April 28, 2014

101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 62: Judy Collins ~ In My Life

Reel-to-Reel tape box cover
front cover photo & design by William S. Harvey
photo of front cover by Styrous®



In addition to my 20,000 Vinyl LP collection I'm selling, I have reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes for sale as well (see link below). If interested, contact me by email please, not by a comment. 

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In My Life is an album by American singer and songwriter, Judy Collins, released in 1966. It peaked at No. 46 on the Billboard Pop Albums charts in 1967.

Working with arranger Joshua Rifkin, many of the songs on the album featured dramatic orchestral arrangements, a departure from Collins' previous albums, which had all been more straightforward folk music. The album included work by Leonard Cohen, The Beatles, Bob Dylan, and Richard Farina. Collins' version of the song Suzanne is considered to be the recording that first introduced Leonard Cohen's music to a wide audience. 

I think the rendition of Suzanne, by Judy Collins is one of the most beautiful of all, although, I dearly love the version by Cohen. There is a sensational cover of the tune by The Flying Lizards, that absolutely should be heard (links to music videos below).




Reel-to-Reel tape box cover back
photo by Styrous®




It was the music of Woody Guthrie and Pete Seeger, and the traditional songs of the folk revival of the early 1960s that piqued Collins' interest and awoke in her a love of lyrics. Her music became popular at the University of Connecticut, where her husband taught. She performed at parties and for the campus radio station along with David Grisman and Tom Azarian. While Collins' first few albums comprised straightforward guitar-based folk songs, with 1966's In My Life, she began branching out and including work from such diverse sources as The Beatles, Leonard Cohen, Jacques Brel, and Kurt Weill. Mark Abramson produced and Joshua Rifkin arranged the album, adding lush orchestration to many of the numbers. The album was regarded as a major departure for a folk artist and set the course for Collins' subsequent work over the next decade.








Reel-to-Reel tape box back detail
detail photo by Styrous®




The title track, In My Life, has to be one of the loveliest love songs ever written (lyrics below). The song by the Beatles was released on the 1965 album Rubber Soul. It is ranked 23rd on Rolling Stone's "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" as well as fifth on their list of the Beatles' 100 Greatest Songs. The song placed second on CBC's 50 Tracks. Mojo magazine named it the best song of all time in 2000. Although it has a wistful, almost sad kind of feel to it, the depth and sincerity of love is breathtaking.

For sheer drama, nothing comes close to her renditions of La Colombe, Pirate Jenny and Marat/Sade. The songs are elegant protests against war and the injustice inflicted on the poor and downtrodden.

Pirate Jenny, with music by Kurt Weill, lyrics by Bertolt Brecht and arrangement by Marc Blitzstein, is a vitrolic statement of vengence due to those who mistreat others.

Marat/Sade, by Richard Peaslee, is a desperate but defiant prayer for justice for those who have nothing. The song is from the stage production, The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade, which was also made into a film by the same name which starred Glenda Jackson. Both songs really need to be listened to (links to music videos below).

 Of course, there are fun songs on the album. One in particular is, Hard Lovin' Loser., which was written by Richard Fariña, brother-in-law to Joan Baez. The lyrics are hysterical!





Reel-to-Reel tape box back detail
detail photo by Styrous®



Judith Marjorie "Judy" Collins was born on May 1, 1939 in Seattle, Washington. Her father was a blind singer and radio disc jockey; he took a job in Denver, Colorado in 1949, and the family moved to Colorado. Collins studied classical piano with Antonia Brico, making her public debut at age 13, performing Mozart's Concerto for Two Pianos

Three years after her debut as a piano prodigy, she was playing guitar. Her music became popular at the University of Connecticut, where her husband taught. She performed at parties and for the campus radio station along with David Grisman and Tom Azarian. She eventually made her way to Greenwich Village, New York City, where she busked and played in clubs like Gerdes Folk City, until she signed with Elektra Records, a record label she was associated with for 35 years. In 1961, Collins released her first album, A Maid of Constant Sorrow; she was 22.






In My Life lyrics

There are places I remember
All my life, though some have changed
Some forever not for better
Some have gone and some remain

All these places had their moments
With lovers and friends
I still can recall
Some are dead and some are living
In my life I've loved them all

But of all these friends and lovers
There is no one compares with you
And these memories lose their meaning
When I think of love as something new

Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more

Though I know I'll never lose affection
For people and things that went before
I know I'll often stop and think about them
In my life I love you more
In my life I love you more

Songwriters
LENNON, JOHN / MCCARTNEY, PAUL

Published by
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC






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



Track listing:

Side 1:
  1. "Tom Thumb's Blues" (Bob Dylan) – 5:03
  2. "Hard Lovin' Loser" (Richard Fariña) – 2:37
  3. "Pirate Jenny" (Marc Blitzstein, Bertolt Brecht, Kurt Weill) – 4:02
  4. "Suzanne" (Leonard Cohen) – 4:21
  5. "La Colombe" (Jacques Brel, Alasdair Clayre) – 5:03
Side 2:
  1. "Marat/Sade" (Richard Peaslee) – 5:33
  2. "I Think It's Going to Rain Today" (Randy Newman) – 2:46
  3. "Sunny Goodge Street" (Donovan) – 2:55
  4. "Liverpool Lullaby" (Stan Kelly, aka Stan Kelly-Bootle) – 2:57
  5. "Dress Rehearsal Rag" (Leonard Cohen) – 5:19
  6. "In My Life" (Lennon–McCartney) – 2:53 

Personnel:


Credits:
     Arranged By, Conductor – Joshua Rifkin
    Photography By [Front Cover Photo], Art Direction – William S. Harvey
    Producer – Mark Abramson

Recorded at A&R Studios, New York, 1966.

Elektra - EKC 7320 reel-to-reel tape  



Music links on YouTube:
 
Suzanne 

reel-to-reel tapes on eBay


Tom, in my life I love you more!



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