- Album name: Wildflowers
- Artist name: Judy Collins
- Year: 1967
- Number of discs: one
- Label: Elektra Records
- Collection: Brenner / Gessner
- Distinguishing characteristics: “Annie” written on the label, indicating that my mother’s sister owned it (like Sweet Baby James)
- Buy it on Amazon: $13.40
Level of familiarity before listening
I don’t think I’ve ever heard this record before, but it’s the third by Judy Collins that I’ll have reviewed. The previous two were:
- Colors of the Day (1972): 3/5
- True Stories and Other Dreams (1973): 2/5
And she was also on:
- The Bitter End Years (1974): 3/5
What I expected
What it was actually like
Almost all of these songs were extremely similar to one another, and all were obviously selected or composed to showcase Collins’ voice, which I again thought was wonderful, but after a few tracks of “Here’s my great voice! And did I mention that I have a great voice?” my mind does start to wander.
Michael from Mountains, a Joni Mitchell song that I thought was all right, stood out for its prominent use of the flute, and Sisters of Mercy, a Leonard Cohen song, sounded like it had a tuba, or perhaps a trombone. A Ballata of Francesco Landini – Lasso! di donna had a very Renaissance sound to it, with what I thought was a harpsichord.
That harpsichord made its return on Both Sides Now, another Joni Mitchell song that I mentioned having recognized on Colors of the Day, and which I thought was the best song on this record. It had much more instrumentation than most of the record’s other songs, increasing as the song progressed. I did not think that it worked very well for Albatross, however.
Priests, another Leonard Cohen song, and La Chanson des vieux amants (The Song of Old Lovers), originally by Jacques Brel, were the most boring songs.
When Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye came on, my brain told me that it was Leonard Cohen’s Suzanne, but then when it continued, it was not Suzanne. And then I checked what I wrote when reviewing Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967). This is what I wrote:
All of the songs sounded more or less the same, and it was sometimes hard to know when one ended and the next began – for example, Suzanne and Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye are clearly the same song, and I’m not sure why he felt the need to include one on each side of the record, but they were both good enough, so it didn’t bother me.
Collins’ version was good.
3/5: interesting, but not for me
|↑1||Actually composed in the XIV century, so late medieval.|
I loved this album – especially the Jacques Brel chanson! I will ask Annie about ownership.
Natan Gesher says
I bet she has one of yours.