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Folk/Americana - Released October 1, 1960 | Craft Recordings

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Pop - Released May 1, 1975 | A&M

Joan Baez's landmark Diamonds & Rust found her at the peak of her singer/songwriter skills, seemingly capable of transitioning out of '60s protest mode into a more contemporary and commercially viable position. It was also around this time that she toured with Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue, and according to Baez's memoirs, she wrote the songs for Gulf Winds during that tour. But Gulf Winds, her last A&M album, was a significant drop off and marked the beginning of what would be a steep commercial decline. Produced by David Kershenbaum, the album tries its best to bolster Baez with a timely '70s studio sound, but for the most part it misses the mark. The songs just aren't up to the task. "Sweeter for Me" sports a nice arppegiated piano by Baez and faintly harks to the melancholy brilliance of Diamonds & Rust, but, lyrically, most of the material is overwritten. The more stinging, faster-paced "O Brother!" is a more successful stab at a commercial sound, and Baez sings it with a bitter venom (you can't help but speculate that the song refers to Dylan himself). The standout track on an otherwise forgettable album, though, is surely the title track, "Gulf Winds," a ten-and-a-half-minute solo epic in the mold of her early work, just Joan and her acoustic guitar, brilliantly picked and sung, ironically demonstrating that, although Baez still had the talent, she couldn't capitalize on the success of Diamonds and Rust and the times were passing her by. © Jim Esch /TiVo
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Pop - Released May 1, 1975 | A&M

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Joan Baez's landmark Diamonds & Rust found her at the peak of her singer/songwriter skills, seemingly capable of transitioning out of '60s protest mode into a more contemporary and commercially viable position. It was also around this time that she toured with Bob Dylan's Rolling Thunder Revue, and according to Baez's memoirs, she wrote the songs for Gulf Winds during that tour. But Gulf Winds, her last A&M album, was a significant drop off and marked the beginning of what would be a steep commercial decline. Produced by David Kershenbaum, the album tries its best to bolster Baez with a timely '70s studio sound, but for the most part it misses the mark. The songs just aren't up to the task. "Sweeter for Me" sports a nice arppegiated piano by Baez and faintly harks to the melancholy brilliance of Diamonds & Rust, but, lyrically, most of the material is overwritten. The more stinging, faster-paced "O Brother!" is a more successful stab at a commercial sound, and Baez sings it with a bitter venom (you can't help but speculate that the song refers to Dylan himself). The standout track on an otherwise forgettable album, though, is surely the title track, "Gulf Winds," a ten-and-a-half-minute solo epic in the mold of her early work, just Joan and her acoustic guitar, brilliantly picked and sung, ironically demonstrating that, although Baez still had the talent, she couldn't capitalize on the success of Diamonds and Rust and the times were passing her by. © Jim Esch /TiVo
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Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 2006 | Vanguard Records

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Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 2006 | Vanguard Records

Spanning three discs, the box set Rare, Live & Classic is an odd mix of Joan Baez's best-known songs and rarities. For the hardcore collector, there are plenty of interesting items here, including previously unreleased duets with Bob Dylan, Donovan, Bill Wood, and Jeffrey Shurtleff, but for the casual fan, there's too much material; they would be better off with her original albums or single-disc compilations. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo
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Pop - Released August 2, 2019 | Craft Recordings

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Folk/Americana - Released November 3, 1980 | Columbia

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Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 1972 | A&M

