Strings Debate

From: Andrew Batt, October 19, 2004

I always think the strings get such a hard time on Sandy's records! I know they are overused and some recordings are marred by them, but some of the songs with strings work really well.

Having listened to the unstrung version of “Next Time Around” on the box set (“A Boxful of Treasure”) makes you realize how much atmosphere the strings lend that song; their arrangement is also unusual, giving the song an otherwordly quality. I also think “Like An Old Fashioned Waltz” (the song) sounds lovely with all those strings! I think it re-inforces the nostalgic feel the song has, that whole Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire thing. “All Our Days” is also totally made by the strings; it becomes an epic English pastoral symphony, and again the arrangements are ambitious.

Also who would want to get rid of that lovely cello on “The Music Weaver”? It really adds to that melancholy feeling of being parted from someone. I do agree that songs like “No End”, “I'm A Dreamer” and “No More Sad Refrains” are really weakened by the inclusion of strings in the production, but I do think sometimes the strings really work for Sandy! I don't dispute that all of Sandy’s songs sound great in an acoustic setting, but if all her albums were like that they would be very similar! And I think it misses the point of her as a musician and not just a songwriter. Her curiosity with other musicians and music in general is amply backed up by her records.

Still, all down to personal taste at the end of the day!

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