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These sixteen tracks encompass all of Judy Collins’ most popular and familiar songs and make for delightful listening. There are covers of songs by The Byrds (Turn! Turn! Turn!), Leonard Cohen (Suzanne), Dylan (Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues) and Joni Mitchell (Both Sides Now) and Judy transforms them all with her beautiful voice. It’s hard to pick favourites, but I love her version of Who Knows Where The Time Goes and Send In The Clowns more than any other versions. This graceful album concludes with her stunning a cappella rendition of Amazing Grace, a song hat amazingly made the UK Top 20 in 1971. Once you’ve heard these songs, you’ll want to investigate further and you won’t be disappointed since Collins had a prolific output, all of which is good, most of which is great.
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One of the most important folk-pop singers of the twentieth century, Judy recorded most of the songs for which she is best remembered in the sixties although she recorded plenty of great music in the seventies. Judy had three major international hits (Both sides now, Amazing grace, Send in the clowns) but she certainly deserved to have plenty more.
Among the other songs are Who knows where the time goes (written and first recorded by Sandy Denny), Chelsea morning (written, like Both sides now, by Joni Mitchell), Someday soon (a country song) and Turn turn turn (originally recorded by Pete Seeger with lyrics lifted from the biblical Book of Revelations, this song became famous when covered by the Byrds).
For a really in-depth Judy Collins compilation, go for the double-CD, Forever. If you only want a single CD of Judy's music, you'll find all the classic tracks here.
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VINE VOICEon 31 October 2005
Judy, Joni or Joan? Who do you prefer? They were the essential North American songstesses of the sixties folk/protest movement. Joni Mitchell was clearly the best songwriter of the three (indeed, one of the best of her generation) and the most accomplished musician. Joan Baez had the best voice; the greatest range and clarity, and the most lyrical tonality. She also exhibited the warmest personality and, yes, she was the best-looking, a real beauty.
Judy Collins is somewhere in between. Her voice is clearer and surer than Joni's, but with not quite the range and tone qualities of Joan's. And her songwriting abilities (as evidenced by four tracks on this CD) are passable but unremarkable. But when she sings other writers' songs, especially traditional songs, and stays within her range, she is superb.
Joshua Rifkin's arrangement for Just Like Tom Thumb Blues, incorporating harp and flutes, is truly beautiful. Also outstanding is Farewell to Tarwathie, a traditional whaling song. These two by themselves are worth the price of admission. There are two Joni Mitchell songs here. Both Sides Now is great, probably the best recording of it. Chelsea Morning is good (this is the version the Clintons heard, and which inspired their daughter's name) but it lacks the quirky charm that Joni brings to it. On Song for Judith, she pushes her voice too high and this is the weakest vocal performance on the CD. This is odd, because it is her own composition, so you would think that she would have written it to suit her range. Her rendition of the Sandy Denny song Who Knows Where the Time Goes, is probably the best there is, even better than Sandy's own recording, which is saying something, as Sandy's voice was very beautiful.
You need to hear Joan, Joni and Judy. As an introduction to, or sampling of, the latter, this CD, a true 'best of' with good sleeve notes, is the one to go for.
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This album covers the spectrum of the late 60's early 70's,with one of the best covers of Pete Seegers Turn Turn Turn and Judy's version of the much recorded Leonard Cohen song Suzanne makes the hairs of the neck stand up.Two UK top ten entries are included in the package Send In The Clowns and Amazing Grace,but any fan will remember the haunting Farewell Tarwathe sung to a backing of whale song.An Album not to be missed as an introduction to or addition to a folk music collection.
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It's quite a while since last playing this album, actually bought it when released, i always listen to the music i'm writing a
review about, reviewing my music is taking me on quite an enjoyable journey in truth.
Born 'Judith Marjorie Collins' in 'Seattle' 1939...........Singer/Songwriter 'Judy Collins' learnt the piano at a young
age, even performing at a 'Mozart Concerto' for two piano's at just 13 years of age.
Her inspiration for her folk-music roots came from artists such as 'Pete Seegar' and 'Woody Guthrie' who were very much a part
of the early 60's revival of Folk-Music.
In 1961 she signed up with 'Elektra Records' a label she was associated with for over 30 years, she started by recording traditional
folk material, whilst this album does harbour one or two of her own penned songs her entry into the charts both sides of the Atlantic
was with a 'Joni Mitchell' song the much acclaimed - 'Both Sides Of Now' (Chart U.K '14' 1970) the same year she released the very
traditional anthem - 'Amazing Grace' (Chart U.K '5') which remained in the charts for an amazing 67 weeks (very few numbers have
achieved that down the years) her third and final U.K-Hit, is in fact one of my all-time-favourites a 'Stephen Sondheim' number, that
has been recorded by many artists since including 'Elaine Paige' - 'Send In The Clowns' (Chart '6' 1975)
This album has many well loved tracks among it's listings in addition to the three U.K Chart-Hits listed including 'Turn ! Turn ! Turn ! /
To Everything There Is A Season' - A 'Bob Dylan' number - 'Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues' and 'Farewell To Tarwathie' overall a
very pleasant listening experience.
'Judy Collins' still performs to this day.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 1 November 2010
This is a superb collection of Judy Collins best songs. For once a 'best of' which is truly hype-free. If you've enjoyed even one of her songs this collection won't disappoint, as it features exquisite melodies, sympathetic production, and the spine-tingling, soaring vocal range of the wonderful songbird herself. If you're unfamiliar with what's here, simply listen to a few of the samples to realise what an incredible bargain this collection is. Really, this is such sublime warm and healing music, they should prescribe it on the NHS: wonderful melodies combined with thoughtful and haunting lyrics. This is committed emotional music which really connects with the listener. Once you want to move beyond this, her 'Forever' anthology gives you a broader sample of her musical genius. One of life's real bargains.
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VINE VOICEon 2 August 2011
I had Judy Collins on vinyl many decades ago. It is nice to get a 16 track album of some of her best stuff. "Who Knows Where the Time Goes" is still my favourite track. If you want mellow music to relax to with a glass of vino -then this fits the bill
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 17 July 2015
This excellent compilation contains all of the Judy Collins essentials that you ever really need on one CD. This beautiful folk-singer girl from North America only chalked up three hits in the UK, but they were all big, her possible signature song is a cover of Joni Mitchell's 'Both Sides Now', which peaked at no.14, but rose higher in the US, and her stirring renditions of 'Amazing Grace', and 'Send In The Clowns' were both top tens, 'Grace' fared the best, and made it to no.5. Judy also cut several best-selling studio albums during her musical peak in the late '60s to mid '70s.

'The Very Best of Judy Collins' collects together all of these key-cuts, as well as some great cover versions of the Pete Seeger penned 'Turn, Turn, Turn!', which most of us associate with The Byrds' hit version, Bob Dylan's 'Tom Thumb’s Blues', and a contemporary country-and-western number called 'Someday Soon'.

If you enjoy folk music at it's most beautiful, with meaning, thought-provoking lyrics, and haunting female vocals, buy this 16 track album, and discover, or become re-acquainted with the essentials of Judy Collins.

The CD's booklet is particularly nice, containing some lovely photographs of Judy during her heyday, as well as a letter from the lady herself, a biography by musical author Gillian G. Gaar, and track information.
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on 11 March 2009
The Very Best of Judy Collins
I had lost the original cassette tape of this and was delighted to find it on a CD. It really is great emotive music from this singer with a wonderful voice. Listen to the Hump back Whales in the background or Leonard Cohen's Suzanne and many more...
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on 30 October 2012
This was bought for a specific song for a funeral. Judith requested that the Song For Judith (Open the Door) be played at her funeral. It epitomised her and encapsulated her completely. Since then I have listened to the whole of the album and have fallen in love with the songs of Judy Collins.
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