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With the Vietnam War winding down, Joan Baez, who had devoted one side of her last album to her trip to Hanoi, delivered the kind of commercial album A&M Records must have wanted when it signed her three years earlier. But she did it on her own terms, putting together a session band of contemporary jazz veterans like Larry Carlton, Wilton Felder, and Joe Sample, and mixing a wise selection from the work of current singer-songwriters like Jackson Browne and John Prine with pop covers of Stevie Wonder and the Allman Brothers Band, and an unusually high complement of her own writing. A&M, no doubt recalling the success of her cover of the Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," released her version of the Allmans' "Blue Sky" as a single, and it got halfway up the charts. But the real hit was the title track, a self-penned masterpiece on the singer's favorite subject, her relationship with Bob Dylan. Outdoing the current crop of confessional singer/songwriters at soul baring, Baez sang to Dylan, reminiscing about her '60s love affair with him intensely, affectionately, and unsentimentally. It was her finest moment as a songwriter and one of her finest performances, period, and when A&M finally released it on 45, it made the Top 40, propelling the album to gold status. But those who bought the disc for "Diamonds & Rust" also got to hear "Winds of the Old Days," in which Baez forgave Dylan for abandoning the protest movement, as well as the jazzy "Children and All That Jazz," a delightful song about motherhood, and the wordless vocals of "Dida," a duet with Joni Mitchell accompanied by Mitchell's backup band, Tom Scott and the L.A. Express. The cover songs were typically accomplished, making this the strongest album of Baez's post-folk career. © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Folk/Americana - Released December 1, 1971 | Vanguard Records

This soundtrack intersperses acoustic live performances with politically oriented dialog, much of which is spoken by her then-husband, draft resister David Harris. It's certainly one of the most minor entries of her Vanguard catalog. The dialogue is distracting, and the music reasonable but uneven, as Baez offers interpretations of songs by Gram Parsons, Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton, Edwin Hawkins, Leonard Cohen, and "We Shall Overcome." Her cover of Aretha Franklin's "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man," however, was not a good idea. © Richie Unterberger /TiVo
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Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 1976 | A&M

Listening to this album a quarter century after the fact is an eerie experience; as a Baez fan of the same period and of a politically similar orientation at the time, this reviewer was shocked by the vitriol of the opening number, "(Ain't Gonna Let Nobody) Turn Me Around," especially given that the shows where this album was recorded dated from 1975. Was anyone (except maybe the Reagan-ites) ever really that angry at the Ford administration? Otherwise, Baez's trembling falsetto is in beautiful shape on songs ranging from Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne" to "Oh, Happy Day." The album was recorded on the tour supporting the release of Diamonds & Rust, but nothing of that album except the title track is represented here; rather, Baez performs five Bob Dylan songs (which get the most rousing reception), three of her better originals, including "Blessed Are" and "Diamonds and Rust," and a brace of traditional songs and covers of a handful of other composers' work, including "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." Apart from the opening outpouring of political venom, there's not too much controversy here -- a pair of songs, "Natalia" and "The Ballad of Sacco and Vanzett," dedicated to political prisoners and an ambitious but ultimately awkward adaptation of "Stewball" are as topical as most of the show gets. Baez is in superb voice and the backing septet, mostly heard on the second disc, has a surprisingly lean sound. Ultimately, From Every Stage is a good, albeit far slicker follow-up to Baez's two early-'60s live albums on Vanguard, though it says something about the nature of her history at A&M Records that five years into her contract with that label, all but a handful of the songs here were associated with her prior record label. © Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Folk/Americana - Released November 1, 1976 | A&M

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After recording for the folk label Vanguard for more than a decade, Baez moved to A&M. On this label debut, she maintained her interest in country music, recording in Nashville with some of the city's session aces. She also continued to dedicate herself to radical politics, from her set opener "Prison Trilogy," which pledged, "We're gonna raze the prisons to the ground," to the closer, John Lennon's "Imagine." In between were her call on Bob Dylan to return to protest music ("To Bobby") and her sister Mimi Farina's touching tribute to Janis Joplin, "In the Quiet Morning." © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 2006 | Vanguard Records

