Friday, 21 May 2010

New box set

Information has begun to emerge about the forthcoming definitive box set of Sandy’s work.

Sandy Denny (Limited Edition 19CD Box Set), due for release on 1 November 2010 from Universal Music. The record company says:

"This superb limited edition box set includes 19 CDs, 11 of which feature Sandy's complete studio recordings with Alex Campbell, Johnny Silvo, Fotheringay, Strawbs, Fairport Convention and solo with additional content – outtakes, demos and live recordings. There are 8 CDs of bonus material – unreleased songs, demos, unreleased BBC recordings, alternate takes, live recordings, acoustic versions, and rare radio interviews. This set includes the legendarily 'long lost' Lord Bateman.

Lavishly packed, this unique collection features all new artwork. It comes with a 72 page 11" square hardback book containing over 100 rare and mostly unseen photographs, Sandy's handwritten lyrics (many of which are unrecorded songs) and fascinating memorabilia. Each CD is housed in an individual gatefold digipack sleeve. The box also contains reproductions of a beautiful original Island press pack, an exceptionally rare A3 promo colour poster for Northstar Grassman And The Ravens, a set of Postcards, the receipt for the purchase of her first piano and one of Sandy's handwritten notebooks."


Andrew Batt adds:

“I have been working on this boxset and have compiled the tracklisting, which will be released soon.

I think the way to look at it is, if there wasn’t substantial high quality unreleased material then this boxset wouldn’t be happening. Aside from two new songs – Lord Bateman and Twelfth Of Never – there are amongst other things demos for the whole Sandy album and most of Northstar that are exceptional and which fans will love. If you like Sandy in a more stripped down setting then this boxset will delight you! It is amazing that so much unreleased stuff has surfaced over the years, but after going through literally every master reel, this is really it!

I would estimate that there is 15-20% unreleased material, and remastered versions of things like All Our Own Work, Swedish Fly Girls that have never been on CD. All the previous bonus stuff will be included as well, and will also make their digital download debut.

The whole project has been a real labour of love and aims to represent Sandy’s complete legacy.”


Universal’s recommended retail price is around £140. Amazon UK is currently listing at £149.99 but this may reduce depending on the volume of pre-orders. It’s a tidy sum, but worth every penny, I reckon.

The artwork is by the ever-reliable Phil Smee. The design has not yet been finalised, so may differ slightly from the illustration above.

This sounds like a great project which we should all get behind. There's an official site at http://www.sandydenny.org.uk/ where you can join a mailing list for updates on the box and special offers. Also, the Island50 store is offering 100 sets that come with a numbered and framed print of the artwork, signed by the artist. Each print will be personally addressed to the purchaser.

(PS The Dutch painting I asked about in my previous post has now been identified as Vermeer, 'The Glass of Wine'. Thanks to Wim.)

27 comments:

myke said...

Any thoughts on how much overlap there will be in terms of unreleased material with the three box sets already extant? (Who Knows, Boxful, and BBC)

Robinbrevard said...

Judging from the number of discs and the comments to date from those involved, I'm guessing it will include all (or nearly all) the tracks on the two existing SD boxes. What I'm wondering is if it will duplicate the Sandy @ the Beeb box.

Philip M Ward said...

My understanding is that it will not duplicate the Sandy at the BBC box, but since it aims to present her "complete studio recordings", I expect to see everything from the Who Knows Box and everything from Boxful except the BBC items. There's also a possibility of new broadcast items come to light since the BBC box was compiled, or better-quality tapes of off-air tracks that we already know.

Robinbrevard said...

Fotheringay at the Beeb perhaps?

None of that material has seen a proper release.

Thanks for your clarifications, Philip.

Anonymous said...

Fotheringay now that's a tasty thought - what's the likelihood?

When will a full track-listing be available - this has wet my apetite more than any other box set to date!

Sordel said...

