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The Debut Album Plus Original recording remastered


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Product details

  • Audio CD (16 May 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Chrome Dreams
  • ASIN: B004OW052I
  • Other Editions: MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 295,711 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Silver Dagger
2. East Virginia
3. Fare Thee Well [10,000 Miles]
4. House of the Rising Sun
5. All My Trials
6. Wildwood Flower
7. Donna Donna
8. John Riley
9. Rake and Rambling Boy
10. Little Moses
11. Mary Hamilton
12. Henry Martin
13. El Preso Número Nueve
14. Banks of the Ohio
15. O What a Beautiful City
16. Sail Away Ladies
17. Black Is the Color
18. Lowlands
19. Virgin Mary ]What You Gonna Call Your Pretty Little Baby]
20. Kitty [with Bill Wood]
See all 23 tracks on this disc

Product Description

First released in 1960, the debut solo album from the legend that is Joan Baez was met with moderate success upon its release but, having knocked em dead at the previous year s Newport Folk Festival, Joan was now accepted by that still very conservative community as one of their own and so began a quite incredible career that continues apace to this day. Presented here in its completion, albeit with digitally remastered sound, the collection of thirteen folk traditionals, where classic standards such as All My Trials, House Of The Rising Sun [a full year before Dylan approached the song] and Silver Dagger rub shoulders with lesser known Child ballads from the old country, Spanish language laments and Yiddish theatre songs remain very much a delightful listening experience. The record has remained pertinent and sounds anything but dated half a century after it was recorded. Paired with this masterpiece is Joan s real first record, Folksingers Round Harvard Square, a set of songs she recorded with friends from the Cambridge MA folk scene in 1959. Originally released on the tiny Veritas Records with eighteen tracks, the ten cuts featuring Joan [6 solo, 3 duets and 1 three piece] are included on this timely re-issue the first time they have seen the light of day since the record s original release. However these historic recordings serve not just as an introduction to Baez s very earliest work, they also remain fresh, exiting and an enormously enjoyable album all these years on.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By James B. Spink HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 11 Jun 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Chrome Dreams have produced quite an attractive package containing Joan Baez' first album for the Vanguard label plus ten bonus tracks which were originally released on an even earlier album featuring Joan and other artists. This package is nicely presented in a slipcase containing the CD and a booklet with details of the recordings and the histories of the tracks included here.

What lets this type of release down, however, is the audio quality. Although Chrome Dreams have probably done the best with what they had available there is no information on the sources used. Vanguard Records would have been most unlikely to allow them access to their master tapes as they have their own version of Joan's first album available which features different bonus tracks. Chrome dreams provide no information at all about their remastering, but the result is quite a harsh sound compared to the official Vanguard release.

The bonus tracks featured here were not released by Vanguard but by a small independent label. Chrome Dreams have clearly dubbed these bonus tracks direct from vinyl and although it has been quite well done some pops and clicks are still apparent as is low frequency rumble. If you are just looking for Joan's Vanguard debut album then I would recommend Vanguard's 2001 re-issue which is remastered with three bonus tracks not featured here. However, if you are interested in the earlier material that can be harder to find!

However, Chrome Dreams have also made the original album Folksingers Round Harvard Square, featuring these ten bonus tracks and eight more not featuring Joan, available as an MP3 album download available through Amazon. You can listen to clips to check the audio quality before you buy using this option.
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By Lance percival on 4 Feb 2014
Format: Audio CD
The first thirteen tracks make up Joan Baez's 1960 debut album on Vanguard records. This is a justly famous and classic album. If you have any interest in Baez singing traditional ballads solo acoustic, then this is an essential album, period. That said, this is not the best CD release of this album. The sound is problematic, with high notes getting clipped, either because it was mastered at too high a level or from a vinyl copy of the album, or both. For the best authorized release of this album, get the remastered version from Vanguard in 2001 Joan Baez with bonus tracks ("Girl of Constant Sorrow" "I know You Rider" and a longer verson of "John Riley").

For enthusiasts, the attraction is the ten bonus tracks. As the liner notes explain, these are all taken (no doubt mastered from a vinyl copy) from a limited local release in 1959 called "Folksingers 'round Harvard Square," which featured 18 tracks. Baez sang on ten of them while the other eight were solo pieces by other local folk singers Bill Wood and Ted Alevizos (whose tracks are not included here). Six are Baez solo, three are collaborations between Baez and Wood and the last track features all three together. These are charming little recordings made the year before Baez's debut. A few years after Baez hit it big, a label called Squire Records copied 14 of the LP's original 18 tracks and released it as *The Best of Joan Baez.* As the record was making its way up the charts, Baez had its production legally blocked and there has never been any subsequent authorized release and no digital release of any sort. This new 2011 release only exists because the tracks were originally released over 50 years ago, and in the UK such recordings become public domain (this is a UK import).
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 8 reviews
25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
Some information about this release 19 July 2011
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Some more information about this release:

The first thirteen tracks make up Joan Baez's 1960 debut album on Vanguard records. This is a justly famous and classic album. If you have any interest in Baez singing traditional ballads solo acoustic, then this is an essential album, period. That said, this is not the best CD release of this album. The sound is problematic, with high notes getting clipped, either because it was mastered at too high a level or from a vinyl copy of the album, or both. For the best authorized release of this album, get the remastered version from Vanguard in 2001 Joan Baez with bonus tracks ("Girl of Constant Sorrow" "I know You Rider" and a longer verson of "John Riley").

