Though she's filed as a folk artist, Judy Collins is much, much more. She is a connoisseur of song whose intelligence of selection and grace of execution have been a model for interpretive vocalists for decades. This two-d... more »isc retrospective is not arranged chronologically but it hits all the high points of her journey from trad-folk priestess to art-song master. Along the way, she has helped acquaint us with the works of Bob Dylan, Stephen Sondheim, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, and Jacques Brel. And when, with the moving "My Father" in 1968, she began adding her own songs to the mix, there was no drop in quality whatsoever. --Ben Edmonds« less
Though she's filed as a folk artist, Judy Collins is much, much more. She is a connoisseur of song whose intelligence of selection and grace of execution have been a model for interpretive vocalists for decades. This two-disc retrospective is not arranged chronologically but it hits all the high points of her journey from trad-folk priestess to art-song master. Along the way, she has helped acquaint us with the works of Bob Dylan, Stephen Sondheim, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, and Jacques Brel. And when, with the moving "My Father" in 1968, she began adding her own songs to the mix, there was no drop in quality whatsoever. --Ben Edmonds
A terrific Collection Of The Very Best Of Judy Collins!
Barron Laycock | Temple, New Hampshire United States | 08/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This compilation of Judy's best numbers from a dozen or more albums over twenty years is a fantastic showcase of her unbelievable vocal magic. I remember seeing Judy in concert in the quite informal setting of Avaloch, a wonderful sylvan natural amphitheater that all the folk stars from Collins to Joan Baez to Kris Kristoferson to Tom Rush to James Taylor performed at in Lenox Massachusetts in the summers of 1970. Sadly, it is now the site of a ritzy set of summer condominiums for the New York summertime Berkshires crowd. Yet I can still recall hearing Judy with that magical soaring voice of hers warming up on stage with "Amazing Grace" (which is included here) as we filed onto the grass, and the song so echoed and reverberated over the warm humid airwaves that he older folks at Tanglewood, some six or seven miles way, complained about the noisome interruption. It became an inside joke that Collins, Baez and others would playfully aggravate when performing for the very mellow crowd of counterculture fans. Of course, it probably goes without saying that I love most of the songs on this album, from the opening smash hit of "Someday Soon" to the thoughtful and memorable "who Knows Where The Time Goes?" to a wonderful cover of Joni Mitchell's "Chelsea Morning" and another unforgettable cover of Leonard Cohen's masterful "Suzanne", which Judy made famous (along with a very shy and reticent Cohen, who she literally had to coax onto the stage several times to get him started). Many of my all-time Judy Collins favorites are here, from "My Father", "In My Life", "Both Sides Now", and a terrific "First Boy I Loved" to "Albatross", "Turn, Turn, Turn", and "Spanish Is The Loving Tongue". Of course, not all of her hits are here, and that is one of the reasons I am a great believer in sampling all of an artist's original albums to get all of his or her work in context. Luckily, most of Judy's work is still available. The one song I regret not being included is Jacques Brel's classic song of love, "Marieke", which I used to name my daughter. Still, this is a superb collection of an incredible artist, a glossy Technicolor snapshot of a one of the titans of modern American folk music, taken at the peak of her awesome vocal and collaborative talents. It is one sure to please the most discriminating of well-trained folk ears, and one I am sure you will come to treasure as much as I do. Enjoy."
A Beautiful Voice, A Beautiful Collection.
Harold J. Gaugler | Philadelphia, PA USA | 12/23/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The Judy Collins Anthology, "Forever", is a great place to start for anyone who wants to become familiar with one of the great interpretive singers of our time. All her biggest hits are here, including "Both Sides Now", "Someday Soon", "Amazing Grace" and "Send in the Clowns", as well as many of her best album tracks, including several early selections from her folk years. The only fault to be found is the glaring omissions of her 1966 cover of Randy Newman's "I Think It's Going To Rain Today" and her 1975 cover of Jimmy Webb's "The Moon's a Harsh Mistress". Had these two songs been included, this would have been a 5-star review. Still, this is a fine collection that showcases one of the most beautiful voices ever put to record. Highly recommended."
