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Stranger to Himself

[Sandy Denny]

We know of four recordings of this song:

  1. The studio recording was one of the standout tracks of Fairport Convention’s otherwise quite disappointing album Rising for the Moon, featuring very strong vocals (and acoustic guitar) by Sandy, dulcimer by Swarb, fuzz bass by Pegg and very military drumming by Bruce Rowland. This version also appears on the Who Knows Where the Time Goes? box set, on The Best of Sandy Denny, and on the double CD compilation Meet on the Ledge: The Classic Years 1967-1975.
  2. Sandy recorded a demo of this song at home in Byfield in December 1974; she accompanied herself on 12 string guitar. This track was included in the 2CD anthology No More Sad Refrains and on the bonus CD of the Fledg’ling Sandy Denny anthology A Boxful of Treasures.
  3. A Fairport Convention live version probably from 31 October 1975 at Brunel University, Uxbridge and leading into Sloth was included in the Fairport unConventioNal 4CD and as part of the gig on the CD Who Knows? The Woodworm Archives Vol. 1.
  4. A recording from Sandy’s last concert at the Royalty Theatre appears on The Attic Tracks Vol. 3, The Attic Tracks CD and on Gold Dust - Live at the Royalty. Dave Mattacks took over the drum role.

Cover Versions

  1. Paddy Keenan & Tommy O’Sullivan on their album The Long Grazing Acre (2003)

However, Traffic’s Stranger to Himself on their 1970 album John Barleycorn Must Die is not a cover version but a completely different song by Steve Winwood and Jim Campaldi with just the same name. It was written five years earlier than Sandy’s.


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