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29 April 2008 1,893 views No Comment

More tales from the bus – going to work early this morning two seats behind me sat what I can only presume was a would be contestant for Britain’s Got Talent, who spent the entire journey singing out loud the Whitney Houston song book causing much donning of iPods and embarrassed shuffling amongst passengers all around me. I used to quite like I Wanna Dance with Somebody.

Not anymore. 

My own iPod will be resounding this week to the sound of a much welcome compilation set released today. There are very few occasions when Led Zeppelin have officially sanctioned their music for a compilation album (or soundtrack for that matter).

Way back there were the Age Of Atlantic samplers, the Homer soundtrack from 1971, Alan Freeman’s By Invitation Only mid 70’s double vinyl. Supertracks in aid of the Sports Foundation and The Summit the 1980 Year of the Child set. Latterly the Almost Famous and Shrek 3 soundtracks have been boosted by Zep inclusions. Not much else has been deemed that important. Such an accolade though is rightly bestowed upon the new Sandy Denny 2CD set The Music Weaver: Sandy Denny Remembered. This is a superb 36 track collection spanning the late lamented queen of British song’s short but dazzling career.

For there slap bang in the middle of disc two is The Battle Of Evermore that riveting Robert/Sandy duet sounding just as impressive as it did some 37 years ago when it was first released as the sleeve note correctly states, on the Led Zeppelin album catalogue number 2401 012 – and still wowing audiences, re it’s set list inclusion on Robert and Alison’s current US tour.

While we are on the subject of the sleeve notes, the reproduction of the runes is a nice touch but the track details listing of Robert vocals, Sandy vocals, Jimmy mandolin and acoustic guitar prompt this admirer to ask so where was Jonesy? Surely he was involved on that performance somewhere…

Anyway, the Music Weaver set includes such gems as Fairport’s Who Knows Where The Time Goes and Fotheringay, a track we know very well around this household as our Sam played it endlessly using it to accompany her dance routine for her exam last year.

It’s also an absolute pleasure to find it that The Battle Of Evermore is followed by Full Moon, a 1976 performance from Sandy’s 1973 album Rendezvous. This yearning melancholy ballad of rare beauty with a clarinet solo from trad jazz player Acker Bilk (best known for his Stranger On the Shore early 60’s hit) has long since been right up there in my listing of all time favourite tracks.

And Sandy Denny has long since been one of my favourite singers. Rediscover this lady’s unique talent yourself by searching out this magnificent set.

Whitney Houston she was not.


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