Joan Baez: Simple Twist of Fate (1975)

 |   |  <1 min read

Joan Baez: Simple Twist of Fate (1975)

In late '74 Joan Baez went into a studio with hot session musicians and jazz players (Jim Gordon, Larry Knechtel, Joe Sample, Larry Carlton, Wilton Felder), and she had been hanging around with her new friend Hampton Hawes.

So jazz -- and Joni Mitchell -- was in the air, and Baez responded by delivering the album Diamonds and Rust which was a step well away from her folkie image.

But the spirit of her former lover Bob Dylan was also a shadow cast across: Winds of the Old Days ("those eloquent songs from the good old days set us to marching with banners ablaze") was written as a response to hearing that Bob and the Band were going on the road, and the title track sounded very like a lightly coded letter after a phone call and then remembering, remembering . . .

The strangest song however was her treatment of Dylan's Simple Twist of fate from the album Blood on the Tracks which had just been released.

At first it sounds like a jazzy take where the band do all that you might expect, but just after the midpoint and the guitar solo by Larry Carlton and Dean Parks something weird happens, Baez suddenly adopts Dylan's drawling style in the manner of parody almost.

But the weirdest thing of all is she sounds just like . . . Patti Smith

For more one-off or unusual songs with an interesting backstory see From the Vaults

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

Reverend J.M. Gates: Hitler and Hell (1941)

Reverend J.M. Gates: Hitler and Hell (1941)

The Rev Gates (b 1884) was preacher-cum-gospel singer whose style was often call-and-response in the manner of Baptist churches. He worked out of Atlanta and aside from sermonising he was a... > Read more

Ronald Frankau: I'd Like to Have a Honeymoon with Her (1930s)

Ronald Frankau: I'd Like to Have a Honeymoon with Her (1930s)

With his fruity, aristocratic tone, the London music hall comedian and actor Ronald Frankau (1894-1951) had the perfect voice for innuendo. And his choice of material included Everyone's Got Sex... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Bad Company; Original Album Series

THE BARGAIN BUY: Bad Company; Original Album Series

The dinner table conversation turned to Bad Company because one of the guests announced he was going to see them in the States and, despite some agists jokes, we agreed that they were a damn... > Read more

EPs by Shani.O

EPs by Shani.O

With so many CDs and downloads commanding and demanding attention Elsewhere will run this occasional column by the informed and opinionated Shani.O. She will scoop up some of those many EP... > Read more