Rendezvous (Sandy Denny album)

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Rendezvous
Studio album by Sandy Denny
Released May 1977
Recorded April - June 1976 at Island Studios (Basing Street and Hammersmith), CBS (London), Strawberry Studios (Stockport), Sound Techniques (Chelsea)
Genre folk rock
Length 39:02
Label UK: Island, 1977 (ILPS 9433)
US: Hannibal, 1986 (HNBL 4422)
Producer Trevor Lucas
Sandy Denny chronology
Like an Old Fashioned Waltz
(1973)
Rendezvous
(1977)
Who Knows Where the Time Goes?
(1985)

Rendezvous is a 1977 album by English folk rock singer-songwriter Sandy Denny, and was her last release before her death.

Sandy Denny and Trevor Lucas left Fairport Convention at the end of 1975 and Denny embarked on Rendezvous in the spring of 1976. Trevor Lucas produced the album with a contemporary rock sound designed to turn Denny into a mainstream act. The album is now generally thought to be overproduced with an excess of strings,[1] backing vocals and instrumental overdubs.[2][3] Despite this the album is felt to contain some of her finest compositions, and showed someone continuing to widen and deepen their songwriting craft, and who was responsive to new influences; Gold Dust with its Caribbean feel, the soulful torch songs Take Me Away and I'm A Dreamer and, most ambitious of all, a seven-minute orchestral tribute to the English pastoral symphony in the style of Vaughn Williams called All Our Days recorded live at CBS Studios.[4][5]

The punishing world tour with Fairport Convention throughout 1974 and 1975, coupled with Denny's heavy drinking and smoking, inevitably took a toll on her voice and by now much of its bell-like purity had gone, but the control and power were still there along with her subtle phrasing and characteristic grace notes.[6] For the first time in years Denny recorded portions of the album live including an extraordinary session at Basing Street on April 25 where Full Moon, No More Sad Refrains and I'm A Dreamer were cut live with the band and strings in a single day.[4] A selection of cover versions were recorded for the album, notably I Wish I Was a Fool For You (For Shame of Doing Wrong) by Richard Thompson (The only post-Fairport recording she made of a song by her former bandmate), Silver Threads and Golden Needles (which had been attempted years earlier for the first Fotheringay album in 1970),[7] Losing Game by The Flying Burrito Brothers, and Lowell George's Easy to Slip (the latter two being discarded from the final record). Several Denny originals were also recorded and not used, including Full Moon, By the Time It Gets Dark and Still Waters Run Deep.

The majority of the album was recorded in a week of sessions between 23 April and 7 June at Basing Street and Island Studios; further sessions from the 9th to the 18th of June were largely devoted to extensive mixing and overdubs.[8] The album, originally entitled Gold Dust,[9] was finished by July and due to come out in October 1976, but Island repeatedly delayed the release and it finally came out in May 1977 when Denny was pregnant and unable to undertake a promotional tour.[10] During this delay Denny returned to the studio to record a cover version of Elton John's Candle in the Wind, which was added to the album in place of her own composition Still Waters Run Deep:[11] Both tracks were later released on a single.[12] One last session, to record Bryn Haworth's Moments, took place days before the album's release, and this was Denny's final studio recording.[13]

The album was the only solo album of Denny's not to be issued in a gatefold. However, there was a black card inner sleeve with the lyrics reproduced in white type. The cover image was a composite of a location shot of Denny waiting on a street and a close-up studio portrait of her with heavy eye make up and wearing an auburn wig.

Having relocated to the village of Byfield in Northamptonshire in the mid-seventies, Sandy gave birth to her only child, a daughter called Georgia, in July 1977. A UK tour to promote Rendezvous was undertaken in the autumn and marked her final public appearances. The closing night at the Royalty Theatre in London on 27 November 1977 was recorded for an intended live album, Gold Dust, which was eventually released in 1998. Sandy Denny died the following year in April 1978 following complications after a fall.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[14]

In 2005 Allmusic's reviewer Brett Hartenbach was less than enthusiastic about Trevor Lucas' production, saying "use of cumbersome strings, backup singers and bloated lead guitars weigh things down and bury some otherwise fine writing". His summation was that Rendezvous was "a flawed attempt at gaining a wider audience, by an artist who deserved better and was capable of the best".[2] However, he did give the album a three-star rating of a possible five.
Rolling Stone's 2004 assessment was that having left her folk roots behind, "casting her as pop singer didn't quite work on Rendezvous".[3]

Track listing[edit]

All songs credited to Sandy Denny except where noted.

