From The Heart Live, Joan Baez



From The Heart Live, Joan Baez

Thousand apologies as I inadvertently omitted Joan Baez's rendition of Famous Blue Raincoat posted two weeks ago. I just realized it in the morning following the day of posting, some uneasy feeling of "incompleteness" had been rather disturbing since then. I therefore started to think of writing about Joan's stuff as some compensation in-kind.

Not about Diamonds and Rust in the Bullring (DRIB) in which Joan's version of Famous Blue Raincoat is captured but something else as essentially DRIB has already marked more than a decade of excellence in the audiophile world and has been standing steadily as one of the best audiophile live recordings ever made, need I say more?

Seriously and invariably, I still love and insist (lets see how long more) to introduce/re-introduce and share non/least-hyped music albums. That is why... Instead of DRIB, let us look at The Essential Joan Baez: From the Heart- Live.

From The Heart - Live, Joan Baez

The technical notes reveal that the performances embodied in this album were selected from her concerts in July and August of 1975. The artistic goal underlying the production of the album was to faithfully recreate the music as it was experienced by the audiences at those concerts.

There were no vocal overdubs whatsoever. The basic tracks were not enhanced or altered in any way. Great attention was given to placing instruments in the point of the stereo spectrum that would most accurately represent the positions of the musicians on stage. The primary effort achieved in the remix stage then was to make the recording as natural as the original performances.

Joan's vocal was much youthful back then; naturally I am comparing it with her vocal commonly heard by audiophiles in DRIB which was recorded in 1988 i.e. some 13 years later. Most tracks came with plain music arrangements and some tracks were only accompanied by an acoustic guitar! Unlike DRIB, the overall ambiance portrayed in the album was much suggestive of Hippie Era, if you may play back the scenes with these:

Joan Baez in concert

As usual and always, Joan was in action with her acoustic guitar.

While my favorite tracks are Forever Young and Lily, Rosemary & the Jack of Hearts, worry not as standards and famous pieces of Joan are not left out in this compilation of live performances:

  • Amazing Grace;
  • Swing Low, Sweet Chariot;
  • Diamonds & Rust; and
  • Blowin' in the Wind.

Referring back to the technical notes, why worry in terms of recording / mixing qualities? Anyone doubts Joan's live performances in this album vis a vis DRIB? I reckon not at all!!! Whether you are keen to test the "technical claims" or just enjoy Joan's live performances in much youthful vocal...

Heart Hear The Art!


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