The Very Best of Judy Collins

The Very Best of Judy Collins

by Judy Collins


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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.

Product Details

Release Date: 08/21/2001
Label: Elektra / Wea
UPC: 0081227437428
catalogNumber: 74374
Rank: 6683

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
Steve 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
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
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
Jonathan Tunick   Arranger
Book of Ecclesiastes   Composer
Daniel Goldmark   Editorial Research
Gillian Gaar   Liner Notes

Customer Reviews

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The Very Best of Judy Collins 2.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
glauver More than 1 year ago
This 16 track collection comes from when Judy Collins was an intermittent presence on the charts, from the early Sixties to the late Seventies. During that time she moved from being a pure folksinger to recording Broadway fare like Send In The Clowns and introducing then obscure songwriters Leonard Cohen, Sandy Denny, and Joni Mitchell to a wide audience. The disc closes with an a Capella version of Amazing Grace. Rabid fans will want more. I have her first three folk efforts plus her In Concert album on repackages on her own Wildflower label plus an early Nineties CD of Bob Dylan numbers. It may not be perfect, but The Very Best of Judy Collins fills in the gaps in my collection nicely.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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.