When I saw in Uncut magazine this month that there was a 19-CD boxed set coming I thought it must be a misprint. As it is, the prospect is still a confusing one, when you think of all the copyright issues that they must have had to resolve to bring together so much material from other bands and projects. Will it really be economically viable at the end of all this work? I would have thought that the market was pretty small.

I also wonder about the economical viability for the fans. I have the Fairport and solo albums already, so if those discs are vanilla retail copies with new packaging, few fans will be prepared to find the money to order this. It will be interesting to see whether this a set of 19 78-minute CDs or are 11 of the CDs hitting the 40 minute running length.

I've pre-ordered this, but then, I'm a sucker for a big boxed set. I'll be crossing my fingers that it follows in the tradition of studio reboots like the Dead's Golden Road.

Philip Ward said...

Sordel, have a look at the tracklisting now up here. That should reassure you that you're getting value for money. And remember there's a full-colour book with text and lots of new photos as well as the CDs and other stuff.

As for the copyright issues... not sure, but Universal has gobbled up so many other record companies along the way that I suspect they own most of her work now.

Patrick said...

I wonder if the individual discs will have their own booklets, containing lyrics and notes? It doesn't seem to me that a 72-page booklet is large enough to contain much information for 19 CDs!!!

Bazza said...

Anyone know how much of the Attic Tracks is part of the box set?

I am aware that there is/was a compilation of the tapes made (Sandy Denny, Trevor Lucas and Friends: The Attic Tracks 1972-1984) and if this box set included all the tracts originally released it would be increasingly worth getting.

Like must fans, I already have quite a bit of Sandy's albums/boxsets.

Philip Ward said...

Hi Bazza. There were three cassettes of selected "attic tracks" featuring Sandy, and a CD drawn from the same material. (You'll find tracklistings here.) The new box includes pretty much all of her home recordings, so you get what was on those tapes plus other material that has only appeared on bootlegs and additional home recordings that have never been issued in any form.

Bazza said...

Thanks Philip. Another reason to get it.

I think this release will be talked about for a bit of time. 19 cds. has there been a box set release that has more cds?

This box set is going to be my Christmas present. I wonder if Santa will personally deliver to Australia. :-)

Private Beach said...

Bazza asked "has there been a box set release that has more CDs?" Probably not in popular music, though the Stax/Volt Complete Soul Singles includes more CDs if you count all 3 volumes, but some years ago Deutsche Grammophon put out a 170-CD set of the complete works of Mozart - still available from Amazon. There are similar compendious eets of Beethoven (85 CDs), Haydn (150) and Brahms (a mere 60), among others. I don't know who has time to listen to them!

Philip Ward said...

The Original Elvis Presley Collection ran to 50 CDs according to Amazon, but as you say classical composers are way out in front. Let's not forget the Complete Works of JS Bach packed onto a mere 155 CDs!

Anonymous said...

Received today after a very long wait! It's absolutely beautiful and better than I had ever dared to hope. Gratefull thanks to all who pulled this epic together.

But the fool who chose to spend a maximum of 2p on the paper-thin flimsy plastic insert should know that it isn't strong enough and has cracked up during delivery, even though the box is unmarked - so it hasn't been dropped. Ships, tar, ha'peth.....

Esperanza said...

Just got mine as well and it is gorgeous,obviously a labor of love,so great work all around ! Only one qualm,and it is minor,that is lack of detailed info on actual cd covers ( you need to refer to the beautiful hardcover book for the details). The extra stuff is superb as well ( postcards,promo pix and an amazing poster) : this is easily one of the best box sets in terms of content and appearance I have ever seen. Getting ready to dig into the cds,can't wait to hear some of these demos !!! Curious to here what you think Philip as well as everyone else....

Bazza said...

Thanks for the info about the classical cd box sets. 170 cds for Mozart? That is almost unfathomable. :)

Over the past week (or so) I've been listening to my catalogue of Sandy, from her early recordings to Rendezvous enhanced cd which I now have been playing repeatedly. I've fallen in love with Sandy all over again.

