This is an odd CD, budget-priced (on Universal's Spectrum Music imprint) and assembling 16 songs derived from six extant Sandy Denny albums, but many of them sort of "off brand" -- live renditions of her originals "Who Knows Where the Time Goes," "John the Gun," and "Solo," while her covers of others' songs are studio sides; the result is something that's neither fish nor fowl and unlikely to satisfy serious fans, especially in contrast to the multi-disc set A Boxful of Treasures, the double-CD No More Sad Refrains, the single-disc Listen Listen, or the old Hannibal Records box Who Knows Where the Time Goes. That said, there are many good moments here, as with most of Denny's recordings. Collection opens with three of Denny's best tracks off of the Fotheringay album and jumps to her early-'70s solo work, which presents her working in a pop as well as a folk vein, sandwiching Sammy Cahn's "Until the Real Thing Comes Along" in between songs by Richard Fari¤a and Richard Thompson. There's not a weak cut here, though some purists may balk at her pop stylings; but it's the unexpected that will mostly delight longtime fans and surprise the new ones -- her slow reading of "Silver Threads and Golden Needles" is a fresh take on a song that has been "owned" in its standard tempo by the Springfields and Linda Ronstadt for decades. And when Denny got down to interpreting Bob Dylan's work, she didn't hesitate to plunge into the roots rock side of "Down in the Flood" and "Tomorrow Is a Long Time," especially on the former, where she does better by the blues than many of Denny's fans from her folk records could anticipate. And speaking of roots rock, the price of the disc is justified by "Let's Jump the Broomstick," where, among other things, you get an idea of how Denny might've sounded fronting CCR. The only drawback, apart from the lack of focus to the CD and the strange choices of some of the selections, is the lack of discography information. ~ Bruce Eder
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