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Gold Dust - The Final Concert

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Album Review

Gold Dust: Live at the Royalty captures Sandy Denny's final concert. The show (performed on Sunday, November 27, 1977) was intended to be the first date of an 11-city tour, but it turned out to be her last show ever. It certainly wasn't the way anyone wanted Denny to leave the stage, but it remains an affecting, surprising farewell. There are familiar items, to be sure, but the concert also finds her breaking new ground and moving away from traditional folk-rock to an edgier sound. These are subtle distinctions that only hardcore fans will notice, but those fans will find Gold Dust a minor treasure.

Customer Reviews

Unexpectedly beautiful, not just for hardcore fans and completists

I didn't expect this to be a great record based on the back story: the audio malfunctions that caused the tapes to be shelved for many years, the vocal problems Sandy had during the tour due to a severe cold, and the general state she was in at this point in her life. However, I was floored - it is outstanding on all counts. The band is great, the recording quality is superb (huge props to whoever was responsible for the audio restoration), and Sandy delivers truly jaw dropping versions of some of the songs - it is clear that her immense musical gift was still shining brightly, and her vocals here are very confident and relaxed. The only complaints might be the slow pace of almost all of the songs and the predominance of material from Rendevous, not her strongest album in many people's view.


Born: January 6, 1947 in Wimbledon, London, England

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '60s, '70s

Maddy Prior, Jacqui McShee, and June Tabor all give her a run for her money, but the late Sandy Denny remains the pre-eminent British folk-rock singer. In addition to recording several albums of her own, Denny was an integral force behind the best work of the most respected British folk-rock band of all, Fairport Convention, and also contributed mightily to recordings by the Strawbs and Fotheringay. It's impossible for words to fully evoke the haunting, spectral presence of her powerful and penetrating...
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