This compilation CD from 1997 features several Bob Dylan songs that are rarely played like “Dear Landlord,” “Walls of Redwing,” and “Drifter’s Escape.” Some listeners–like me–will find some of Joan Baez’s renditions of some of these Dylan songs a little too pretty, a little to precious. For example, I struggled to listen to “I Dream I Saw St. Augustine” because of the slow pacing that seemed negate Baez’s crystalline voice. Some reviewers have complained that the recording quality is substandard. I found the sound quality varies from song to song.

If you’re a fan of Joan Baez and/or Bob Dylan, you’ll find a lot to like on Baez Sings Dylan. GRADE: B+


1Love Minus Zero/No Limit2:43
2It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue3:26
3You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere3:01
4It Ain’t Me Babe3:21
5I Pity The Poor Immigrant3:48
6Tears Of Rage4:22
7Love Is Just A Four-Letter Word4:28
8I Dream I Saw St. Augustine3:17
9Farewell, Angelina3:15
10Dear Landlord3:00
11One Too Many Mornings3:13
12I Shall Be Released3:57
13Boots Of Spanish Leather4:34
14Daddy, You Been On My Mind2:20
15Restless Farewell5:50
16Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright3:13
17Walls Of Red Wing3:52
18Drifter’s Escape2:56
19Walkin’ Down The Line3:23
20North Country Blues5:02

21 thoughts on “BAEZ SINGS DYLAN

  1. Steve Oerkfitz

    I am a huge Bob fan. I own every album he has recorded except that crappy standards misstep a few years back. I am not much of a Joan fan. I find her voice boring. I would just rather listen to Bob himself.

  2. Dan

    I sometimes think of Baez and Dylan as the Folk Music equivalent of Lorre-and-Greenstreet: two fine artists, sometimes antagonists, who achieve a special chemistry with each other’s work.

    1. george Post author

      Dan, I agree. In the 1960s, Baez and Dylan were “A Thing” but after they broke up Baez continued to record Dylan songs and perform them in concert.

  3. Michael Padgett

    I was a big Baez fan for a couple of years at the beginning, when she was mostly doing traditional folk songs in that astonishingly pure, lovely voice that also worked for many of the early Dylan songs. But as Dylan moved into rock the pairing of his songs and her voice really didn’t work and Baez stuck mostly with his early stuff or moved on. Although a number of artists have done great covers of Dylan, with the Hendrix cover of “All Along the Watchtower” being the pinnacle, I really can’t think of anyone who’s a consistently great interpreter of Dylan.

    1. george Post author

      Michael, good point on interpreting Dylan songs. But Dylan writes so many different kinds of songs, it would be hard for any one performer to interpret them consistently.

    2. wolf

      Michael, same here!
      Of course for us students in Germany in the early 60s Bob was a big influence and I was positively surprised when he moved into Rock music.
      Though I also like Joan – and her folk songs. Will have to look this up, some of the songs are among my all time favourites like It ain’t me and love is just a four letter word.
      Oh, those 60s …

  4. Patti Abbott

    I find him hard to understand a lot of the time so I am glad to have other singers sing him. Although possibly Joan is not the best interpreter. I saw him in Detroit many years ago and he sang with his back to the audience and I couldn’t understand a word he said. Even his playing sounded off. Phil loved him so we have a lot of his music.

    1. george Post author

      Patti, since the 1990s, I’ve found Dylan’s voice almost unlistenable. You’re right about his singing being muddled. It was a totally different experience when I saw Dylan (backed up by what would become The Band) in a 1965 concert in Buffalo.

  5. Jeff Meyerson

    We recently watched a documentary about the Newport Folk Festival where they were both very young. We have a three CD folk music collection that has Bob doing “Boots of Spanish Leather” and Joan doing “Love is Just a Four-Letter Word.” But yeah, she can get a little lugubrious on some of her interpretations. I must admit that though I admire her voice, I have never been a huge fan. We did see her two or three years ago as a Special Guest in one of Emmylou Harris’s Lantern Tour for Refugees concerts (where else, right?). She was very grey but sounded good. As for Bob, we saw him (Jackie is NOT a fan) at Jones Beach with Paul Simon on July 30, 1999. They each did a set, then ended doing duets on “The Sounds of Silence,” “I Walk the Line” and “The Wanderer”(!), and finally “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door.” It was odd, to say the least. Bob sounded like he was knockin’ on Heaven’s door at times.

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, I envy all the performers you and Jackie have seen! I regret not going to more concerts when I had the chance. Sadly, both Paul Simon and Bob Dylan have lost their voices.

      1. Todd Mason

        Still kick myself for missing the Lantern tour in Collingswood, a mile or three away, a few years back (apparently the best venue they could find in Philly area)…as with Cousin (not really) Maggie, I like rather than love both their sets of works, though Baez has never sunk as low as Dylan (the ’70s “And Then I Wrote” and ’80s evangelical Xian songs were also Not Great).

      2. Todd Mason

        And the Byrds and Fairport Convention were consistently good coverers of Dylan, albeit neither band could quite hold together completely for rather remarkable stretches of time…

  6. maggie mason

    I like, but not love both of them. I’ve seen her at one concert – at SDSU when she was only charging $2. Went with a guy who was a huge fan, but remember very little of the concert. It was probably 1968/9

    1. george Post author

      Maggie, I have several Joan Baez CDs, but have never seen her perform live. I had chances…but somehow missed my opportunities.

      1. Steve Oerkfitz

        Saw her once in the early 70’s. After awhile her voice makes every song sound the same. She was billed with James Taylor. What a snoozefest. If he was any more laid back he would have been asleep.

  7. Jeff Meyerson

    Yeah, we’ve seen James Taylor a number of times. When he is engaged, he can be good, but too often “snoozefest” is a perfect description.


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