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How Sweet the Sound

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Album Review

To accompany the documentary film Joan Baez: How Sweet the Sound, soundtrack producer Mark Spector assembled this hourlong compilation album. The film itself is biographical, with only snippets of performances, but here full-length tracks have been drawn from the albums Joan Baez in San Francisco, One Day at a Time, Blessed Are..., Carry It On, and Live at Newport, as well as the BBC documentary Joan Baez in Concert (not the same as the album Joan Baez in Concert) and the NBC TV special Hard Rain (not exactly the same as the Bob Dylan album Hard Rain). Previously unreleased are a couple of tracks recorded at Club 47 in Boston in 1958 ("I Never Will Marry" and "Barbara Allen") and four concluding tracks recorded on Baez's 2008-2009 tour supporting her album Day After Tomorrow ("Diamonds and Rust," "Love Song to a Stranger," "Day After Tomorrow," and "Jerusalem"). Thus, the album functions as a concise Baez best-of, stretching from her earliest recordings to her most recent performances to date (a stretch of more than 50 years) and tracing her development from a traditional folksinger to an interpreter of political songs by the likes of Dylan (who duets with her on his "I Pity the Poor Immigrant"), with her biggest pop hit, "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," and signature songs such as the original "Diamonds and Rust" included. There's a lot more to Joan Baez than these 15 selections, of course, but the collection is a reasonable summary with some rarities to tempt collectors.

Customer Reviews

How sweet the sound

I can't get enough of Joan Baez. Great album to add to my collection.


Born: January 9, 1941 in Staten Island, NY

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

The most accomplished interpretive folksinger of the 1960s, Joan Baez has influenced nearly every aspect of popular music in a career still going strong. Baez is possessed of a once-in-a-lifetime soprano, which, since the late '50s, she has put in the service of folk and pop music as well as a variety of political causes. Starting out in Boston, Baez first gained recognition at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival, then cut her debut album, Joan Baez (October 1960), for Vanguard Records. It was made up...
Full Bio