Top positive review
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Joan Baez showing that her early '60's classics could be rivalled in the '70's
on 23 November 2011
A great set of Joan's work '72-'76, her voice in the best shape ever - more mellow than in the '60's yet with her range undiminished. A shame that the record label has split albums across the first 3 discs but, apart from that, little to criticise except maybe the 22-minute recording of US planes bombing Hanoi on Where Are You Now My Son. I understood the sentiment at the time but it does not make for interesting (should I say eomfortable?) listening now, in my view. Given the state of the world in the 21st century, however, it could be argued the track is as relevant now as ever. Either way, the collection would not be complete without it.
Diamonds and Rust has to be the stand-out album here, with the sublime autobiographical title track and great versions of Dylan's Simple Twist Of Fate, John Prine's Hello In There and a fabulous take on Fountain Of Sorrow, the recording that introduced me to the great Jackson Browne.
I was lucky to obtain a cd of Gulf Winds in 1987, surely an unfairly ignored masterpiece and one that was regrettably soon deleted by A&M (along with Come From The Shadows) - here the songs really shine thanks to great remastering. The all-live disc 4 shows Joan at her best, with witty asides to the audience.
If you want a varied, top-notch collection of Joan Baez in her prime, start here. With the reduced price, it's also a bargain! Thanks, Joan, for 50+ years of listening pleasure.