An outstanding anthology of a brilliant folk-pop singer
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 03/31/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The two CD's are book-ended by four classic songs that will forever be associated with Judy - Someday soon, Send in the Clowns, Both sides now and Amazing grace - but while these are exceptional, the rest of the music here is well worth listening to.
Some of those classics were covers, so it will come as no surprise to find other wonderful covers here, including Who knows where the time goes (Sandy Denny), Desperado (Eagles), In my life (Beatles), Suzanne, Bird on a wire (both Leonard Cohen), Masters of war (Bob Dylan), Salt of the earth (Rolling stones). Judy also does a fine cover of City of New Orleans, although nobody beats Willie Nelson's version of this classic train song. Another great cover is Turn turn turn. Originally written by Pete Seeger based on a passage in the New Testament's Book of Ecclesiastes, it only became famous when the Byrds had a hit with it in the sixties. Chelsea morning is a cover of a Joni Mitchell song, but Judy recorded a new version for this compilation, having covered the song previously on one of her early albums.
Judy also wrote some of her own material. Born to the breed, Since you've asked, The fallow way, Grandaddy, My father, Fisherman song and Albatross, all included here, prove what a good songwriter she was, even if none of them reached classic status. Of these, Fisherman song is my favorite. Judy also co-wrote two new songs for this collection - Nothing lasts forever and Walls.
It is not possible to give more than an overview of Judy's music in two CD's - I noted the absence of Home, a duet she recorded with T G Sheppard in the early eighties - but this a very strong collection of her music, essential for any fan of folk-pop music."
A fine collection of some great songs
Jill Malter | firstname.lastname@example.org | 10/30/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These are some of Judy Collins' best songs. Collins actually began her professional singing career in 1959 and made her first album in 1961. Over the next few years, she became (in my opinion) the finest interpreter of folk music in the nation.
Many of the songs on this two-disc set are by Collins herself. But as I said, it is her ability to interpret the music of others (and her superb voice) that sets her apart.
Some examples of her interpretations on these discs that I particularly enjoy are:
Someday Soon (by Ian Tyson) Suzanne (by Leonard Cohen) City of New Orleans (by Steven Goodman) In My Life (by John Lennon and Paul McCartney) Send in the Clowns (by Stephen Sondheim) Both Sides Now (by Joni Mitchell) Masters of War (by Bob Dylan) Hard Lovin' Loser (by Richard Farina) In the Heat of the Summer (by Phil Ochs) Pirate Jenny (Brecht-Weill-Blitzstein) Turn, Turn, Turn (from Ecclesiastes but interpreted more recently by Pete Seeger) Salt of the Earth (by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards) Amazing Grace (traditional, but interpreted by Judy Collins)
I highly recommend this lovely two-disc set."
We dream of better days.....
Dianne Foster | USA | 08/22/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After years of playing the recordings, I finally bought a CD with many of my favorite Judy Collins' tunes. Judy was a favorite performer for "wacko" feminists like me, as well as plenty of other brave souls who thought they could change the world way back in the enlightened ages. Collins was first and foremost on the front lines with the PEOPLE participating in the movements of the 60s and 70s. Large and small causes caught her attention. Disenfranchised groups including Women, People of Color, Small fishermen fighting the big interests, porters and engineers fighting railroad moguls, and many others could count on Judy. If you want to relive the joyful and hopeful tunes that inspired PROGRESS, this is the CD to buy. I listened to Carly, to Joan, and to Janice, but I wore out my Judy records. Judy's inspirational tunes have a new role during these bleak times, when all we gained seems threatened by the ignorant and greedy who dominate our country. `Bread and Roses' on this CD is as inspiring march tune as anything from `Les Miz'and `The City of New Orleans' is a treasure."