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The North Star Grassman and the Ravens
The North Star Grassman and the Ravens, the eponymous track of Sandy Denny’s first solo album is the story of a sailor’s quest for himself. There are at least five recordings of this song:
- The studio version with Richard Thompson, acoustic guitar; Pat Donaldson, bass; Gerry Conway, drums; Ian Whiteman, piano and flute organ appeared in 1971 on The North Star Grassman and the Ravens, and later on her anthologies No More Sad Refrains and A Boxful of Treasures, and on the Island anthology Strangely Strange But Oddly Normal. The flute organ, together with background surf effects, makes this track very atmospheric.
- Sandy sang it on the BBC Radio 1 show “Sounds of the Seventies” hosted by Bob Harris recorded on 24 August 1971 and broadcast 6 September 1971. This recording was included in 2007 on the 3CD+DVD set Live at the BBC.
- This box also has on its DVD Sandy’s only remaining TV appearance, recorded 15 September 1971 for the BBC TV show “One in Ten: Sandy Denny”. This set included The North Star Grassman and the Ravens, Crazy Lady Blues, and Late November.
- A live version recorded at the Paris Theatre, London, on 16 March 1972 for BBC “Radio 1 in Concert” and broadcast on 25 March 1972 was released in 1997 on The BBC Sessions 1971-73 and in 2007 on Live at the BBC too.
- Another live recording is from Sandy’s last concert on 27 November 1977, appearing on The Attic Tracks Vol. 3 and Gold Dust - Live at the Royalty. On this version Sandy plays piano.
- Ygdrassil on their album Easy Sunrise (2005)
- Ygdrassil on their DVD Live at the Folkwoods Festival 2006 (2008)
- Shione Yukawa on her album 灰色とわたし (2008)
- Joanna Newsom (harp, vocals) in a 2013 video shown on Vimeo and YouTube
- The Julie July Band on their CD Who Knows Where the Time Goes? (July 2018)
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