February 1, 2014

101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 37: Joan Baez ~ Come From the Shadows

Album cover art direction by Roland Young
Album cover design by Chuck Beeson
reel-to-reel tape box cover photo by Bob Fitch
photo of reel-to-reel tape box by Styrous®

In addition to my 20,000 Vinyl LP collection I'm selling, I have reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes I am selling as well.

This entry is about the reel-to-reel tape, Come From the Shadows, by Joan Baez. If interested, contact me by email but please, not through a comment.

~ ~ ~

I remember the first time I heard Love Song To A Stranger; I was astounded at the frank but beautiful sensuality of the lyrics because it was a woman singing them, not a man. Lyrics such as these were the norm for men but not women. She sang them in a sensual, passionate and tender fashion and with no illusions. But it was the sexual revolution, after all. I fell in love with the song at that first hearing. There are times I waltz around the room by myself to the song when it was playing. I don't think there has ever been a song like it. The beauty of it and her voice still entrance me after forty years.
reel-to-reel tape box back cover photo by Jim McCrary
photo of reel-to-reel tape box by Styrous®

On this album is her interpretation of the incredibly beautiful John Lennon song, Imagine. Has there ever been a more beautiful song ever written? Has there ever been a song more yearning for the hope of a better world? Has there ever been a song that more vividly brings home the tragedy of a vibrant, brilliant life cut short? I don't think so. And her version is exquisite!

reel-to-reel tape
photo by Styrous®

And certainly there is nothing to compare to, Song of Bangladesh, which she wrote. I remember when the song came out and I became aware of the developing famine because of the war; it was three years later in 1974 that the world watched as millions starved to death; three years AFTER the song was written. She and many others had tried to warn us; nobody listened until it was too late. It is strange that such a beautiful and gentle song can have such a sinister message.

"Bangladesh When the sun sinks in the west. Die a million people of the Bangladesh ."

There were two concert benefits for the starving people, held on 1 August 1971 at New York's Madison Square Garden, featuring Harrison, Bob Dylan, Ravi Shankar, Ali Akbar Khan, Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Leon Russell and Eric Clapton. The shows were a pioneering charity event, in aid of the homeless Bengali refugees of the Bangladesh Liberation War, and set the model for future multi-artist rock benefits such as Live Aid (1985) and The Concert for New York City (2001).

The tragedies continue in Bangladesh to this day with the collapse of the Dahka factory building on 24 April 2013 being the latest event. The victims still suffer from it due to beaurocracy. Nothing changes.

reel-to-reel tape label detail
detail photo by Styrous®

(Words and Music by Joan Baez)

How long since I've spent a whole night in a twin bed with a stranger
His warm arms all around me?
How long since I've gazed into dark eyes that melted my soul down
To a place where it longs to be?
All of your history has little to do with your face
You're mainly a mystery with violins filling in space

You stood in the nude by the mirror and picked out a rose
From the bouquet in our hotel
And lay down beside me again and I watched the rose
On the pillow where it fell
I sank and I slept in a twilight with only one care
To know that when day broke and I woke that you'd still be there

The hours for once they passed slowly, unendingly by
Like a sweet breeze on a field
Your gentleness came down upon me and I guess I thanked you
When you caused me to yield
We spoke not a sentence and took not a footstep beyond
Our two days together which seemingly soon would be gone

Don't tell me of love everlasting and other sad dreams
I don't want to hear
Just tell me of passionate strangers who rescue each other
From a lifetime of cares
Because if love means forever, expecting nothing returned
Then I hope I'll be given another whole lifetime to learn

Because you gave to me oh so many things it makes me wonder
How they could belong to me
And I gave you only my dark eyes that melted your soul down
To a place where it longs to be

© 1972 Chandos Music (ASCAP)

Track listing:

Side 1:
  1. "Prison Trilogy (Billy Rose)" (Joan Baez) - 4:23
  2. "Rainbow Road" (Donnie Fritts, Dan Penn) - 3:03
  3. "Love Song To A Stranger" (Joan Baez) - 3:55
  4. "To Bobby" (Joan Baez) - 3:53
  5. "In The Quiet Morning" (Mimi Fariña) - 2:58
  6. "All The Weary Mothers of the Earth (People's Union #1)" (Joan Baez) - 3:34
Side 2: 
  1. "Myths" (Joan Baez) - 3:19
  2. "Song of Bangladesh" (Joan Baez) - 4:49
  3. "A Stranger in My Place" (Kenny Rogers, Kin Vassy) - 3:07
  4. "Tumbleweed" (Douglas Van Arsdale) - 3:32
  5. "The Partisan" (Anna Marly, Hy Zaret) - 3:17
  6. "Imagine" (John Lennon) - 3:27


  • Joan Baez – Guitar, Vocals
  • Stuart Basore – Steel guitar
  • David Briggs – Keyboard
  • Kenneth Buttrey – Drums
  • Grady Martin – Guitar
  • Charlie McCoy – Harp, Guitar
  • Farrell Morris – Percussion
  • Weldon Myrick – Steel guitar
  • Norbert Putnam – Bass
  • Glen Spreen – Keyboards, String Arrangements
  • Pete Wade – Guitar
  • John "Bucky" Wilkin – Guitar
Album cover:
art direction by Roland Young
design by Chuck Beeson
front cover photo by Bob Fitch
back cover photo by Jim McCrary

A&M - OR-4339 - 7½ ips, 1972

Music links:


reel-to-reel tapes on eBay

Thanks for the beauty of your songs and the relevance of them to our lives at that time, Joan.

Styrous® ~ Saturday, February 1, 2014

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