Joan Baez, In Concert (1962)
Funny how we revere the early Bob Dylan stuff so much (still), eagerly waiting for whatever “new discovery” the archivists roll out for money. Why not pay attention instead to something like this? And surely it deserves a flash new reissue with some promotion behind it? Or is it better left, like this, for some to discover and understand and some to blissfully be unaware of or deny? I prefer Joan Baez doing a lot of the early Dylan material to Dylan. I think she might be one of music’s greatest examples of a person that sabotaged her own career, or at least let it suffer, so she could selflessly promote Dylan. He knew it too. He knew just how to ride her (pun intended). He knew how to work it. Read Baez’s diary/autobiography. She would have done anything for him. And all but drove herself mad doing just that. Her belief was in the work, in the man, in the ethos. You sit and listen to this and it’s uneasy, unsettling but beautifully so. (As with listening to John Jacob Niles). I’d take Baez’s “Babe” over Led Zeppelin’s. I’d take her version of House Carpenter too. Just about anything off this album in fact – stunning. Her version of Diamonds And Rust too (although not here) is better than Judas Priest’s. I don’t have a lot of Joan Baez’s material – a simple Best Of on CD and that “comeback” album from the mid-2000s (Dark Chords On A Big Guitar – fabulous). And this. On vinyl. Bought from a garage sale. 20c. (Bought because of the Dylan connection, of course). A beautiful album from a remarkable woman. Look at that cover picture. It’s as if Dylan has just looked at her, laughed at whatever it is she’s just played then pulled out his cock and said “suck it, bitch!” And, in a way, that’s exactly what he did. And exactly what she’s doing.
Sample Track: Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You
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