Side one[edit]

  1. "I Wish I Was a Fool For You (For Shame of Doing Wrong)" (Richard Thompson) – 4:25
  2. "Gold Dust" – 3:54
  3. "Candle in the Wind" (Elton John, Bernie Taupin) – 4:08
  4. "Take Me Away" – 4:23
  5. "One Way Donkey Ride" – 3:34

Side two[edit]

  1. "I'm a Dreamer" – 4:45
  2. "All Our Days" – 7:25
  3. "Silver Threads and Golden Needles" (Jack Rhodes, Dick Reynolds) – 3:40
  4. "No More Sad Refrains" – 2:48

Bonus track on the 1991 Hannibal Records CD issue (deleted)[edit]

  1. "Full Moon" – 4:30[15]

Bonus tracks on 2005 Island Records remastered re-issue[edit]

  1. "Still Waters Run Deep" – 2:54 (B-side of the single "Candle in the Wind")
  2. "Full Moon" – 4:28[15]
  3. "I'm a Dreamer" (demo) – 4:14[16]
  4. "Easy to Slip" (Lowell George, Martin Kibbee) – 3:25[17]
  5. "Moments" (Bryn Haworth) – 3:43[17]

Personnel[edit]

  • Sandy Denny - lead vocals, acoustic guitar (5), piano (6/9)
  • Jerry Donahue - electric guitar (1/6/8-9)
  • Junior Murvin - electric guitar (2)
  • Richard Thompson - electric guitar (3)
  • Bob Weston - electric guitar (4)
  • Trevor Lucas - acoustic guitar (6/9)
  • John (Rabbit) Bundrick - organ (1), synthesizer (1), piano (8)
  • Steve Winwood - organ (2/4/5), clavinet (2), piano (4), electric piano (5)
  • John Gillespie - piano (3)
  • Pat Donaldson - bass (1-2/4-6/8-9)
  • Dave Pegg - bass (3)
  • Dave Mattacks - drums (1-4/6/9), tambourine (1)
  • Timi Donald - drums (5/8)
  • Brother James - congas (2)
  • Dick Cuthell - flugelhorn (2)
  • Benny Gallagher & Graham Lyle - backing vocals (3)
  • Sue Glover & Sunny Leslie - backing vocals (4/5)
  • Kay Garner & Clare Torry - backing vocals (6)
  • The Ladybirds - backing vocals (8)
  • The Silver Band: John Hudson, Alan Holmes, Ray Grand, Gordon Bland, David White, Robert Richards, Peter Lockett & Philip Goodwin
  • Harry Robinson - orchestral arrangements (3/6/7)
  • Steve Gregory - brass arrangements (4)
  • Robert Kirby - silver band arrangement (8)

Other Credits[edit]

  • Engineered - John Wood
  • Mastering - John Marino, Sterling Sounds
  • Sleeve Design - Bloomfield/Travis

References[edit]

  1. ^ once again by Harry Robinson
  2. ^ a b "Rendezvous". Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  3. ^ a b "Sandy Denny Biography". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  4. ^ a b Clinton Heylin. No More Sad Refrains - The Life and Times of Sandy Denny. London, Helter Skelter, 2002. ISBN 1-900924-35-8 p215.
  5. ^ Philip Ward, "Sandy Denny: A Thirtieth Anniversary", R2 (Rock'n'Reel) 2(9), May/June 2008
  6. ^ "You had to hold on to the furniture when Sandy sang". The Guardian (London). May 6, 2005. Retrieved 2008-06-06. 
  7. ^ released on the 2004 A Boxful of Treasures set
  8. ^ The exception being Still Waters Rune Deep and Silver Threads and Golden Needles. Clinton Heylin. No More Sad Refrains - The Life and Times of Sandy Denny. London, Helter Skelter, 2002. ISBN 1-900924-35-8 p280.
  9. ^ Clinton Heylin. No More Sad Refrains - The Life and Times of Sandy Denny. London, Helter Skelter, 2002. ISBN 1-900924-35-8 p217.
  10. ^ Clinton Heylin. No More Sad Refrains - The Life and Times of Sandy Denny. London, Helter Skelter, 2002. ISBN 1-900924-35-8 p218.
  11. ^ Clinton Heylin. No More Sad Refrains - The Life and Times of Sandy Denny. London, Helter Skelter, 2002. ISBN 1-900924-35-8 p219.
  12. ^ "Candle in the Wind". Retrieved 2008-06-08. 
  13. ^ Clinton Heylin. No More Sad Refrains - The Life and Times of Sandy Denny. London, Helter Skelter, 2002. ISBN 1-900924-35-8 p222.
  14. ^ Allmusic review
  15. ^ a b previously released on Who Knows Where the Time Goes?
  16. ^ previously released on A Boxful of Treasures
  17. ^ a b previously released on The Attic Tracks 1972-1984