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Wildflowers

Judy Collins

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iTunes Review

In the ‘60s, Judy Collins went from a folksinger to a cultured vocalist of artistically exquisite folk songs with classical underpinnings. Her version of Joni Mitchell’s “Michael from Mountains” and three covers of Leonard Cohen (“Sisters of Mercy,” “Hey That’s No Way to Say Goodbye” and the rarity, “Priests”) made her a true advocate for the budding singer-songwriters. Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” would become one of both Mitchell’s and Collins’ beloved tunes. Collins brought it to mainstream acceptance with a beautiful arrangement. Jacques Brel’s “La Chanson Des Vieux Amants (The Song of Old Lovers)” is exactly the grand piano piece that exemplifies Collins’ abilities to glide through genres. However, it’s also the emergence of Collins the writer that fuels the success of this 1967 release. “Since You Asked,” “Sky Fell” and “Albatross” are songs that hold their own. Collins would never be a prolific writer, but when committed, she penned some important songs during her career.

Customer Reviews

This Groovy Dish Still Hits the Spot

1966! I can't believe "Wildflowers" is over 40 years old. This is one of those cherished albums that got its vinyl worn clean in my house, and still sounds as fresh as the daisies on the cover. With this album, Judy Collins went from one of several outstanding Folk/Pop singers at that point to an artist of the first rank. It didn't hurt that, like any good musician, she knew how to collaborate: listen to the gorgeous, levitating arrangements by Joshua Rifkin on this album (particularly on "Sisters of Mercy" and "Priests"), or Leonard Cohen's lyrics on the same pieces -- absolutely out-of-body, even before Judy wraps that silky voice around them. Add to that, works by none other than Joni Mitchell, and even early French chansons, plus a radio-friendly hit ("Both Sides Now") to open the B-side with a touch of Groovy, and you have something truly precious. At last, we can trust someone over 40. This is a classic.

if you knew Judy like I know Judy...

In the summer of 1963, I got the chance to live with my relations on my father's side of the family -- in New York City. I stayed with my cousin Sonny on the upper East Side and spent almost every night in Greenwich Village. Full of Beatniks and drug addicts, there were also struggling and up-and-coming stars of the future playing the clubs -- many times free!! People like Mary Travers, Noah Stookey, Bob Zimmerman, and Judy Collins. She was the first to make it, and the first vinyl I ever owned was an autographed copy of "Wild Flowers". I don't know where it is now, but its sound is absolutly true to her original live performances. The voice of an angel in a time of protest and upheaval. And, I was only 16 at the time.

A masterpiece!

This album visited our house on loan to my older sister, then fourteen, some forty-odd years ago. It's beauty so charmed me, a ten-year-old boy, that it became my first LP. Wildflowers is to be cherished for its ability to acompany the listener on quiet journeys of thought and emotion, where the most personal is at once universal. The song writing talents of the other greats represented on this album deserve enormous credit, but Collins' own contributions are every bit as luminous and vivid. But this album would not be the masterpiece it is without the arrangements of conductor and musicologist Joshua Rifkin. The stars aligned for this album. If you were drawn here by just one song, or serendipity, take it as a sign that you have been granted a golden wish.

Biography

Born: May 1, 1939 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

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

Singer Judy Collins was, along with Joan Baez, one of the two major interpretive singers to emerge from the folk revival of the late '50s and early '60s. Like Baez, she began singing traditional folk songs, then moved on to popularize the work of contemporary singer/songwriters, even writing her own songs occasionally. Unlike Baez, she used her classical music training to evolve into being a singer of art songs and show tunes, sometimes employing semi-classical arrangements. In a career that began...
Full Bio

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