organising the CDs within differently. Okay, I'm carping a little but for the price I've paid I'm entitled. Obviously I don't regret buying this for a second. I've been a fan of Sandy's since a friend played me the Fotheringay album which is still my all time favourite record.
Apart from the minor carping, I do have one niggle. Despite all the information about the tracks, there's no timing. Maybe it's me but I always like to see the track times included.
Never mind, for all us Sandy fans, this is the box set we've been waiting all our lives for. That's it. Go add it to your basket. Love it.
I rarely ever play CDs these days. As soon as I get one I copy it to Itunes on my pc and then onto my Ipod. A couple of anomalies happened when I did this with the box set. About a third of the way through Disc 2 (The Strawbs material), Itunes suddenly shut down and it did this a second time when I tried again. Today, a day later, I tried it and it copied perfectly. Disc 13 (the second of the previously unreleased matterial) was another matter. Itunes couldn't locate any discographical information about either the title or the contents. Why this should be I don't know but I will keep trying. It may be an error on record label's part or it may a flaw on the disc itself. I'm hoping it's the first because that can be easily corrected. If it's the latter then we're all screwed.