This album draws tracks from Joan Baez's appearances at the 1963, 1964, and 1965 Newport Folk Festivals, a time period in which she was the very epicenter of the folk scene. With her clear, strong, and bell-like soprano, Baez brought together traditional-folk materials with some of the best songs of the then-emerging songwriters of the so-called folk revival (she was the introduction for many to the work of Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Richard Fariña, and others), projecting a thematic unity between the old and the new that was instrumental in the success of the 1960s folk boom. This collection isn't quite as striking as her other live albums from this period, although only by degree, and there are several interesting tracks here, including the opener, a live version of Dylan's beautiful "Farewell Angelina," which seems almost written for (or about?) Baez. A duet with Mary Travers on "Lonesome Valley" is another highlight, as is an audience singalong on "Johnny Cuckoo." The final two tracks, "It Ain't Me Babe" and "With God on Our Side," are duets with Dylan, and while these performances may have strong historical value, the truth is that Baez and Dylan didn't sing well together at this point in their association, with both singers dragging the song in two different directions at once, almost as if it were a battle for dominance, which, time suggests, it may well have been. © Steve Leggett /TiVo
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Folk/Americana - Released June 10, 2016 | Joan Baez

On the January 27, 2016 legendary folk artist Joan Baez celebrated her 75th birthday with a performance at the Beacon Theater in New York. Joined by all-star cast of musicians including Judy Collins, Emmylou Harris, Richard Thompson, and Jackson Browne, the concert was captured for posterity on this 21-track collection. © Rich Wilson /TiVo
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Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 2006 | Vanguard Records

An alternate cross-section of Baez's Vanguard music, including her monster hit "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." © Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 2005 | Vanguard Records

One of the oft-overlooked aspects of Joan Baez's career in the 1960s is that after the first four albums, she never did the same thing twice; what's more, with the possible exception of the Baptism album, she succeeded at least 90 percent of the time in practically everything new that she tried during that decade. One Day at a Time is much closer to 100 percent on target, and was also startlingly new and daring at the time. Today it seems like no big deal, but in 1970 very few singers coming out of the folk scene as Baez did were reaching out to Willie Nelson ("One Day at a Time") and even the Rolling Stones ("No Expectations") for repertory, much less putting them on the same album with music by old leftist composers like Earl Robinson ("Joe Hill"), and then interspersing those songs with traditional country numbers. Even better, she was also writing her own songs, one of which, "Sweet Sir Galahad," ranks among the best songs that she ever recorded (no small compliment considering that the latter list includes much of the Dylan catalog, among other heavyweight compositional competition). She was in the middle of her country phase, mostly working with the best players in Nashville (who are a pleasure to hear as well), but One Day at a TIme has a freer, looser feel than David's Album or Blessed Are, both of which came out of the same orbit. Her version of "Long Black Veil" could've passed muster at The Grand Ol' Opry, and she could've cut these sessions with Dolly Parton, June Carter Cash, or any other female country singer of the era and not been out of place. The sheer, understated power of her voice on Delaney & Bonnie's "Ghetto" and on "Carry It On" is also something to behold, and makes one wonder what kind of a gospel singer Baez might have made in another reality. Yet she could also loosen up enough to do a pure piece of sentimental traditional country music like "Take Me Back to the Sweet Sunny South" and make it work, too. And amid those multi-tiered, widely spaced superlatives, One Day at a Time also had (and still has) an additional facet that should make it essential listening on another level, to yet another audience -- it's an excellent companion to and extension of Baez's appearance on the Woodstock album, as three of the cuts here feature her working with Jeffrey Shurtleff, who was her accompanist at the festival as well. © Bruce Eder /TiVo
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Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 2005 | Vanguard Records

With Blessed Are..., Joan Baez found herself with a hit single on the charts. That song, a cover of Robbie Robertson's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," is just one of the many surprises on Blessed Are... Once again using some of Nashville's finest pickers and songwriters, Baez runs the gamut of such influences as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Mickey Newberry, Jesse Winchester, Stevie Wonder and, of course, herself, while sounding nothing more than like Joan Baez always has. Great music, and a lot of it, too, for when it was released on vinyl, it was a double album with a special 7" single included. Altogether, 22 tracks of some of Joan's finest. © James Chrispell /TiVo
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Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 2005 | Vanguard Records

