on 6 January 2012
Judy Collins excels here with a collection of high quality melodic and haunting songs, released on Elektra Records in 1975, reminding us of what a fabulous talent she is. Having seen her in Plymouth Theatre in the 70's it is one of music's mysteries why Judy Collins doesn't tower over the folk-rock scene, as her songwriting is as original as Joni Mitchell's and the voice is far warmer.
Commencing with Jimmy Webb's wonderful "The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress" inspired by Robert Heinlein's Sci-Fi novel, the backing musicians are on the top of their game.
"Angel Spread Your Wings" an uplifting Danny O'Keefe song soon follows.
"Houses" self penned by Judy is a stunning rich tapestry of both poetry and music combined into a soaring yet haunting song of unrequieted love, and is truly of great musical stature.
"The Lovin' of the Game" by Pat Garvey is up next & proceeds at quite a lick with slide guitars wailing away,fabulous.
"Song For Duke" again, self penned is a fitting tribute song about Duke Ellington and his funeral day, feel the rain on your stereo from New York almost.
"Send In The Clowns" surely is the best interpretation of this Stephen Sondheim song you will ever hear.
"Salt of the Earth" A Mick Jagger/Keith Richard 1968 song is almost a hymn with a great production.
"Brother Can You Spare A Dime" written by Jay Gorney in 1932 about the American Depression could have been written yesterday and is full of pathos for a lost way of life and a beautiful arrangement and interpretation by Judy.
"City of New Orleans" is a gorgeous train song written by Steve Goodman and boy does it rattle along with great musicianship from all of the cast
!I'll Be Seeing You" by Sammy Fain and Irving Kahl brought tears to my eyes with the most exquisite rendition.
"Pirate Ships" by Wendy Waldman has a beautiful ethereal delivery from Judy with sympathetic backing by Harp, Recorder, Flute, Accordion and Cello.
All too soon we are at the last song, the self penned "Born to the Breed" leaves you longing for more.
A Stellar collection of music people make this CD a truly memorable and classy experience.
*****Produced mainly by Arif Mardin with three songs by Jonathan Tunick at A & R Studios New York with Phil Ramone engineering a superb disc. David Geffen gets a special thank you, so here are the cast as they appear on this recording.
Judy Collins: Vocals, George Marge: English Horn/Flute,Bill Slapin: Alto Flute,Romeo Penque: Bass Flute,
Emanuel Vardi: Viola, Gene Orloff: Violin Ken Ascher: Electric Piano, Stephen Gadd:Drums,
Hugh McCracken, David Spinozza, Steve Burgh, Charlie Brown :All on Guitars,on Bass,Tony Levin: : Ralph McDonald:Percussion,Arthur Clarke, Seldon Powell, Tony Studd, Frank Wess, Randy Brecker, Garnett Brown: All on Horns
ARP Synthesizer Ken Bichel, Eric Weissberg on Guitars, Steel Guitar & Dobro, Pat Rebillot on Organ, Don Brooks:
Harmonica, Corky Hale on Harp, Dominic Cortes on Accordion and George RicciCello
Backing Vocals by Steve Goodman, Denver Collins, Cissy Houston, Sylvia Shemwell, Eunice Peterson, Eric Weissberg,
Full lyrics and sleeve notes make this a gem for everyone to discover.
THEY DON'T MAKE 'EM LIKE THIS ANYMORE.-God Bless Arif Mardin for making it all possible.
Jeff Reeves, 6th January 2012
Well, after forty years, I finally got around to purchasing this album!
Judy Collins to me, like to many, will always be remembered for the big hit she had `Send In The Clowns' back in 1975 which ironically for me, though I loved her voice, could not stand the song at the time. It always sounded a bit out of place to me, when the top ten was pretty much filled with fast disco sounds, then to be interrupted by this slow kind of ballad - but of course it wasn't the only one. I've heard many versions of `Clowns' over the years, but Judy's was always by far the best interpretation - even though I had not been `struck' with the song itself. However; more recently, my partner purchased a compilation CD of various artists where this classic song was included, and it not only reminded me of Judy's fabulous vocal talent, but the song itself actually began to grow on me and I really began to appreciate it. It was this that made me go look at the album the single had been taken from all those years ago, and to listen to the samples on Amazon - am I glad that I did! I just had to purchase the CD! It's one of those that after having listened to just a few snatches of each track, you just KNOW that every song is going to be good! Having purchased the CD, I now can't wait to get hold of the vinyl! (that tends to surprise some people after CD purchase - but those more knowledgeable of vinyl will understand why that is)
This is a truly FABULOUS album, and one I just know I will play over and over. After the very first listen, I just wanted to listen to it again straight after - a pretty rare thing for me these days. Very difficult indeed to name the highlights here, as each song is pretty unique. The first track is superb, and the album does not lose its momentum, and continues to sound great.
Judy's interpretation of `I'll Be Seeing You' (a very old song and one of my favourites) is SO unique it could have been written specially for her! I have several artists singing this song in my large and ever-growing music collection - but none as totally different and unique as this! Judy Collins has one of those voices I always say could make your speakers `crackle' - a pitch that is SO high and strong and defined - yet extremely relaxed and unstrained at the same time - it just doesn't seem to waver - however long she may draw out any particular note - marvellous!
In a single word: SUPERB!
on 5 May 2003
Judy Collins album Judith was capable of touching the innermost recesses of your mind and soul as it swept through the spiritual, emotional and poignant lyrics of some of the best writing and singing to be found on the seventies side of Eva Cassidy.
Piercing clarity, only equalled by the look from her eyes on the cover, this is really an album with few equals. It has never faded and will defy anyone's attempts to date it.
The best from one of the Greats!
on 21 February 2015
Yet another gem from the dulcet tones of Miss Collins. The trouble when one buys most of her CDs there will inevitably be some overlapping in the selections, but on this cd I think there are only three. My favourite was "Brother, can you spare a dime" sung beautifully and just as good as the Peter, Paul and Mary version from years ago. Excellent value and a very pleasant choice. Wonderful value, and thoroughly recommended.