And I haven't listened to the box set yet as is a Christmas present, I want to wait until Christmas (well try too).

When i opened the box set for the first time it felt like i was opening a personal time capsule of Sandy's life. So memorising and melancholy at the same time. Especially the title of the journal "The Dreams of Sandy Denny". It nearly brings a tear to the eye; you are holding one person's dreams in your hand. As W.B. Yeats wrote: "Tread softly because you tread on my dreams" (http://theotherpages.org/poems/yeats01.html).

And on that note I feel that Candle In THe Wind and Knocking on Heaven's Door, in hindsight are sad knowing that especially in the case of Candle In The Wind...the song could almost be written about Sandy.


My favourite Sandy song would probably be Here In Silence from Pass of Arms soundtrack. I like Sandy's vocal which is poignant and mellow (as it should be as she is talking about war and death) but it is the instrumental solo/jig in the middle which has captivated me. It is so against the grain of the lyrics, it just doesn't fit in, but within the song, it does. It is like one moment lets sing a dirge, and in the next is lets dance and be merry. The instrumental is probably one of my favourite bits of music ever.

Philip Ward said...

@anonymous, 22 November.
Universal posted this message on Amazon UK:

We are aware that some customers have unfortunately received damaged mounts in their box sets. We have taken this up with the factory who are organising replacements. If you have a faulty mount please email this address and you will receive full instructions on how to get a replacement: Sandydenny@sandbag.uk.com

Hans from Holland said...

I haven't bought the box set yet.
The fact that it contains 'fanclub-like' stuff like posters, postcards and the bill for her first piano put me off a little and the reports on the packaging put me off some more.
I may come to regret this in time to come, as I understand this is a limited set.
Attempts to convince me to buy it anyway are invited...

Your reference to the winter weather and 'No end' moved me, though. Here in Holland everything is very white as well and I've been listening to Sandy's music a lot, these days.

I recently got hold of the Ebbets Field recordings and found them to be some of the most intense and emotional that are available to us. She is very near and also pretty nervous. But her performance is still outstanding in terms of frasing and timing.

'No end' almost made it to the setlist, but while announcing it, she changes her mind and she sings 'At the end of the day' instead.
Being about going home to the one one love, I found it just as fitting to this time of year.

Lynda said...

Am very sad that it's no longer possible to buy the boxed set. Would love to hear the music - anyone got any ideas - any downloads available? Why make it so 'limited"?

Lynda said...

Is the itunes download the way to go?

Philip Ward said...

Yes, I think so, Lynda. It has to be iTunes UK, though, not the US version.

Jill said...

Currently listed on Amazon for £699.99 plus p&p (just one copy) - well done all those early birds!

geoff said...

I purchased a copy of the set in Melbourne, Australia pre-Christmas having seen the great reviews. Unfortunately, although still in original seal, the box was missing the extras (only had CD's and book). Retailer was great and offered a refund because they couldn't source another copy due to the limited print run. Have dropped an email to sandydenny@sandbag.uk.com from this blog, but in the meantime just enjoying the music...

Anonymous said...

I thought the box wasn't available anymore but to my surprise cdwow seems to have a couple :
http://www.cdwow.com/CD/sandy-denny-sandy-denny-deluxe-boxset-19cd/dp/15590383#bc=2bee

Is this genuine ?

Philip Ward said...

@Anonymous 30 June:
It may be. Odd copies seem to turn up here and there at extortionate prices. If you're in the UK, remember the whole lot is available from iTunes for £120:
http://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/sandy-denny-complete-edition/id399636518

lyndadainton said...

So I downloaded the boxed set from itunes (my birthday present) and it's lovely and for me totally enough.

Anonymous said...

I'm selling my copy of the 19 disc set on pre loved/Gumtree if anyone's interested.
I was going to hold onto it because it's great and it will probably appreciate, but alas an emergency has forced my hand.