I've Always Kept a Unicorn

Mick Houghton
Faber Members pay only £16.00 for this title. Sign up for free during checkout to get your discount.
Proceed to Checkout
ISBN 9780571278909 Format Hardback
Published 05/03/2015 Length 528 pages

About Book

I've Always Kept a Unicorn tells the story of Sandy Denny, one of the greatest British singers of her time and the first female British singer-songwriter to produce a substantial and enduring body of original songs. Sandy emerged from the passionate, hard-drinking folk scene of the sixties - a world of larger-than-life characters such as Alex Campbell, Bert Jansch, Jackson C. Frank, Anne Briggs and her future husband, the Australian singer Trevor Lucas. She then laid down the marker for folk-rock when she joined Fairport Convention in 1968, recording three albums with them before her shock departure in November 1969 just ahead of the release of the last, the seminal Liege & Lief.

Sandy was driven by a restless search for the perfect framework for her songs during the seventies. She first formed Fotheringay with Trevor Lucas, but left the group controversially after their eponymous debut album. This was followed by a historic one-off recording with Led Zeppelin, 'The Battle of Evermore' - Sandy is the only guest vocalist ever to record with the group - and four mercurial solo albums, as well as a return to Fairport Convention, before her tragic and untimely death in 1978, aged thirty-one, in circumstances still shrouded in hearsay and speculation.

Sandy's often turbulent relationship with Trevor is at the core of her later life and work, as she tried to reconcile motherhood and marriage with the trappings of a rock 'n' roll lifestyle and a conflicted desire for the fame and success that others expected of her. Largely based on original and candid interviews with more than fifty of her friends, fellow musicians and contemporaries, and with access to previously unseen documents, photographs and Sandy's own notebooks, this is Sandy's story - that of a life never sung out of tune.

  • About Mick Houghton

    Mick Houghton began writing about music during the seventies, for such publications as Circus, Zigzag, Let It Rock, Sounds and Time Out before stumbling into a job as a PR at Warner Bros in 1979. Within a year he had set up the independent Brassneck Publicity, where he's looked after an extraordinary array of people ever since. Over the years he's been closely associated with Echo and the Bunnymen, Julian Cope, The Undertones, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Sonic Youth, The KLF, Spiritualized, Bert Jansch and Richard Thompson. He began writing again in 2001, first for Mojo and later for Uncut. As one of the Grammy-nominated compilers/producers of the boxed set Forever Changing: The Golden Age of Elektra, 1963-1973, he went on to write Becoming Elektra: The True Story of Jac Holzman's Visionary Record Label, published in 2010.

    More Info