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Portrait of An American Girl [CD]

Judy Collins Audio CD
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: 9.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Product details

  • Audio CD (16 Oct 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: High Coin
  • ASIN: B000E5L8M0
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,600 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Singing Lessons
2. That Song About The Midway
3. I Can't Cry Hard Enough
4. You Can't Buy Love
5. Pacing The Cage
6. Sally Go Round The Roses
7. Voyager
8. Drops Of Jupiter (Tell Me)
9. Wedding Song (Song for Louis)
10. Checkmate
11. Liberte
12. Lincoln Portrait
13. How Can I Keep From Singing

Product Description

Product Description

As has become one of her trademarks, Judy has recorded an eclectic group of songs for this album, which includes personal songs she has written on her own, along with resounding covers of such songs as the Motown hit "Sally Go ‘Round the Roses", "Drops of Jupiter" and Bruce Cockburn’s "Pacing the Cage."

"With her song selection, stately piano accompaniment, and even the soft-focus cover photo, Judy Collins channels the spirit of her 1960s artistry on her first studio album in eight years. Over the decades, her alto vocals have neither lost any of their warmth nor gained much in the way of expressive range. Much of what results is predictably pretty, as Collins's reading of Joni Mitchell's "That Song About the Midway" could pass as a follow-up to her signature rendition of "Both Sides Now," while her revival of "Sally Go 'Round the Roses" evokes similar feelings of folk-era nostalgia. On her own "Singing Lessons" and the a cappella "Wedding Song (Song for Louis)," she delves into New Age spirituality ("I thanked the gods and goddesses for bringing you to me," she sings on the latter) before building to the seven-minute, orchestrated, spoken-word recitation of Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait.

Product Description

Our product to treat is a regular product. There is not the imitation. From Japan by the surface mail because is sent out, take it until arrival as 7-14 day. Thank you for you seeing it.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Earth Mother is still wonderful 1 Jan 2014
Format:Audio CD
This really is a fantastic album. As Judy Collins gets older, she is still producing wonder records. The production on this is rich and enhances her already lovely voice.

There are a number of new compositions here by Judy, including the opener "Singing Lessons", "I Can't Cry Hard Enough", "Voyager", "Checkmate" and, of course, "Weeding Song "Song for Louis)". All are excellent tracks and the last is sung unaccompanied. I love her version of Joni Mitchell's "That Song About the Midway" All the other tracks are excellent, but the final three finish off the album spectacularly. "Liberté" was written by Steve Dorff and John Bettis (the latter was Richard Carpenter's co-composer) and is a beautiful ballad; "Lincoln Portrait" was written by Aaron Copeland and is a lush production of narration and keyboards. "How Can I Keep On Singing" is a Christian hymn written by Robert Lowry with amended words by Pete Seeger. Enya released a version of the song as a ballad on her "Shepherd Moons" album and also as a single. Eva Cassidy did a more bluesy version which didn't work, as far as I am concerned. Judy's version is as lush as the previous track and more in keeping with the rest of this album and is a real stunner.

In addition to the lovely singing, there is her piano work and the highly accomplished musicians, the excellent orchestra and a very attractive digipack with a nice booklet with the lyrics.

So, you have yet another wonderful album by Judy and one which, although it seemed to pass us by, is really hugely underrated. So, if you want to test the water of Judy's later works, this is a very good album to buy.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Portrait of an American Legend 29 April 2005
By H. F. Corbin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
It is so difficult to discuss Judy Collins without getting mired down in superlatives. Since the 1960's she has graced us with her beautiful voice clear as a Colorado mountain spring and has always spoken out for the rights of all people. Once again she has given us such a fine collection of 12 songs, five of which are her own compositions, and Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait." Some of the songs are humorous--"Sally Go 'Round The Roses"-- there's a love song or two, Judy's "You Can't Buy Love," for example. For the most part, however, many of these selections are spiritual introspections with references to God and the end of life not often seen before in Ms. Collins' music. Not to worry. She apparently hasn't jumped off a cliff and joined a cult. She is I believe a good Episcopalian and actually invokes both gods and goddesses in one selection, a beautiful tribute to her husband, "Wedding Song (Song for Louis)."

"Singing Lessons," the first cut on the CD, written by Ms. Collins (one of my favorites) is a prayer for God to "Teach me how to sing." That prayer obviously was answered long ago. In "I Can't Cry Hard Enough," written by David Williams and Marvin Etzoni, the singer is going to live her life/"Like everyday is the last." In clearly the most poignant selection Ms. Collins sees her "darling boy" in a crowd of strangers "So familiar and dear to me/I run towards you." She strikes a universal chord here as all of us have seen a stranger in a crowd who looks so much like a departed loved one that we almost cry out in anguish. And we are reminded once more that no mother should have to attend the funeral of her child. The Copland "Lincoln Portrait" at first seems strangely ill-selected. On the other hand-- and I certainly don't know Ms. Collins' motive in including this work-- why not include a tribute to our greatest president, someone else so good with words and who also believed in freedom? Certainly we as citizens have a right to hold our 43rd and war president up against the 16th, another war president, and ask how he ranks. This beautiful CD ends with a hymn by the 19th Century gospel and hymn writer/Baptist minister Robert Lowry who wrote "Christ Arose","Nothing But The Blood", "I Need Thee Every Hour" and "Shall We Gather at the River." Ms. Collins sings a stunning a capella arrangement with a backup choir of Lowry's "How Can I Keep From Singing." When you listen to this CD, you have the answer.

