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

Ma Rainey: Toad Frog Blues (1924)

Ma Rainey: Toad Frog Blues (1924)

Few would have described Ma Rainey (1886 - 1939) as one of God's finest creations. Her pianist Thomas A. Dorsey said charitably "I couldn't say that she was a good looking woman". In... > Read more

Peter Cape: Coffee Bar Blues (1959)

Peter Cape: Coffee Bar Blues (1959)

The idiosyncratic Peter Cape (1926-79) has appeared at Elsewhere's From the Vaults previously, with his Kiwi vernacular classic She'll Be Right (here). He wrote about things that ordinary jokers... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE BARGAIN BUY: Echo and the Bunnymen: Original Album Series (Rhino)

THE BARGAIN BUY: Echo and the Bunnymen: Original Album Series (Rhino)

Call it what you will -- nostalgia, history, the collector mentality -- but filling gaps in your archives or just rediscovering an artist or album just got a whole lot cheaper with the Original... > Read more

MIRAGE by  EDWARD DMYTRYK (Madman DVD)

MIRAGE by EDWARD DMYTRYK (Madman DVD)

In his subject-shifting epic Brownsville Girl of 1986, Bob Dylan sang, “I'm standin' in line in the rain to see a movie starring Gregory Peck, Yeah, but you know it's not the one that I had... > Read more