For enthusiasts, the attraction is the ten bonus tracks. As the liner notes explain, these are all taken (no doubt mastered from a vinyl copy) from a limited local release in 1959 called "Folksingers 'round Harvard Square," which featured 18 tracks. Baez sang on ten of them while the other eight were solo pieces by other local folk singers Bill Wood and Ted Alevizos (whose tracks are not included here). Six are Baez solo, three are collaborations between Baez and Wood and the last track features all three together. These are charming little recordings made the year before Baez's debut. A few years after Baez hit it big, a label called Squire Records copied 14 of the LP's original 18 tracks and released it as *The Best of Joan Baez.* As the record was making its way up the charts, Baez had its production legally blocked and there has never been any subsequent authorized release and no digital release of any sort. This new 2011 release only exists because the tracks were originally released over 50 years ago, and in the UK such recordings become public domain (this is a UK import). So, for these early Baez recordings, this is a legal but not authorized release. It is hard to imagine there ever being an authorized domestic release of this material, so this may be your best chance to get it on CD.

There is a nice little booklet with notes on the songs and recordings. Other than the substandard sound of the debut album, this is a nice little package.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Hurts to say it, but I regret this purchase. 16 Sep 2011
By Sammy Clemens - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Don't get me wrong - this is a wonderful collection of songs - one of the really seminal albums in American music, plus another collection of songs from a less influential, but still very satisfying album.

BUT - the engineering is so bad it's nearly unlistenable. Each time Baez' ringing high notes rise up, the sound practically buzzes with distortion. It makes really sublime moments excruciating. I'm actually NOT an audiophile snob, and I actually really like low tech/lo-fi music. But this just plain ugly.

NONE of this is present on the original vinyl, so the fault is not with the master tapes or the engineers who made them. The fault lies entirely with the producers of this compilation CD - Chrome Dreams. It's hard to imagine what excuse they might offer, but I very much regret the purchase if only for the reason that I don't want to support, encourage, or make profitable a clearly careless exploitation of what were actually two very fine albums.

This can be done well; Chrome Dreams is getting paid for doing it very, very poorly.

It's getting two stars from me ONLY because the songs and the talent are what they are. But the CD is one to avoid. We've waited this long ... let's not buy this thing, and instead wait for someone to do it right: someone who actually cares about the music they're profiting by.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Beautiful voice except for mastering error 21 July 2011
By Peter V. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
This is a collection of classic folk songs as sung by a young Joan Baez. In the quiet passages, her voice is beautiful.

But, in the louder passages her voice sounds distorted - because it is. The CD was mastered too high, and severe clipping occurs at the loud points, sounding somewhat like record mistracking. You can even hear it on the sound samples. This clipping ruins a good album from a great artist.

I can correct the clipping (partially) with professional audio software, but my opinion is that the 'Chromate Dreams' company should recall this disk and issue a properly mastered one.

I also don't like that the booklet is too large for the CD case, so you have to keep the cardboard packing sleeve as well as the CD case with the CD.

The CD gets two stars because the music is excellent, though the CD clipping ruins most of it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Nostalgia 21 July 2012
By Rich - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I listened to Ms. Baez music almost daily for the 19 and a half months when I was in Vietnam. She has lost none of her charm for me or the quality of her voice which continues to amaze me. This early album is the one that hooked me. Plus her constant political involvement which she reflected on some later albums. To those who may be considering purchasing this CD without being familiar with her early recordings, these are folk songs from about 1700 forward. Her voice is crystal clear ( though I prefer my LP's for sound quality) Not being a technocrat, I like the continuation of a whole album without changing or looking for songs on n MP3 player. This album rates up there with her live performances although you miss the luxury of hearing her explain the song origins and history of folk music in general. I have all of her music on LP's, Cassettes and now CD's as the move towards smaller has meant I've had to try to keep up. Clearly from my review you can tell I'm a baby boomer and technophobe or at least technoclutz.
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Young Joan 13 July 2011
By Rocco R. Seeno - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It is great to have these early recordings on disc again. (I honestly don't know if the Harvard Square album was ever available on CD) They are from a far more innocent time and the singing and atmosphere reflect this. The final ten recordings on the disc are from an early recording session by a non-Vanguard company. These are good to have now and the two male singers are great complements to Joan's voice. I especially liked the trio on track 23. Wish there had been more of this combo. Overall, a great addition to my Joan collection even if I already have the Vanguard version of her first studio recordings.

One quibble: there is one photo of Ms Baez used three times in the packaging and it is AWFUL! She looks like she is angry at the world! I think they could have used a different photo for the cardboard box, the booklet, and the CD insert. Hard to figure why this British company used such an ugly photo. Ultimately,though, it doesn't matter because that glorious young voice shines through.

A must have not only for Baez fans but for folk music fans in general.
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