Listen: John The Gun / Sandy Denny
Never made any bones about my fussy 7″ preferences: US and UK pressings only. Preferably promo, dj or demo copies.
Admittedly the runner up: Holland. In the 60′s, that lovely country’s record labels, particularly Dutch Decca, issued all their 45′s in picture sleeves. No exception. The Decca family singles took the cake, each one released in identically laid out designs, changing only the one or two color print frame parameters, logically swapping in titles, artists and matching black and white photos of the act specific to that particular release.
Said picture sleeve tradition spilled over into the 70′s too. As a result, Sandy Denny’s scheduled, but later cancelled, UK 7″ of ‘Like An Old Fashioned Waltz’ made it’s way to market in the land of great bakeries and hash brownie coffee bars.
Fast forward to the twentieth century. I end up assisting Dutch band Kane put together an album, and as a result, make brotherly bonds with group leaders Dennis and Dinand, not to mention their superior, and prettier, better halves, Karen and Lucy. Life’s journey can be a wonderful thing.
So on a recent trip, Dennis drives me on his bike, seriously, I’m the passenger on the back seat of his fucking bicycle, whisking through the streets of Amsterdam. I can be strong about things like this, but I’m not Hercules. Hence, it was a bit like ROBOCOP or something. Well suddenly, my eye catches a record/junk shop, so I insist he stops for a quick look. I could feel the place calling my name.
Five minutes later, I emerge with the above record, just stoked beyond belief at my discovery of it’s existence and the acquisition. Hey, I was in a state, and I gladly paid like 2 million guilders or some such amount for it, which probably boils down to $5 dollars, hopefully.
Never did I think I’d have a copy of ‘John The Gun’ from her much earlier, and debut, solo album, THE NORTH STAR GRASSMAN AND THE RAVENS’ on a 7. Like all Sandy Denny fans, I drooled in anticipation at the re-recording she had done with Fotheringay for their second, but shelved, album. This was a partial, and temporary band aid.
I suppose by now, that redone version has been scrapped from the bowels of unreleased tracks to contribute towards that nineteen cd Sandy Denny box set issued recently. God knows, who can afford both the cost and time for it. Me, I have no cd’s, no player, not even a computer with a disc drive. So Universal could have just issued it on a hula hoop, would have done me about as much good as the promo copy I got in the mail.
But I do love my 7″, complete with it’s near edible, luxurious pink inner sleeve.