Sandy Denny’s most famous song, Who Know’s Where The Time Goes was written and recorded in her pre-Fairport Convention days when she was a member of The Strawbs. After recording a demo in 1967, Denny recorded the song again with The Strawbs but it wasn’t released until 1973 on their album All Our Own Work long after Denny had left the band. Denny recorded the song again on Fairport Convention’s third album (her second with the band) Unhalfbricking (1969).
But it was Judy Collins that released the song first, deciding to record the song after hearing Denny’s 1967 demo. In that same year Judy Collins released her sixth album Wildflowers, reaching No.5 in the US charts. It featured a cover of Joni Mitchell’s Both Sides Now, her version was also the first commercially available, Mitchell releasing it two years later on Clouds (1969). The song reached No.8 on the US charts in 1968, the B-side was Sandy Denny’s Who Knows Where The Time Goes. Both Sides Now won a Grammy award in 1969 for Best Folk Performance, I guess Joni Mitchell thought, Hm I’d better record that song on my latest album!
After the success of her previous album, Collins decided to not only include Who Knows Where The Time Goes on her next album but she also named the album after the song. The album reached No.26 in the US charts. Excluding live versions it seems that there’s two version of Who Knows Where The Time Goes recorded by Collins. The version here isn’t the album version and I’m yet to figure out where it is from, perhaps the original B-side of Both Sides Now? It seems that the version of Both Sides now posted here is also a different version to the album so it follows that the A and B side were recorded in a separate session to the Wildlfowers album and perhaps they decided to save Who Knows Where The Time Goes for the next album after realising later that it was more than a B-side. If you know, please share. To think that Collins got the opportunity to record these two classic songs before both Joni Mitchell and Sandy Denny.
A couple of tragic and interesting things about Judy Collins. You will notice that one of the pictures is with Stephen Stills, they were together for a couple of years and the song Suite: Judy Blue Eyes on the first Crosby, Stills, Nash album (1969) is about her. Collins suffered from a whole lot of addictions throughout the sixties and seventies, mainly alcohol, sober since 1978. Tragedy struck for Collins in 1992 when her only child Clark committed suicide due to clinical depression at the age of 33. She is now an activist for suicide prevention.
I once saw Judy Collins live at the Cutting Room in New York City singing as a guest with Jimmy Webb. I sat quite close to her in the audience for most of the night till she got up to sing – her eyes were a striking blue.