Sandy Denny & The Strawbs – All Our Own Work

January 01, 1970



(Witchwood Media)


Originally released
after the fact, All Our Own Work captured a rare moment in time when a young yet promising folk singer named
Sandy Denny first caught the eye of an up and coming folk band dubbed the
Strawbs. Their meeting at a local London club was practically by chance, but it
led to a seminal recording that helped kick start the careers of both partners.
Denny would go on to join Fairport Convention and help invent a new folk-rock
idiom, before embarking on a prodigious solo career. The Strawbs would later
dabble in baroque musings and then reinvent themselves as ‘70s prog-rock
innovators. Here, however, they start with the basics — earnest acoustic
ballads that bank on Denny’s pristine vocals and Cousins’ frequently troubled
perspective. While there’s a certain sameness to the proceedings, the inclusion
of Denny’s seminal standard “Who Knows Where the Time Goes” and a handful of
Strawbs songs that would later be revisited (specifically, “Tell Me What You
See in Me” and “Two Weeks Last Summer”) affirm the fact that each entity was
well on their way to greater glories.


While the original
album was once widely available, this new expanded edition better lives up to
its title, including if not all their
own work, at least double what was offered before. With an abundance of demos
and outtakes, the sound is consistent throughout, frequently bringing to mind
the template etched by Peter Paul & Mary. It’s a seamless boundary between
the old and new, making one wonder why these additional songs were jettisoned
in the first place. A second, string-laden version of “Who Knows Where the Time
Goes” offers a difference in treatment, and a bluegrass instrumental,
“Strawberry Picking,” references earlier influences, but happily, in terms of
quality, both are first rate. Which makes this …Work consistently fine all around.


DOWNLOAD: “Why Knows Where the Time Goes” (both versions), “Tell Me What You See

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