The Very Best of Judy Collins

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Performers are known because of different qualities, like the ability to craft songs or sing with emotion. With folksingers like Judy Collins, there was never any question. In the '60s, her voice could always be counted on to amaze and astonish listeners. Collins also had the good taste to choose good songs by great writers like Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Joni Mitchell. The only weak spot in this otherwise rosy scenario centered on occasional lapses in judgment when it came to arrangements. Early material like "Turn! Turn! Turn!" and "Suzanne" features little more than guitar and bass backup. These cuts still sound honest and fresh. Because Collins' vocals were so ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
Performers are known because of different qualities, like the ability to craft songs or sing with emotion. With folksingers like Judy Collins, there was never any question. In the '60s, her voice could always be counted on to amaze and astonish listeners. Collins also had the good taste to choose good songs by great writers like Dylan, Leonard Cohen, and Joni Mitchell. The only weak spot in this otherwise rosy scenario centered on occasional lapses in judgment when it came to arrangements. Early material like "Turn! Turn! Turn!" and "Suzanne" features little more than guitar and bass backup. These cuts still sound honest and fresh. Because Collins' vocals were so commanding, though, it was also easy to add busier arrangements to good effect. One of the best cuts on this album is Ian Tyson's "Someday Soon," featuring Buddy Emmons on pedal steel and James Burton on guitar. The band lays down a perfect country & western cushion for her emotive vocal and the results sound as lovely today as they did 30 years ago. For every song that she nails perfectly, however, there is another one that goes just as badly astray. The sluggish "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues," complete with flute, sounds like a bizarre companion piece to "Suzanne." The harpsichord, rock drums, and orchestra of "Both Sides Now" seems a bit overblown -- though it certainly made a big splash on the radio at the time. Many of these songs misfire due to the odd mixtures of styles, attempting to marry folk and country to pop, and add out-of-place instruments. Oddly, the pop arrangement of "Send in the Clowns" works surprisingly well because it doesn't try to mix styles. The Very Best of Judy Collins is a good overview of Collins' journey from folksinger to singer/songwriter to pop diva.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/21/2001
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • UPC: 081227437428
  • Catalog Number: 74374
  • Sales rank: 7,941

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Judy Collins Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Piano, Electric Piano, Vocals
Buddy Emmons Pedal Steel Guitar
Ray Barretto Bongos, Conga, Recorder
Ry Cooder Electric Guitar
Van Dyke Parks Piano
Stephen Stills Electric Bass, Electric Guitar
Joshua Rifkin Conductor
James Burton Electric Guitar
Dan Reed Violin
Eric Weissberg Acoustic Guitar, Upright Bass
Sue Evans Percussion, Drums, Choir, Chorus
Wayne Andre Trombone
Ann Barak Violin
Julien Barber Viola
John Beal Bass
Richard Bell Choir, Chorus
Garnett Brown Trombone
Norman Carr Violin
Harry Cykman Violin
Bob Daugherty Upright Bass
Russell George Electric Bass
Hank Jaramillo Percussion
Joel Kaye Woodwind
Guy Lumia Violin
Steve Mandell Acoustic Guitar
Charles McCracken Cello
Kermit Moore Cello
Cliff Morris Guitar
Don Payne Electric Bass
Thomas Pearson Piano, Celeste
Fritz Richmond Choir, Chorus
Alvin Rogers Violin
Abe Rosen Harp
Allan Schwartzberg Percussion
Les Scott Woodwind
Bob Steen Woodwind
Bill Takas Upright Bass
Jonathan Tunick Conductor
Larry Wechsler French Horn
Sidney Weinberg Woodwind
Marilyn Wright Violin
Julie Held Violin
Michael Melvoin Piano
Jerry Lee Smith Woodwind
Mathilde Pincus Violin
Elizabeth Thompson Choir, Chorus
George Brown Viola
Albert Richmond French Horn
Al Miller Violin
Gene Taylor Electric Bass, Choir, Chorus
Technical Credits
Judy Collins Arranger, Composer, Liner Notes, Adaptation
Pete Seeger Composer
Joshua Rifkin Arranger
David Anderle Producer
Richard Bell Arranger
Hugh Brown Art Direction
Jimmie Haskell Orchestration
John Newton Composer
Alan Silverman Remastering
Jonathan Tunick Arranger
Daniel Goldmark Editorial Research
Traditional Composer
Gillian Gaar Liner Notes
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    A reviewer

    I hate to say this, but this one needs to go back to the remastering console. Having owned the original Elektra LPs of Ms. Collins, I have gotten used to her sibilant, yet silky soft vocalizations and to the phenomenal ambience and sound quality of the original Elektra recordings. Something was lost on this CD however, as most of the audio seems muddy and poorly equalized, almost like an old mono recording. Track #5 "Both Sides Now" which is my perennial favorite sounded so unpleasant that I skipped over it. The rest of the tracks are acceptable, though muddy sounding. This particular CD was remastered in 2001, so one would think that by now, audio technicians would have it down to a fine art. As said before, something went sour somewhere in the transfer process. But for that, this would be a beautiful collection. My apologies to Ms. Collins, but this is just a bad remastering job.

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