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Gracias a La Vida


Price: $11.18 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
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24 new from $5.38 14 used from $11.37
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Audio CD, March 2, 1994
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Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Gracias A La Vida (Here's To Life) 3:36$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Llego Con Tres Heridas (I Come With Three Wounds) 2:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. La Llorona (The Weeping Woman) 3:40$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  4. El Preso Numero Nueve (Prisoner Number Nine) 3:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Guantanamera (Album Version) 3:54$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Te Recuerdo Amanda (I Remember Amanda) 2:34$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Dida (1974 Album Version) 3:35$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Cu-Cu-Rru-Cu-Cu Paloma 4:31$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Paso Rio (I Pass A River)0:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. El Rossinyol (The Nightingale) 3:04$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. De Colores (In Colors) 2:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Las Madres Cansadas (All The Weary Mothers Of The Earth) 2:57$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. No Nos Moveran (We Shall Not Be Moved) 3:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Esquinazo Del Guerrillero (The Guerilla's Serenade) 2:41$0.99  Buy MP3 

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How do you build a narrative for a story as rich and multifaceted as the life of Joan Baez? Baez herself is not especially inclined to introspection, or to the backwards glance. Often wrongly perceived as a naïve idealist, she is, in her own distinctive way, a pragmatist to the core with her eyes fixed squarely on what’s right in front of her. As an activist, she has viewed her life ... Read more in Amazon's Joan Baez Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Gracias a La Vida + Diamonds & Rust + Joan Baez - Greatest Hits
Price for all three: $29.16

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (March 2, 1994)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: A&M
  • ASIN: B000006SNG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,761 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

The title translates as "Here's To Life" and the song it comes from was written by famed Chilean songwriter Violeta Parra. This album includes songs from the Chilean "New Song" movement of the 1970's (when it was recorded) as well as traditional Mexican ballads. It is also one of Ms. Baez's most acclaimed recordings for her gracious delivery and sensitivity to the material and the sheer beauty of her interpretations of the material at hand. Even if you don't understand a word of Spanish, you can't help but be moved by these outstanding performances. And if you "hablas Espanol", they are even sweeter to the ear. A&M 1994

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
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See all 30 customer reviews
I am glad to see this record is out on CD!
Clarissa Cosgrove
Ms. Baez sings with such emotion and her voice is so powerful on this recording.
K. Slaughter
Personally, I think these are some of Joan Baez' best songs.
molly b may

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Sarah TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 2, 2005
Format: Audio CD
As a music seller, naturally, I've heard *of* Joan Baez, but had never heard her music. A few days ago I came across a review for "Gracias A La Vida." One reviewer mentioned the similarities to Linda Ronstadt's excellent "Canciones de mi padre," which has been one of my favourite Spanish-language CDs for years. Strangely enough, at work the next day, I was going through boxes of old audio cassette tapes from the last twenty years, when to my surprise...a copy of "Gracias A La Vida" appeared. I put it into the tape player, not knowing what to expect from an album more than thirty years old.

The fourteen songs feature Veracruz harp, Latin guitar and percussion, and the warm, clear voice of Joan. The beautiful Spanish lyrics are profound in their simplicity and grace. "Gracias a la vida" (Here's To Life), by Violeta Parra, begins as a solo, but turns into a magical duet towards the final chorus. "Llegó con tres heridas" (I Come With Three Wounds) is a very short, moving song that contains only four simple lines: "I come with three wounds: those of life, death and love." Again, the haunting harmony and simple strumming of a guitar are the sole embellishments.

Her version of the Mexican ballad/folktale "La Llorona" (The Wailing Woman) is stunning. There is a melancholy that seeps into your soul upon hearing this ballad, with its castanets, strummed guitars, violin, and pain-drenched lyrics ("They say that I do not feel pain, Llorona, because they don't see me cry"). Other outstanding versions of "La Llorona" include recordings by the legendary Chavela Vargas (recently seen in Julie Taymor's biopic of Frida Kahlo; Chavela was one of Frida's real-life lovers) and Mexican songstress Lila Downs (both found on the Frida soundtrack by Elliot Goldenthal).
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By B. Kelly on March 6, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I am a teacher of high school Spanish, I have been using this record for 2 decades in the classroom!. I finally decided to look for it in CD as the record/record player slides into history! Just today I used Rossinyol which is an example of the Catalan language. Guantanamera is poetry by Cuba's boy patriot, Jose Marti. La Llorona is sad, sorrowful legend. There is poetry by Pablo Neruda and United Farm worker songs of solidarity. It is a vertiable wealth of Spanish culture in one place.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Pieter Uys HALL OF FAME on June 20, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I do not know a word of Spanish, but this 1974 recording always moves me. The songs are so beautiful that one doesn't really need to understand the words to enjoy the music. Some are easy to sing along to, like the foot-tapping title track, Guantanamera, Cucuru Paloma and De Colores, while others are rather sad and a little more structurally complex, like Llego Con Tres Heridas and El Preso Numero Nueve. Subtitled 'Joan Baez Sings in Spanish', the album does contain one Catalan number and is a proper folk recording with songs from Spain and various Latin American countries. Most of the tracks have addictive Latin rhythms and catchy hooks; the instruments include acoustic, bass & classical guitars, cello, harp, harmonica, percussion, strings, flute & woodwinds while a Mariachi band provides backing on two songs.

It opens with the inspiring title track (Here's to Life), a lilting song written by Violeta Parra that lists lots of things to be grateful for. Llego Con Tres Heridas (I Come with Three Wounds) which follows is melancholy as Joan sings Miguel Hernández's lament on life, love and death. The mournful mood continues on the tuneful traditional song La Llorona (The Weeping Woman) after which the Mariachi band takes over on the rhythmic El Preso Número Nueve (Prisoner Number Nine). Guantanamera is especially buoyant with appealing guitar textures and on the wordless Dida, Joni Mitchell duets with Joan. The melodious
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Clarissa Cosgrove on July 9, 2001
Format: Audio CD
My mom use to play this record during the seventies. Out of all Joan Baez's records, I remember this one the most! When Linda Ronstadt came out with her "Canciones ...", all I could think is how much she was following Joan. "Gracias a La Vida" is a recording of the old spanish songs sung around campfires, the stuff that is disappearing in the Southwest. I am glad to see this record is out on CD!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 16, 1999
Format: Audio CD
I liked this cd because Joan really expresses the feelings that every author wanted to with his song. I am mexican, I am used to listen to folk artists all the time, and since the first time I listened to her performance of "Llorona" I really loved it, because her voice is so bright, so clear, so full of pain, so within the lyrics. I think she really meant what she was singing at that time, and her voice was really in one of the best moments of her career.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Robert J. Cruce on September 12, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This was featured as a "recording of the month" in Stereo Review magazine in 1974 and it was always worthwhile to explore recordings honored that way. Which is how I came by my first Joan Baez album and spent the next 26 years thankful that I saw that review. The range of emotion on this exciting disc, whose inspiration is maintained from beginning to end, is wonderful. It helps to know some Spanish, but the music is enough to lift you up. We have no finer singer among us than Joan Baez and you owe it to yourself to have this wonderful CD.
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