Sandy Denny


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With a sublime voice and a catalog full of beautiful songs, Sandy Denny left an indelible mark on British folk and popular music in her 31 years. Released in 1977, less than one year before her untimely death, the overwrought Rendezvous unfortunately stands as her final musical statement. Producer Trevor Lucas' use of cumbersome strings, backup singers and bloated lead guitars weigh things down and bury some otherwise fine writing. One of her best, "I'm a Dreamer," is nearly ruined by the chorus of singers and anthemic guitar at the end, while the heartfelt "One Way Donkey Ride" and the poignant "Full Moon," though more successful, never seem to quite reach their potential. Even some choice covers -- including Richard Thompson's "I Wish I Was a Fool for You" (aka "For Shame of Doing Wrong"), Elton John's "Candle in the Wind," and a somber working of "Silver Threads and Golden Needles" -- lack the impact she brought in the past to works by the likes of Thompson, Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Richard Farina and Buddy Holly, as well as the many traditional tunes that she made her own. Few, if any of the exquisite touches that Lucas brought to Denny's superb 1972 release Sandy are evident here. Originally released by Island Records in the U.K., and not available in the U.S. until the mid-'80s, Rendezvous seems to be a flawed attempt at gaining a wider audience, by an artist who deserved better and was capable of the best.

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