Sandy Denny & The Strawbs
From: Tron Eivin Ovrebo, 10 Oct 1997
In the beginning of August I had a wonderful week-end in Copenhagen with my wife and a couple of friends. After a splendid evening in Tivoli, we ended up in a pub (Rosie McGee) with a live-band playing Celtic folk music. Then I remembered that it was about 30 years ago Sandy Denny & the Strawbs were doing their recordings and I perhaps was walking in their footsteps. I couldn't remember if it was recorded in '67 or '68.
Back in Norway I found my Sandy & the Strawbs CD, but wasn't able to say for sure when it was recorded. (I'm not the lucky owner of the original album.)
Dave Cousins says that they recorded it in a cinema at daytime and played at the Tivoli in evenings. Sandy joined Fairport in may '68, so I'guess they recorded it in august '67. Can anyone confirm that? If this is true, they must have had a couple of month back in England with live appearences before Sandy joined Fairport . Is there anybody out there who saw them live?
There are different tracks on the original album and the CD. Does anybody know if there are other recordings/ outtakes from the master wich should have been released to her true friends?
My first Sandy record was the CD pack "Who knows .." and my second was "Northstar.." The Sandy & The Strawbs record is perhaps not her best,(My wife hates it) but when I'm in a good mood I allways come back to this one. (or I play "Listen, listen" with the repeat knob in) I can't understand why it took 5 years to get it released.
Med vennlig hilsen Tron Eivin Ovrebo Stavanger, Norway.
Hi Tron, regarding to your mail, I’m typing some info about the recording dates of All Our Own Work: Patrick Humphries writes in "Meet On The Ledge” (the first edition) as follows (page:19):
"Sandy joined the Strawbs for six months in 1968, and recorded one album with them. Dave Cousins remembered her doing a floor spot at the troubador "looking like an angel, and singing like one." The album was recorded on a 2-track machine in Sweden, but not officially released here until 1973 on a budget label. "All Our Own Work" by Sandy Denny and the Strawbs is virtually a showcase for the material of their leader and principal songwriter David Cousins, and contains a number of his excellent songs beautifully sang by Sandy. It was a foretaste of what was to come on the "splendid" proper Strawbs debut album on A&M the following year"
Clinton Heylin, in "Sad Refrains, The Recordings of Sandy Denny" writes as follows (pages 3-4):
"In February 1967 Sandy also recorded a session with the Strawb(erry Hill Boy)s for the BBC (The Strawberry Hill Boys Sing And Play Folk Songs, BBC World Service 21/2/67: Blues Run The game, On My Way, Stay Awhile, Pretty Polly, Tell Me What You See). Again no tape is in circulation, and given that the session was for the BBC World Service, it is unlikely that the BBC have retained a copy -a shame given that it featured unique performances by sandy And The Strawbs of "Blues Run The Game" and "Pretty Polly".
Of Course this session was also the beginning of a brief association with The Strawbs. Since Sandy had previously worked with the Johhny Silvo Folk Group on an occasional basis, she was no stranger to working with a band. It would also appear that, despite reports to the contrary, Sandy was never wholly committed to joining The Strawbs on a permanent basis.
However she had recorded some demos with the band in the spring of 1967, and these had indirectly led to an offer for her and the band to play some shows in Denmark whilst recording an album in Copenhagen in the summer. As such Sandy, Dave Cousins, Ron Chesterman and Tony Hooper headed for Denmark for a two week residency at a club in Tivoli, in the meantime taping songs onto cheap two-track equipment during the day. The results were not released until 1973, when they finally appeared as the "All Our Own Work" album , on the budget "Hallmark" label.
Years and years ago a friend told me he was in Copenhagen and saw Sandy & The Strawbs perform at the Tivoli Gardens Park, where they told the audience that they had -just- recorded some of their songs for an album and were seeking a label for distribution. That was the last weekend in May 1967. Dr.D.
Today I've received a copy of the vinyl version of Sandy Denny & The Strawbs' "All Our Own Work" from the RockRelics (£ 25 inc. p&p). I want to reproduce the liner notes on the back sleeve:
"If you like, this is the missing link -the first recordings of us ever made. We were playing in Tivoli for a couple of weeks that Summer- in Thoger Olesen's Visevers Hus.
"Would you want to make an LP’", asked the funny man with the beetle sun glasses and big bushy beard.
Sandy, I remember, slept on the couch that Big Bill Broonzy had slept on; Ron fell backwards off the stage with a bottle of 'elephant' in his hand; I hit Tony under the ear with my banjo, but then he fancied Paul Bach's fifteen year old sister.
Gustav smiled and introduced us to Akvavit, which removed those '10 in the morning' throat wars in a matter o fseconds. Ivar smiled and got the best possible sounds out of the simplest of two track recording equipment. Karl said it all cost too much, and took far too long-but he smiled in the end. In fact we all smiled! Ah, those were the days!
Dave Cousins 1973."
The LP version has some slight differences compared to the CD version (for those who don't know: an orchestral background was added onto the CD version), and for that reason the LP worths to buy. Actually, I'd seen the LP at the Rock Relics stand in Cropredy this year, but I was travelling only with a backpack, and it would be hard to carry it with me till returning to Turkey, to my home, therefore, I ordered it by mail a couple of weeks ago. I was lucky for it wasn't already sold to somebody else. Thanks RockRelics!
In my opinion, the highlight of this LP is Who Knows Where The Time Goes, and it is very very different than the one on Unhalfbricking, and this LP version (not the CD one) has always been my favourite with its jazzy sound. I'd wish they'd transfer the original LP on the the CD version, without adding the orchestral backing.
I’m clarifying the differences between the LP and CD versions of "All Our Own Work" of Sandy Denny & The Strawbs:
1- The album title is "All Our Own Work" on the LP, and "Sandy Denny The Strawbs" on the CD.
2- Track orders are different on LP and CD.
3- A lush orchestral backing for four of the songs is added on the CD. String arrangements by Svend Lundvig on "Who Knows Where The Time Goes", "And You Need Me", "All I Need Is You" and "Stay Awhile With Me".
4- "Sweetling" and "Wild Strawberries" are omitted for the CD.
5- The CD version includes "Poor Jimmy Wilson", "I’ve Been On My Worst Friend" and "Two Weeks Last Summer", while these are not recorded on the LP.
6- "Nothing Else Will Do" is sung by Sandy on the CD (which is, in my opinion, one of the highlights of the album, a beautiful performance by Sandy), while it was sung by Cousins on the LP version.
7- On "Tell Me What You See In Me", Cy Nicklin plays sitar on the CD version, that is not heard on the LP.
8- Sleeve designs and sleeve notes are different.
9- On the CD I have "Two Weeks Last Summer" is way too fast and Sandy sounds like one of the Chipmunks. On my CD this track is 2:07 (info by Paul Hosken, a listmember). On the Fotheringay CD there is a 3:27 min version of "Two Weeks Last Summer”
For "All Our Own Work", are there two labels that released this-Pickwick 813 (1968) and Hallmark SHM 813 (1973)- actually the same company? And what exactly was the artist name on these?
Hallmark was an imprint of Pickwick International, so it was the same company, as I understand it. My '73 Hallmark SHM 813 has a prominent Pickwick logo and info on the back cover. Wasn't it only released in Denmark in 1968? Perhaps it was on Pickwick "proper" there. The cover of my SHM 813 has "Sandy Denny and The Strawbs" while the label has "The Strawbs featuring Sandy Denny".