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36
4.7 out of 5 stars
The Best Of The Vanguard Years
Format: Audio CDChange
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136 of 138 people found the following review helpful
on 31 May 2005
A brilliant collection of the best of her music from the twelve years that she recorded with Vanguard, the early era of her recording career. Here we have the pristine and crystal clear voice of Joan Baez eloquently and melodiously flowing over the golden pebbles of Bob Dylan's four tracks, namely It's all over now, Baby Blue (with immortal "Yonder stands your orphan with his gun"), Farewell Angelina, (a gem with the music and image-laden lyrics in perfect harmony), Love is just a four letter word, and the beautiful simplicity of I Pity the Poor Immigrant ( here the first couple lines lingers for long in one's auditory memory after the song is played). Other uplifting tracks include the evergreen The Night they drove Old Dixie down, Paul Simon's The Dangling Conversation, with its perceptive lyrics. Also I must mention her lovely rendition of the Kris Kristofferson classic Help me make it though the night and the Lennon-McCarthney Let it be. The determination of the under-dog comes though so clearly in We shall overcome, as does the grateful resignation of the gentle There but for Fortune. In fact every track in this collection is top class Baez, and it ends on a high with track fourteen the The Brand new Tennessee Waltz. It must get five stars if not a few more, especially considering its nice price at Amazon.
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113 of 116 people found the following review helpful
By no means all the greatest early songs, this compilation does include her hits and well-known album tracks from the 1960s and early 1970s. It focuses on the later Vanguard years when she moved into pop and rock. Four Dylan tracks are included plus her greatest commercial success, The Band's The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down, a lilting melodious song about the civil war, her big hit from 1971.
Farewell Angelina from the album of the same name is another gem, and then there's the civil rights anthem We Shall Overcome. Other highlights include The Dangling Conversation (penned by Paul Simon), the bitter Love Is Just A Four Letter Word and the stirring There But For Fortune. Help Me Make It Through The Night and Let It Be must be two of the most covered compositions of all time and Baez renders them well.
The album concludes with the evocative Brand New Tennessee Waltz, one of the most memorable songs from her repertoire. The Vanguard years encompassed many other great classics not represented here, such as Ate Amanha, Kumbaya, Long Black Veil, Gospel Ship, Satisfied Mind, and the awesome Lady Mary. That aside, this is a valuable collection and ideal for those wishing to investigate the 1960s/70s work of this folk legend.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 10 July 2011
Although most of these songs are cover versions of great songs by the cream of the 1960s and 1970s (Dylan, the Beatles, Paul Simon and Kris Kristofferson) Joan Baez brings a freshness and unique folk twang to these songs. "The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down" is a rousing tune whereas "It's all over now, Baby Blue" and "Farewell, Angelina" are hauntingly beautiful. Baez's own song, "Blessed are" builds to a crescendo and is full of passion whilst "We shall overcome" reminds us of how influential she was in the protest movement. This album is a collection of Baez's best and meanders from folk to country and back again. A wonderful album to put on in the background when working or relaxing.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
TOP 500 REVIEWERon 30 December 2011
This album showcases some of the best of Joan Baez recordings for Vanguard
in the 60's and 70's. Now aged 70, Joan goes back a long way, as perhaps
we do too who loved her folk protest genre.

Among the 14 tracks on this album are, "It's All Over Now, Baby Blue",
"The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down" from 1971, "Farewell Angelina",
"Help Me Make It Through The Night", "There But For Fortune" and
"We Shall Overcome".

Miss Baez music diversified after the 1970's into a more folk rock,
country and later even gospel music style, flitting in and out of
the various genre's with ease.

This album is ideal for fans who wish to re-capture Joan at her best
with some of her most loved songs.
Her fansite is joanbaez.com and several more of her albums are also
available from Amazon.
Great music to bring back some great memories.
A worthwhile addition to your collection.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 17 August 2011
This C.D. brought back many happy memories of the early sixties. It is a pity we don't her more of her music on the radio. I think her voice has improved with age.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 13 March 2011
Lost all my previous music (tapes) by this artist. And a true artist she is. Wonderful voice which takes me back to the days when music and singing artists had real natural talent.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 September 2013
This album contains many of Joan Baez ealy classics. If you were around in the 60s and want to remind yourself of this era then this is the album for you.
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on 28 September 2013
Listening to this album brought back lots of memories of scout camps for me because we didn't sing ging gang goolie but many of the current folk songs featured on this album inc. It's all over now baby blue, There but for fortune & We shall overcome. Joan closely linked with Bob Dylan was one of the leading artists in the early 60's folk era superb versions of I pity the poor immigrant and Help me make it through the night and Brand New Tennessee Waltz and her classic track The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down. Great Folk Album
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 June 2013
If your music taste is 60s folk then this one is for you. Good recording nice songs. Turn up the volume and enjoy.
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on 7 June 2015
I bought this as it had my favourite tracks from the 60's, namely Farewell Angelina and There But For Fortune but this cd is worth the price alone just to hear Joan sing We Shall Overcome - it is quite simply stunning. Joan's beautiful clear voice rings out like a bell.
I have seen Joan twice in concert and she is wonderful and has a good sense of humour.
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