Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Any Day Now: Songs of Bob Dylan
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
Joan Baez beat Bob Dylan to folk stardom, but she soon became one his biggest supporters, key interpreters, and briefly his lover. Any Day Now finds her playing all three roles; supporting, interpreting, and loving a disc ... more »
Joan Baez beat Bob Dylan to folk stardom, but she soon became one his biggest supporters, key interpreters, and briefly his lover. Any Day Now finds her playing all three roles; supporting, interpreting, and loving a disc full of his songs. Many of the more curious numbers ("The Walls of Redwing," "You Ain't Goin' Nowhere") were unavailable from Dylan at the time of the double-album's original 1968 release. Baez gets deeply into this stuff, adding her own weight and color to Dylan's idiosyncratic lines; even tackling the epic-length weirdness of "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands." The best track, "Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word," remains the definitive version of the song. --Michael Ruby
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Diva of Folk Music
Lex Howard | Canberra, Australia | 11/23/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This double album was given to me in 1976 by a friend who was dismayed at my taste for simple pop tunes at the time. It had the desired effect, and has remained special to me ever since. Recently I bought the CD as well, but it's the crackly sound of the vinyl record that takes me back to my Uni days when I blasted Ms Baez's crystal-breaking voice throughout my residential college. I don't think I have ever heard a clearer voice in all my life: it's like pure Snowy Mountains water. And of course, who better to sing Dylan than Baez - when you want it sung tunefully and with meaning! Her rendition of Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands remains in my all-time top 5 songs. I can't imagine it being sung any better. If you can appreciate sophisticated folk music, buy it. Joan Baez is the diva."
One of the Great Tributes to Bob Dylan!
Mark D. Prouse | Riverdale (Bronx), NY | 03/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Whether or not you enjoy this remarkable recording would most likely depend upon one or both of two factors: 1) do you like the woman's very distinctive voice applied to the rough-and-tumble verse and attitude of a Bob Dylan song? and 2) do you enjoy country-style folk music played by top-notch, improvisational musicians who are willing to step back just enough to allow the singer to maintain center stage? If you are a Joan Baez fan AND a country music fan (who can get past the obvious contradictions between those two musical worlds) then go directly to the nearest music store, or get this CD right here and now online. I am a Joan Baez fanatic who is ALSO a big Bob Dylan fan. I know several Dylan lovers who hate Joan Baez, and they can't stand this record. I think they are simply unable to get past a chauvinistic, macho dislike for the feminine and the beautiful in their music. Does Baez strip some of Dylan's work of its grit and grime, and therefore some of its power? Perhaps, but I don't give it too much thought anymore, because what Baez brings to the proceedings here, besides her obvious reverance for Dylan's songs, is an ability bring out the MELODIES that Dylan composed, which, with all due respect to the Songwriting Genius, he himself barely sang. Because Baez's precise diction, pronounced vibrato and soaring soprano are rather out of fashion these days, younger listeners may have to make some effort to get used to her style, but close listening (get in the headphones and crank up the volume) and patience, should pay off in the end. I should mention, too, the deepening in Joan's voice that began to occur around this time in her long career. Her ravishing low notes are by turns lovely like a cello and then somewhat nasal and twangy -- perfectly suited to this kind music. Her full range is heard on "Boots of Spanish Leather" and the amazing "Restless Farewell."
Contrary to what another reviewer on this site felt, this album is anything BUT bland! The countrified instrumentation is simply gorgeous throughout, adding something mysterious and haunting to Joan's intense vocals. Listen to how Grady Martin's electric sitar sends a mournful chill into the heart of "North Country Blues," or how a lovely, liquid guitar line shades the melancholy in "One Too Many Mornings," and how Joan can't help but get down with the boys in the band on the rock 'n' roll numbers "Drifters Escape" and "Dear Landlord," because they are both energetic and obviously fun to play. Joan must have been beside herself with joy to be able to sing with these guys and she definitely rose to the occasion, critics be damned. The much lauded rendition of "Love Is Just A Four Letter Word" is indeed a definitive performance, but it is by no means the only reason to buy, as it is equalled several times throughout ANY DAY NOW, most notably on the gospel-styled title song, (complete with a rousing chorus), and the incredible epic "Sad-Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands." There are many subltle pleasures to be discovered with repeated listenings to this album, and after all these years it remains not only my top favorite Joan Baez album, but one of my all-time favorite records, period."
Joey D | Brooklyn, NY USA | 11/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Way back in the early '70's my sister came home from her college classes with a copy of ANY DAY NOW she had borrowed from a friend. He never got it back. Dylan had written so many songs by then you could fill a double album and not even record any of his monster hits. I already knew as a young teenager Dylan was a wordsmith master, but I always had doubts about his musical abilites. Until I heard this album. What Baez does for Dylan's songs with her pure and crytaline voice is to reveal the musical beauty of these songs, the notes Dylan wrote but could not reveal with his limited range. The fact that Baez has a deep understanding and love for these songs is obvious, the fact that she's able to communicate it to the rest of us is her special gift. Her vocals are so assured, her pitching so dead right on, she's able to sing the 4 minute "Tears Of Rage" accapella. And when she's done you realize any instrument would have just gotten in the way. It's a powerful, stunning moment in music. To have the 11 minute "Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands" follow (the album's best cut) with it's country-ish arrangement is to experience one of the best sequentiality in record making. Most of the arrangements lean to the country side of music, as opposed to the folk side, so that there's more of a "bounce" to the album. There is a giant handful of great Dylan songs waiting to be discovered for the uninitiated. And for the hardcore Dylan fan, a revelation."