'You had to hold on to the furniture when Sandy sang'
The life, death and reputation of Sandy Denny are a perfect case in point. Equipped with an incredible voice and an immense songwriting talent, she was none the less plagued by the chronic insecurities that led her into excess. Her drinking partners included the late Keith Moon and John Bonham; the folk-tinged milieu from which she came also included Nick Drake. She died aged 31, in 1978 - but whereas lesser talents have been posthumously feted, she remains a decidedly cult interest.
For some, that's a sign of her singular talent. 'The thing that always amazed me about Sandy,' says her friend and contemporary Linda Thompson, 'was that she thought she actually could appeal to the masses. Of course she couldn't - and who would want to? If you're writing songs that people can shoot themselves to, you know you're not going to be in the charts. Sandy's music was uncomfortable. It demanded too much.'