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Joan Baez

The most accomplished interpretive folksinger of the 1960s, Joan Baez has influenced nearly every aspect of popular music in a careerstillgoing strong. Baez is possessed of a once-in-a-lifetime soprano, which, since the late '50s, she has put in the service of folk and popmusicas well as a variety of political causes. Starting out in Boston, Baez first gained recognition at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival, then cutherdebut album, Joan Baez (October 1960), for Vanguard Records. It was made up of 13 traditional songs, some of them children'sballads,given near-definitive treatment. A moderate ...read more

The most accomplished interpretive folksinger of the 1960s, Joan Baez has influenced nearly every aspect of popular music in a careerstillgoing strong. Baez is possessed of a once-in-a-lifetime soprano, which, since the late '50s, she has put in the service of folk and popmusicas well as a variety of political causes. Starting out in Boston, Baez first gained recognition at the 1959 Newport Folk Festival, then cutherdebut album, Joan Baez (October 1960), for Vanguard Records. It was made up of 13 traditional songs, some of them children'sballads,given near-definitive treatment. A moderate success on release, the album took off after the breakthrough of Joan Baez, Vol. 2(September1961), and both albums became huge hits, as did Baez's third album, Joan Baez in Concert, Pt. 1 (September 1962). Each albumwent goldand stayed in the bestseller charts more than two years.

From 1962 to 1964, Baez was the popular face of folk music, headlining festivals and concert tours and singing at political events,includingthe August 1963 March on Washington. During this period, she began to champion the work of folk songwriter Bob Dylan, andgradually herrepertoire moved from traditional material toward the socially conscious work of the emerging generation of '60s artists likehim. Her albumsof this period were Joan Baez in Concert, Pt. 2 (November 1963) and Joan Baez 5 (October 1964), which contained her coverof Phil Ochs'"There But for Fortune," a Top Ten hit in the U.K.

Like other popular folk performers, Baez was affected by the changes in popular music wrought by the appearance of the Beatles in theU.S.in 1964 and Dylan's introduction of folk-rock in 1965, and she began to augment her simple acoustic guitar backing with otherinstruments,initially on Farewell, Angelina (October 1965). It was followed by a Christmas album, Noël (October 1966), and Joan (August1967), albumson which she was accompanied by an orchestra conducted by Peter Schickele. Baez continued to experiment in the late '60s,releasingBaptism (June 1968), in which she recited poetry, and Any Day Now (December 1968), a double album of Dylan songs done withcountrybacking, which went gol.

In March 1968, Baez had married antiwar protest leader David Harris, who was imprisoned as a draft evader. Harris was a country musicfan,and Baez's turn toward country, which continued on David's Album (June 1969) and One Day at a Time (March 1970), reflected histaste.Blessed Are... (August 1971) was a gold-selling double album that spawned a gold Top Ten hit in Baez's cover of the Band's "The NightTheyDrove Old Dixie Down." It was followed by Carry It On (December 1971), the soundtrack to a documentary about Baez and Harris.Baezswitched record label affiliation to A&M Records with Come from the Shadows (May 1972), which moved her in a more pop direction.WhereAre You Now, My Son? (May 1973) included sounds taped during Baez's visit to Hanoi in December 1972.

In the late '60s and early '70s, Baez moved toward pop/rock music and also began to write her own songs, culminating in the gold-sellingDiamonds & Rust (April 1975), which was followed by the entirely self-written Gulf Winds (October 1976). Baez moved to the Portraitlabel ofCBS Records with Blowin' Away (June 1977), but she left the label after Honest Lullaby (May 1979), and her next album, EuropeanTour(1980), was released only outside the U.S. It was another seven years before she found an American record label, Gold Castle, forRecently(1987), which was followed by the live album Diamonds & Rust in the Bullring (January 1989) and Speaking of Dreams (October1989). Baezmoved to Virgin Records for Play Me Backwards (August 1992).

In 1993, Vanguard released Rare, Live & Classic, a three-CD boxed set retrospective. Ring Them Bells, a live album on which Baez wasjoinedby musical descendants like Mary Chapin Carpenter and Indigo Girls, came out on Guardian Records in 1995. Gone from Danger, herfirststudio album in five years, followed in 1997, and it was another six years before the release of Dark Chords on a Big Guitar in 2003.ANovember 2004 concert in New York was documented on the 2005 release Bowery Songs. Baez's 24th studio album, Day AfterTomorrow,produced by Steve Earle, was released on September 9, 2008, by Bobolink/Razor & Tie, followed by Sing Me Home almost exactlya yearlater in 2009.. « hide

Similar Bands: Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, The Roches

LPs
Work All Day
2016

3.5
1 Votes
Day After Tomorrow
2008

3
1 Votes
Diamonds and Rust
1975

3.5
17 Votes
Gracias A La Vida
1974

3.5
2 Votes
(I Live) One Day at a Time
1970

2.8
5 Votes
Any Day Now
1968

3
1 Votes
Farewell Angelina
1965

3.6
15 Votes
Joan Baez, Vol. 2
1961

3.6
8 Votes
Joan Baez
1960

4
27 Votes
Live Albums
75th Birthday Celebration
2016

Newport Folk Festival 1968
2014

In Concert
1962

4.2
3 Votes
Compilations
Vanguard Sessions: Baez sings Dylan (1963-1968)
1998

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