Recorded in October of 1968, Any Day Now marks Joan Baez's first foray into the recording studios of Nashville, armed with an entire program of Bob Dylan's material and backed by a cast of Music City's finest session players. Dylan himself, coming out of an imposed exile after a motorcycle crash, had issued only one recording since 1966's Blonde on Blonde; his low-key "comeback" outing, John Wesley Harding, released in December of 1967, had also been recorded in Nash Vegas with some of the same A-list players. Baez's interpretations on this double album are simply stellar. Her empathy for the material, her keen understanding of Dylan's sound world, and her own glorious voice brought another dimension to these 16 songs and, if anything, extended their meanings. There is no greater interpreter of Dylan's music, and while evidence of that certainly was offered on earlier recordings (such as 1967's Joan), the verdict was solidified here. The album's most famous track is "Love Is Just a Four-Letter Word," and because of the definitive performance of it here, it has basically belonged to Baez ever since. Another fine choice is "Walls of Redwing," a tune Dylan rarely performed and no one had yet recorded. Baez's read of "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands" brings its full complexity to the fore. Though Dylan later confessed (after Joan and Bob split) to writing it for his wife, Sara, on the album Desire, there is plenty in the song that alludes to his relationship with Baez. Her version of the song is almost identical in length (11:15 to Dylan's 11:22) and is utterly beguiling. Likewise, her a cappella approach to "Tears of Rage," which immediately follows, is a beautiful version with a strangely fascinating placement. The bottom line is that Any Day Now, like Joan and David's Album, found Baez at an intensely inspirational and creative peak. © Thom Jurek /TiVo
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Folk/Americana - Released January 1, 2006 | Vanguard Records

Originally released in 1962, In Concert, Pt. 1 captures the undisputed queen of folk music at the onset of her fabled career. Featuring 20-bit remastering from the original analog tapes, exact replicas of the original artwork and liner notes, previously unreleased cuts, and additional liner notes, this installment of Vanguard's Original Master Series is a historic collection of contemporary and traditional folk. Though Baez was reportedly suffering from stage fright at the time of these recordings, which were cobbled from the fall of 1961 to the spring of 1962, her delivery is crystal clear and confident. The exhaustive selection of material represents her diverse influences, most notably African tradition ("Kumbaya"), gospel ("Gospel Ship"), negro spiritual ("My Lord What a Morning"), West African ("Danger Waters"), Brazilian ("Ate Amanha," which is sung in Portuguese), and blues ("Babe I'm Gonna Leave You"), Baez's performances still retain freshness and vitality after four decades. © Tom Semioli /TiVo
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Folk/Americana - Released November 8, 1976 | A&M

This isn't only not the place to start listening to Joan Baez, it's the album that separates the true fans from the, um, fellow travelers. Side two is taken up by the title song, a musical account of Baez's trip to Hanoi over Christmas of 1972, complete with the sound of U.S. bombs falling on the city. Side one, on the other hand, contains one of Baez's best original songs, "A Young Gypsy," and two by her sister, "Mary Call" and "Best of Friends." © William Ruhlmann /TiVo
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Pop - Released November 1, 1977 | A&M

A&M's 1977 collection The Best of Joan Baez doesn't chronicle her most influential work, but that doesn't mean it's not without merit. Far from it, actually. This is a concise recapping of her poppier recordings for A&M, which include such classic Baez moments as her original "Diamonds and Rust" and a definitive reading of Robbie Robertson's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down." The rest of the album splits the difference between covers (including Stevie Wonder's lovely "I Never Dreamed You'd Leave in Summer" and Dylan's "Simple Twist of Fate") and originals, providing an entertaining, enlightening encapsulation of her '70s recordings. © Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo