Judy Collins / Judith – Our Shootout Winner from 2014

White Hot A+++ sound on side two of this 2-pack, with Shootout Winning sound. Great material including The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress and Sondheim’s Send in the Clowns. Another 2-pack that proves our case – the good sides here are wonderful, the bad sides plainly awful.

The engineer for Judith is Phil Ramone, who went on to win the Grammy the following year for Still Crazy After All These Years.

Side One – Record One 

A++. Clear and tonally correct. It gets warmer and richer as it goes along, and does not suffer from the kind of hardness you hear on Collins’ vocals whenever she gets loud. Side two here was recessed and thin. We grade it NFG.

Side Two – Record Two

A+++ White Hot and Shootout Winning – nothing could touch it. Rich and full with plenty of space around all of the instruments, super breathy and present vocals. This is The Right Analog Sound.

You would expect that more copies would sound like this but they don’t, don’t ask us why!

Side one was so veiled and blurry we could not get anywhere with it and gave up. Again, NFG.

Vinyl Issues

Almost no copies in our shootout played better than Mint Minus to Mint Minus Minus, but side two here is a little quieter than that.. Click on the Sonic Grade tab to read about the specific playing condition of this copy.

Her graceful and affecting versions of Jimmy Webb’s “The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress” and Stephen Sondheim’s “Send in the Clowns” (as well as her own “Houses”) are lovely and inspired… Other highlights include two vintage chestnuts, “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” and “I’ll Be Seeing You” — which suggest Collins would have done well to consider an album of great songs of the 1930s — and two very different songs about motherhood, “Born to the Breed” and “Pirate Ships,” both of which ring honest and true throughout. – AMG


Side One

The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress
Angel, Spread Your Wings
The Lovin’ of the Game
Song for Duke
Send in the Clowns

Side Two

Salt of the Earth
Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?
City of New Orleans
I’ll Be Seeing You
Pirate Ships
Born to the Breed