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Judy Collins Sings Leonard Cohen: DEMOCRACY

Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 3:55 pm
by Kush
Awesome! I picked it up last night and have heard it 3 times since. Judy Collins' voice is remarkably youthful and clear in the 4 new recordings (3+1 live track) and I can make out only the slightest hint of age on certain lower notes. Of the older songs, I was especially interested to hear her version of Dress Rehearsal Rag coz' I thought she was too folkie for what is a rather edgy song. But she sails right into it with some panache backed by a pounding piano accompaniment.

There isnt a bad cover on this album although the production in some of the older songs is a little dated.

Priests and Song of Bernadette are a bonus but my favorites are Dress Rehearsal Rag, Story of Isaac, Famous Blue Raincoat and Take This Longing. I daresay her take on the latter three songs rivals or betters the originals - atleast to my ears. My only regret is that she didnt include a version of God is Alive, Magic is Afoot although it is hard to imagine Buffy Sainte-Marie's native american atmospherics will ever be bettered.

Ms. Collins also has some very nice personal things to say about LC in a substantially long liner notes with pictures of the two in earlier times. There is also a message from LC to her about the CD included. Given the history, this is certainly a very special tribute album. Strongly recommended.

Posted: Wed Sep 01, 2004 4:01 pm
by lizzytysh
A wonderful review, Kush ~ I'll call my record store guy and ask him to get it for me. It's possible, though unlikely, that it'll already be on his shelves. Of course, for me, I've never heard any cover that betters Leonard's originals [even if he thinks he has]. I really look forward to hearing this cd. Thanks!

~ Elizabeth

Posted: Thu Sep 02, 2004 12:53 am
by Kush
L...my betters and worses are never static, always dynamic. Usually the longer I've heard something it tends to go down the list irrespective of artiste. The listening experience gets old :).
I forgot to add that amongst the new recordings I thought Night Comes On was the best.

Posted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 10:19 pm
by pipkinra
Kush, couldn't agree more. I really love the way she does Democracy and Boogie Street. Can't believe she's almost (if not) 70. Her voice sounds effortless. Have it in my car and play going and coming from work.

Posted: Fri Oct 22, 2004 10:28 pm
by lizzytysh
Yep. I just called my record store guy and ordered it. With money an issue at the moment, she'll be waiting in line after Heather.

Posted: Tue Oct 26, 2004 11:02 pm
by lizzytysh
Oh my. "Song of Bernadette" ~ sung by anyone [with a sense of incredulity, listening to it by Judy Collins, at the moment] ~ is an art song of the highest order. A melody and words crafted to last for centuries. In truth, Judy's arrangements, accompaniments, and voice give them all an art song air and significance. She has sung these songs from a perspective of taking them very, very seriously ~ giving them her own vision, but still very intentionally retaining their original import. An amazing collection of work. Even if you've never cared for Judy's voice, please listen to this album for an entirely new perspective. I say that because I was, once, one of those who appreciated her, but not 'that' much. This album has changed all of that. She's done an amazing job with this collection of Leonard's songs.

Posted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 4:24 pm
by Dylan
I finally go the album yesterday. I love the picture of Leonard and Judy on the back cover. And Judy's little write-up. :)

My fvourite song up to now is Dress Rehersal Rag. She gives it a Weill / Brecht sound and feel, which I love. :)

Posted: Sat Dec 18, 2004 5:06 pm
by Kush
She gives it a Weill/Brecht sound and feel
Touche'. That's exactly, precisely what it sounds like. Now why didnt that occur to me? :?

Posted: Mon Dec 20, 2004 11:23 am
by tomsakic
Her old covers still sounds too old-fasioned for me, and her singing little to overdone for Leonard's lyrics. But the production and musical accompaniment on two new tracks (Night Comes On and A Thousand Kisses Deep) is great, particularly on the latter. After few listening, as a whole it started to sound very pleasing.

Posted: Fri Dec 31, 2004 12:55 am
by Magpie
Doesn't have Leonard's power to carry the material. Good diction which helps. Democracy not the nest track to open with. 8)