The song was performed as a tribute to Fairport singer Sandy Denny, whose memory was being specially honored in 2008, the 25th anniversary of her death. Part of this new live CD serves the same purpose, according to the band's official Web site:
"The centre section of the recording, like the festival performance itself, concentrates on Sandy Denny's wonderful contribution to Fairport's repertoire. Contributors include Chris and Kellie While, Kristina Donohue [sic] and Robert Plant, and Vikki Clayton."At Plant's invitation, Denny guested with Led Zeppelin in the studio when recording "The Battle of Evermore" for the band's fourth album.
Video and audio of Plant and Donahue's duet were uploaded to YouTube two days after they ran through it onstage at Cropredy, but the recording on the album is far superior. For the album, the recording was by Paul Smith, and remixed and produced by John Gale. A 30-second MP3 clip of the recording of the song used on the album can be heard here.
Festival organizers have been unveiling the lineup of acts for this year's event, giving an opportunity recently to Fairport's Simon Nicol to be quoted in the North Devon Journal as to why Plant and other hugely popular artists are attracted to perform at or attend Cropredy each year. Nicol says it's the casual interaction among musicians and fans:
"Everyone who plays there and wants a drink has to go out to the bar and stand there with everyone else. That is a tradition now and everyone respects it. Even huge stars like Robert Plant can come to the festival and people won't pester him for autographs. It's a unique experience for him and he really enjoys it. If he goes anywhere else he's got to have blacked out windows on the limo. It's crazy."