Judy Collins / Wildflowers – Three of Her Best on Side One

More of the Music of Judy Collins

Reviews and Commentaries for the Music of Judy Collins

The first three songs on side one alone are worth the price of the album, three of the best Judy ever recorded.

Joni Mitchell’s Michael from Mountains is one of the best songs on her debut album; Judy sings it with comparable taste and skill.

Since You Asked is Judy’s own composition, her first to be recorded in fact. In this writer’s opinion it’s the best song she ever wrote, “as good as it gets” as we like to say.

And of course Leonard Cohen’s Sisters of Mercy is one of his many masterpieces and brilliant in all respects as performed here.

What to Listen for

Most copies were small and veiled, with edgy, dry vocals that often get hard or shrill when loud — definitely not our sound.

We were surprised that so few copies sounded the way we expected them to, that so few had the Tubey Magical qualities that we’ve come to expect from Elektra in 1967.

The label was home to The Doors and Love at the time, so what happened here?

John Haeny, the engineer, worked on Waiting for the Sun, which is an amazing sounding Doors album on the right pressing. Why so few great sounding Wildflowers?

If that’s a legitimate question to pose, then first answer me this: why so few great sounding copies of Waiting for the Sun?

It’s simple — the 1967 Elektra magic of the tape did not make it to the 1967 Elektra vinyl with any consistency. That’s why it’s hard to find good sounding Judy Collins records or good sounding Doors records. This is our first big Judy Collins shootout for precisely that reason.

We can find great sounding Carly Simon and Joni Mitchell records all day long; the site is full of them. Judy Collins, not so much. Almost none outside of this one.

Side One

A+++. This side is open and transparent with lots of space around all of the instruments. Judy’s vocals here are far and away the best we heard in our shootout — breathy and full with none of the shrillness that holds lesser copies back.

Side Two

A+ – A++. The sound here is clean, clear and transparent with excellent clarity and a big open soundstage.

Grammy Award for Best Folk Performance that year by the way.

The first two songs on side one are two of the best by Joni Mitchell, and two other songs on the album are two of the best penned by Leonard Cohen, so plenty of good music on this one!

Side One

Michael from Mountains 
Since You Asked 
Sisters of Mercy
A Ballata of Francesco Landini 

Side Two

Both Sides Now
La Chanson des Vieux Amants (The Love Song of Old Lovers) 
Sky Fell 
Hey, That’s No Way to Say Goodbye

AMG Review

Soothing. Unique. Natural. These are clear adjectives used best when describing the style and grace of Judy Collins and her album Wildflowers. Her blend of folk and meditative music paints a tapestry of soft, nurturing colors that transcends the mind of the listener and seeks one’s soul. Much of the material feels uplifting and full of spirit, or even spiritual to some degree.