Ms. Collins accompanies herself on piano on many of these cuts, reminding us that she was trained as a classical pianist. Apropos of the title "Portrait of an American Girl" there are many photographs included with the notes of Judy as both a very young child and teenager, along with snapshots of her family. Finally, Annie Liebovitz has done stunning portraits of the artist for the front and back of this CD.

This is a required recording for those of us who love Ms. Collins, who have often measured out our lives in listening to her recordings. One could do much worse.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VOICE PURER THAN EVER 18 May 2005
By Ecu Reuil - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Being a french fan since 1964 I am bewildered by this extraordinary voice. Unbelievable ! How can Judy surprise me after all these years ?

"Singing Lessons" and "Wedding songs" were already in her book "Singing Lessons". The other songs are all perfect.

Judy reaches first class quality with generally the minimum accompanyment.

"That song about the midway" is a good reminiscence of the beginnings of her friend Joni Mitchell.

"Sally go round the roses" goes far beyond the first version.

"I can't cry hard enough", "Liberté" (thank you for the french word) and "How can I keep for singing" are real masterpieces.

All the other songs are great and versatile.

Any frenchman with a good ear to whom we present Judy (not enough known in France) thinks she is a wonderful singer. A rare singer who knows how to sing well.

Please put the front picture with Judy with open eyes instead of the back picture. Judy with her so beautiful eyes deserves it !

Thank you so much, dear Judy.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wearing Wings 18 Oct 2005
By Lee Armstrong - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
"Portrait of an American Girl" is a set of new recordings by Judy Collins. Born May 1, 1939, she was 65 years old at the time of this recording. Her crystalline voice is amazing for its lovely quality. This is one of the most beautiful sets released this year, worthy of "best of" lists at the end of the year. She opens with a song she penned, "Singing Lessons," whose lovely melody & her exquisite voice are matched against her piano & lifts the track to a polished performance, "And I heard you say death is just a dream; Make your songs again, you must always sing." When Judy Collins scored her only top ten hit with Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" that went to #8 in 1968, she was one of the first champions of Joni Mitchell's music. Her version in this set of Joni's "That Song About the Midway" is superb as Judy's voice floats high, "Wearing wings, you looked so grand, wearing wings; Do you tape them to your shoulders just to sing?" A girl group from the Bronx called The Jaynettes had a #2 hit with "Sally Go Round the Roses" in 1963. Judy makes this sound like a long-lost folk tune rather than an early-60s rock hit, "The saddest thing in this whole wide world is to see your baby with another girl." Bruce Cockburn recorded "Pacing the Cage" for his CD "The Charity of Night"; and it was also recorded by Jimmy Buffett. When Judy sings, "I've proven who I am so many times, the magnetic strip's worn thin," we feel a sense of tiredness in her expression, although it's never hinted at in her voice. "I Can't Cry Hard Enough" was recorded by Victoria Williams whose high-pitched vibrato embraced the tune on her 1990 "Swing the Statue" CD. With Judy Collins, it packs an elegant punch. Train's "Drops of Jupiter" may seem like an unusual choice, but like the classic song stylist she is, Judy makes it fit her like a glove. Collins' "Voyager" is a lovely song with her elegant piano, "Morning came today and you are here." "Portrait of an American Girl" is a gorgeous set, a cause for celebration for Judy Collins fans old & new. Bravo!
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a little different 6 May 2005
By tompan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I admit I haven't been listening to Judy much in recent years. My tastes changed & the compilations seemed to signal the end of her recording career, though she still performs constantly. This is a pleasant surprise and a delight for the most part.

Standouts are That Song About The Midway and I Can't Cry Hard Enough. Those and Pacing The Cage are pure classics. Judy is better using her chest voice and the mix on these songs with her head voice is perfect.

I was afraid of Sally Go 'Round The Roses but what a great vocal arrangement!! Is this an old folk song or a 50's oldie? Can't Buy Love is an overdone theme. She might have saved it with a full band though.

I wish she had followed Lincoln Portrait with her rendition of America The Beautiful. (At least the synthesized orchestra here is well done) There is some puzzlement from other reviewers about the Lincoln Portrait. Listen to Abraham Lincoln's words...they are a totally current message about the state of our country, war, and a message for our current government. I think Judy is making a great statement with it!

Beginning the album with Singing Lessons and ending it with How Can I Keep From Singing is another statement. Judy is humble but not about to stop--a testament to a very long career that is not over.
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great portrait 21 April 2005
By Book Lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
This collection won't disappoint Judy Collins fans who've been waiting a decade for an album of new material. Five of the songs were written by Ms. Collins, and all thirteen are decidedly "Judy Collins songs," forming an up-to-date self-portrait of this American girl. Though there is heartbreak in the lyric and yearning in the voice on many of the songs, as always, the lasting message is one of hope and optimism, the resilience of the human spirit, and the transformative power of song. In her long career, Judy Collins has created a large musical legacy, but never has her voice and music been more moving than on Portrait of An American Girl.
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