NEUTRAL SPIRITS -ST (1972 private press psych jewel) CD
In 1969, the Strawbs assembled a privately pressed sampler of unreleased material to circulate among publishers to solicit possible cover versions (just 99 copies were pressed, of which only two or three are known to exist today).
Among the tracks are different versions of songs that appeared on the Sandy & the Strawbs, Preserves Uncanned, Dragonfly, and Grave New World albums, as well as one tune, the lush pop-folk ballad 'Whichever Way the Wind Blows,' which was never released anywhere else.
Although the differences between those and the other takes in circulation are sometimes slight, there are some notable and intriguing differences, as in the ambient pub voices and piano of 'How Everyone but Sam Was a Hypocrite?'; the strings on the Cousins-sung versions of 'And You Need Me' and 'Stay Awhile'; the jaunty orchestral arrangement of 'Sweetling'; and a downright strange instrumental waltz rendition of 'And You Need Me' that segues into 'Josephine.'
Beautiful stuff... as would be any record with alternate versions of Sandy Denny & Strawbs tracks on it.