The Ballad Of Sacco & Vanzetti (La Ballata Di Sacco E Vanzetti)
Oh Happy Day
Less Than The Song
Before Joan Baez, the closest thing to a white female folksinger was Jo Stafford. Baez made her professional debut in 1959 at the Newport Folk Festival and started recording for Vanguard the next year. Her early associatio... more »n with Bob Dylan and performances of his songs did him no harm. The material in this CD comes from later in her career, when she had left Vanguard for A&M. Listeners who enjoy this CD will probably want to hear her earlier work. She is among the classic American voices. --Stanley Booth« less
Before Joan Baez, the closest thing to a white female folksinger was Jo Stafford. Baez made her professional debut in 1959 at the Newport Folk Festival and started recording for Vanguard the next year. Her early association with Bob Dylan and performances of his songs did him no harm. The material in this CD comes from later in her career, when she had left Vanguard for A&M. Listeners who enjoy this CD will probably want to hear her earlier work. She is among the classic American voices. --Stanley Booth
Martin A Hogan | San Francisco, CA. (Hercules) | 07/01/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This selection of prime cuts contains all of Joan Baez's best works, but some of the recordings are live. Warning: these songs are just as good, but you may have a preference of studio over 'live'."The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" is a live recording, but misses none of the mood or flair of the single. "Please Come To Boston" is nearly better than the original and Joan captures the tenuous love longings with her voice. "Oh Happy Day" is given the justice and respect it deserves and "Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer" is still heartbreaking. "Diamonds And Rust" is the first cut and with reason. It has to be her best written song/recording to date. Faded memories, lasting longings, the broken heart; ah, Joan Baez is truly gifted.The remaining songs are her classics from over the years. If you have any misgivings about this album, listen to some of the clips to decide if these versions are the ones you want."
Diamonds And Rust is "the" perfect song
Thomas Lapins | Orlando, Florida USA | 03/24/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This collection contains some of the most hauntingly beautiful and poignant music from Joan's later career. "Diamonds And Rust" let's her, for a moment, soar with the great poets of yesteryear (how poetic, she found her muse when writing a song for Dylan, the greatest American twentieth century poet). "Diamonds And Rust" is on the same par as Carly Simon's "You're So Vain", another perfect song. Baez still had the powerful vocals she had in the 60's. "Diamonds And Rust" is part of a trilogy on this cd, with "Love Song To A Stranger" and "Sweeter For Me" (the lyrics are some of the most visual I have ever heard in pop music). I will often play all three songs together, which reveal her desires and loves with an honesty I had never heard from Joan before. "Forever Young" is a lovely and tender song about maintaining one's inner glow as they grow older. A wish we would all make to our children. "Simple Twist Of Fate," aside from being another great Dylan tune, is brilliantly interpreted by Baez. She does a take off of Dylan which verges on being hysterically funny and at the same time a serious piece of work. In many ways, Baez was Dylan's "twin" as the song implies. Her interpretation of Lennon's "Imagine" is quite nice. She gives it her touch of "Baezness" and gives it a fresh sound. I've heard several versions of "Imagine" and have found it interesting how "Imagine" holds up to the different styles of the many vocalists who have re-recorded this great song. Her interpretation of "Never Dreamed You'd Leave In Summer" is second only to "Diamonds And Rust" on this cd. I first heard this song sung by Stevie Wonder, and I couldn't imagine anyone doing it as well. This song was made for Baez's voice. You can almost feel the first winter chills of Autumn in the tremors of her voice. The two live versions included on this collection are not very good, which brought this cd down from fives stars to four stars. I don't especially care for "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" to begin with, and to hear the live version is really unpleasant. "Amazing Grace" should have been the studio version. The rest of the songs on the cd fall somewhere in between the best of and worst of range I've mentioned. However, the seven or eight songs that I think are exceptional make this a must have greatest hits collection. If you're on the fence about this cd, purchase her autobiography, and that will peak your interest in both Joan and her music. She's quite a lady."
I THINK YOU CAN FIND A BETTER BAEZ 'BEST OF' CD
Mo Lindsey | Newark, New Jersey United States | 11/03/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The CD title is a bit misleading because it makes you think that it contains the traditional studio versions of "..OLD DIXIE.." , "PLEASE COME TO BOSTON" and the others but some of these songs are live concert recordings of her greatest hits. I love the song "NIGHT THEY DROVE OLD DIXIE DOWN" but in this version the backup singers aren't present. The song is still all right but the song doesn't have that infectious lofty sound of the studio version when she sings the chorus. The backup singers makes the song fly and soar but without them the song doesn't quite have the same power and overwhelming feel. Its still good but not quite as effective as the studio version. I like her version of John Lennon's "IMAGINE". Lennon's gentle and delicate version starts quietly with a lone piano and gently builds as it goes along with the addition of a soft drum beat and violins; beautifully endearing in its simplicity. Baez's version somewhat maintains the same characteristics of the song but with the addition of a guitar and horns and she sings it in her folk style.
I wouldn't suggest this CD to someone who wants to introduce themselves to Joan Baez music. There are other 'best of' CD's of Baez that may do a much better job of introducing her music like "HITS:GREATEST & OTHERS" and "MILLENIUM EDITION". The advanced Baez listener might appreciate this CD , particularly the live concert audio thats here , otherwise I suggest sticking to the essential albums/CD's and getting other Baez 'best of' CD's."
Too many "live" versions on this cd
Michael Butts | 01/30/2003
(2 out of 5 stars)
"As the title suggests, there are too many "live" versions on this cd. Live versions of songs are most always inferior to their studio versions. There's just way too many live versions on this album. The live version of "Amazing Grace" is a debacle as the audience is requested to "sing along". *Who* wants to hear that? Not me? About half of this cd is a waste. NOT a good compilation."
Michael Butts | Martinsburg, WV USA | 01/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"It's amazing the degree of versatility Joan Baez has demonstrated in her long, illustrious career. She is known, of course, mainly for her political stance, and some of her music certainly speaks clearly on her convictions. However, good music is good music, and Joan has delivered more than her share over the years. Her voice is crystal clear and she possesses a phenomenal range in its use."Diamonds and Rust," is one of her most impressive songs, a haunting, dark, yet romantic look at love and its' repercussions. She also does an outstanding job on Janis Ian's "Jesse," Stevie Wonder's undiscovered gem, "Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer," and Dave Loggins' "Please Come to Boston.""Forever Young" is a touching and beautiful offering that stands the test of time.That's what amazing about this collection. These are good songs, and except for the two live versions of her most recognized hits ("Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" and "Amazing Grace"), this is an outstanding representation of her unique career."