Friday, June 28, 2013

Just take what you need and leave the rest (Joan Baez)

Joan Baez The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down/ When Time Is Stolen  (Vanguard, VRS 35138 1971)

A Joan Baez hit! Well, yes, although hard to believe, Joan made the top five in the pop charts with this copy of The Band's song about Old Dixie. It peaked at number three I think. You couldn't invent this stuff.

It's the only Joan Baez record I own if you discount her performances with Bob Dylan (The Rolling Thunder Revue) and at Woodstock, and I'm not quite sure how it has escaped the various purges of singles I've had over the years. It's not like I love it to bits or it has sentimental value. I bought it in 1971 and it's never been played much but there it is - still in the singles racks.

It's a catchy song and a great sing along. Well done to J. Robbie Robertson who wrote it. Their version is vastly superior to Joan's but she had the hit with it. Weird ole world innit.

Hidden Gem: The B side is a Baez original and done in her trilly folky voice which doesn't move me really. I DO love her Woodstock performance - maybe not Joe Hill so much but Sweet Sir Galahad is a genuine work of art.

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