Complete A&M Recordings

The Complete A&M Recordings

5.0 1
by Joan Baez
A month-and-a-half after the release of her first studio recording in six years, and perhaps her finest recording since 1975's Diamonds & Rust, Joan Baez's complete A&M recordings offer a revelatory view of the artist at her most adventurous. Baez's tenure with A&M lasted from 1972-1976 and yielded five studio albums, a live recording, and three non-album


A month-and-a-half after the release of her first studio recording in six years, and perhaps her finest recording since 1975's Diamonds & Rust, Joan Baez's complete A&M recordings offer a revelatory view of the artist at her most adventurous. Baez's tenure with A&M lasted from 1972-1976 and yielded five studio albums, a live recording, and three non-album singles. All of them are included here on four CDs with gorgeously remastered sound, a deluxe package with exhaustive, insightful, and unflinching liner notes by Arthur Levy, and a package that should win a Grammy for design and presentation if nothing else. Baez, regarded in the popular culture at large as a "folk" or "topical" singer (the latter term she would not refute, the former hasn't fit her for some time), has always been a restless artist. This box set offers proof that Baez's switch to A&M -- then an independent, now swallowed whole by Universal -- from Vanguard, facilitated a virtual renaissance for her not just creatively, but on the charts as well. This reappraisal is necessary, given Baez's most recent recordings have reflected another shift in her sound and concerns, away from being a songwriter to being an interpreter of fine, edgy, roots songs by a whole slew of younger writers -- and her seeming embrace of the electric guitar. The earliest evidence of Baez's rambling vision can be heard on her experimental album Baptism, from 1968. Upon moving to A&M, and recording from her Nashville studio base, Baez released her self-produced Come From The Shadows (with help from Norbert Putnam), featuring -- like her latter day Vanguard recordings -- a host of Nashville's finest musicians, which included David Paul Briggs, Pete Drake, Kenneth A. Buttrey, Charlie McCoy, and Grady Martin. It was certainly a political record, but it also included the stunning "Love Song To A Stranger," and her sister Mimi Fariña's "In The Quiet Morning," written in memory of Janis Joplin. The other half of Disc One is comprised of Where Are You Now, My Son from 1973, co-produced by Baez and Henry Lewy. It included a slew of originals by Baez, including the title track, a pair of songs by Fariña, and Hoyt Axton's "Less Than A Song." Most importantly, it was a move toward something outside of the country-rock realm she'd been toying with. That "something" first occurs on Disc Two with her traditional album of Latin folk and topical songs from Gracias a la Vida, and, of course, 1975's Diamonds and Rust with David Kershenbaum helping her out in the production room. The latter album, heard so many years after the fact of its inception and release, has Baez experimenting with soul -- Stevie Wonder's "Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer"; hard country: Dickey Betts' "Blue Sky,"; and moving around toward Dylan once again, as she was part of the Rolling Thunder Review, with a stellar version of "Simple Twist Of Fate," as well as the legendary title track. Along with it, Baez wrote four songs, and recorded others by John Prine, and Jackson Browne, and offered a deeply moving rendition of Stephen Foster's "I Dream of Jeannie" melded with "Danny Boy." It was the masterpiece that both critics and fans knew she was capable of delivering and had been leading up to since Blessed Are.., her final album for Vanguard. It, along with most everything here, has aged well and endures. Disc Three features the second half of Diamonds and Rust, and another fine, if criminally under-appreciated, album Gulf Winds, released in October of 1976 and comprised entirely of Baez originals. Disc Four features one of the best live recordings from the 1970s, From Every Stage, compiled from a handful of shows and not enhanced in any way. Some of the members of her road band included no less than one of Motown's Funk Brothers in bassist James Jamerson, drummer Jim Gordon, pianist David Briggs, and guitarist Larry Carlton. Moving across the space of her entire career, it is a moving, engaging, and utterly transcendent recording, offered in an era when live records sucked -- they were no longer live but edited heavily in the studio. This box features each album's original liner notes, as well as a host of stunning photographs. But besides the elegant package, the music tells the story of an artist who pushed herself beyond the laurels of her living legend, who worked at trying to find, in the swirling winds of change, a complexity outside her accepted norm, and finally, a relevant, constantly evolving place for herself as an artist. The evidence is in: she succeeded in spades.

Product Details

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Disc 1

  1. Prison Trilogy (Billy Rose)
  2. Rainbow Road
  3. Love Song to a Stranger
  4. Myths
  5. In the Quiet Morning
  6. Weary Mothers (People's Union, No. 1)
  7. To Bobby
  8. Song of Bangladesh
  9. A Stranger in My Place
  10. Tumbleweed
  11. The Partisan
  12. Imagine
  13. Where Are You Now My Son?
  14. Only Heaven Knows (Ah, The Sad Wind Blows)
  15. Less Than the Song
  16. A Young Gypsy
  17. Mary Call

Disc 2

  1. Rider Pass By
  2. Best of Friends
  3. Windrose
  4. Gracias a la Vida (Here's to Life)
  5. Llego Con Tres Heridas (I Come With Three Wounds)
  6. La Llorona (The Weeping Woman)
  7. El Preso Numero Nueve (Prisoner Number Nine)
  8. Guantanamera
  9. Te Recuerdo Amanda (I Remember Amanda)
  10. Dida
  11. Cucurrucucu Paloma
  12. Paso Rio (I Pass a River)
  13. El Rossinyol (The Nightingale)
  14. De Colores (In Colors)
  15. Las Madres Cansadas (All the Weary Mothers of the Earth/People's Union No.
  16. No Nos Moveran (We Shall Not Be Moved)
  17. Esquinazo del Guerrillero (The Guerilla's Serenade)
  18. Johnny, I Hardly Knew Yeh
  19. Where's My Apple Pie?
  20. Forever Young
  21. Diamonds & Rust
  22. Fountain of Sorrow
  23. Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer

Disc 3

  1. Children and All That Jazz
  2. Simple Twist of Fate
  3. Blue Sky
  4. Hello in There
  5. Jessie
  6. Winds of the Old Days
  7. Dida
  8. I Dream of Jeannie/Danny Boy
  9. Sweeter for Me
  10. Seabirds
  11. Caruso
  12. Still Waters at Night
  13. Kingdom of Childhood
  14. O Brother!
  15. Time Is Passing Us By
  16. Stephanie's Room
  17. Gulf Winds

Disc 4

  1. (Ain't Gonna Let Nobody) Turn Me Around
  2. Blessed Are
  3. Suzanne
  4. Love Song to a Stranger, Pt. 2
  5. I Shall Be Released
  6. Blowin' in the Wind
  7. Stewball
  8. Natalia
  9. The Ballad of Sacco & Vanzetti
  10. Joe Hill
  11. Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word
  12. Forever Young
  13. Diamonds & Rust
  14. Boulder to Birmingham
  15. Swing Low, Sweet Chariot
  16. Oh, Happy Day
  17. Please Come to Boston
  18. Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts
  19. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down
  20. Amazing Grace

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Joan Baez   Primary Artist,Guitar,Piano,Vocals,Moog Synthesizer,ARP
Mimi Fariña   Guitar,Vocals
Joni Mitchell   Improvisation
Larry Carlton   Acoustic Guitar,Percussion,Conductor,Electric Guitar
Joe Sample   Percussion,Hammond Organ,Electric Piano
Tom Scott   Flute,Saxophone,Woodwind
Red Rhodes   Pedal Steel Guitar
Grady Martin   Guitar
Jim Gordon   Percussion,Drums
Stuart Basore   Steel Guitar
Max Bennett   Bass
Kenny Buttrey   Drums
Jerry Carrigan   Drums
Malcolm Cecil   Synthesizer,Moog Synthesizer,ARP
Isabelle Daskoff   Viola
Donald "Duck" Dunn   Bass
Jesse Ehrlich   Cello
Wilton Felder   Bass,Percussion
Dan Ferguson   Guitar
Ronald Folsom   Violin
James Getzoff   Violin
Hampton Hawes   Piano
Milt Holland   Percussion
Jim Horn   Saxophone
Jim Hughart   Bass
William Hymanson   Violin
James Jamerson   Bass
Larry Knechtel   Organ,Piano,Electric Piano
Robert Konrad   Violin
William Kurash   Violin
Carl LaMagna   Violin
Lalo Lindgron   Harp
Rick Lotempio   Electric Guitar
Edgar Lustgarten   Cello
Ollie Mitchell   Trumpet
Buck Monari   Trumpet
Farrell Morris   Percussion
Weldon Myrick   Steel Guitar
Robert Ostrowsky   Violin
David Paich   Piano,Electric Harpsichord
Dean Parks   Acoustic Guitar,Banjo,Mandolin,Conductor,Electric Guitar
Reinie Press   Bass
Norbert Putnam   Bass
Sid Sharp   Violin,Leader
Glen Spreen   Keyboards
Sally Stevens   Vocals
Tommy Tedesco   Guitar
Pete Wade   Guitar
Jackie Ward   Vocals
John "Bucky" Wilkin   Guitar
Reggie Young   Guitar
Tibor Zelig   Violin
Ray Kelly   Violin
Andra Willis   Vocals
John Guerrin   Drums
David Briggs   Piano,Keyboards

Technical Credits

Stephen Foster   Composer
Hoyt Axton   Composer
Emmylou Harris   Composer
Joan Baez   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Liner Notes
Leonard Cohen   Composer
Mimi Fariña   Composer
Victor Jara   Composer
Pete Seeger   Music Adaptations
Jackson Browne   Composer
Bob Dylan   Composer
Janis Ian   Composer
John Lennon   Composer
Dave Loggins   Composer
John Prine   Composer
Robbie Robertson   Composer
Larry Carlton   Arranger,String Arrangements
Tom Scott   Horn Arrangements,String Arrangements
Earl Robinson   Composer
Donnie Fritts   Composer
Joan Manuel Serrat   Composer
Rolando Alarcon   Composer
Violeta Parra   Composer
Dan Penn   Composer
Dale Ashby   Engineer
Bill Danoff   Composer
Edwin Hawkins   Composer
Gene Eichelberger   Engineer
Winston Foster   Composer
Lee Hazen   Engineer
John Herald   Composer
Alex Kazanegras   Engineer,Remixing
Kenny Rogers   Composer
David Kershenbaum   Producer
Mike Leech   String Arrangements,Brass Arrangment
Henry Lewy   Producer,Engineer,Remixing
Ennio Morricone   Composer
John Newton   Composer
Dean Parks   Arranger,String Arrangements
Norbert Putnam   Producer
Ralph Rinzler   Composer
Rick Ruggieri   Engineer
Glen Spreen   String Arrangements
Kin Vassy   Composer
Tommy Vicari   Engineer
Stevie Wonder   Composer
Syreeta Wright   Composer
Bob Yellin   Composer
Hy Zaret   Composer
Arthur Levy   Liner Notes
Richard Betts   Composer
Norman Moore   Art Direction
Bernard Gelb   Executive Producer
Hermanos Cantoral   Composer
Anna Marly   Composer
José Martí   Composer
Héctor Angulo   Music Adaptations
Anthony Hayes   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Ryan Null   Photo Coordination
Haji   Engineer
Frederick Edward Weatherly   Composer
Alfred Hayes   Composer
Miguel Hernández   Composer

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The Complete A&M Recordings 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Monastic_Vow More than 1 year ago
As is occasionally the case, an artist gets so much better after the public has lost its interest and that's certainly the case with Joan Baez. She turned out to be a great songwriter and Gulf Winds--included here--is one of the most underrated recordings ever. There are some things only a loyal cult following appreciates.