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36 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

No Description Available
No Track Information Available
Media Type: CD
Street Release Date: 11/17/1987
Genre: VOCAL

She began her career as a folk formalist. Her clear, clean diction and perfect pitch wedded to both age-old folk songs and modern upstarts (Dylan, Eric Andersen) cast her as an immediate authority. With In My Life and Wildflowers she began to shift away from pure folk and into art song. Arranged and conducted by Joshua Rifkin, the disc's orchestration adds a suitable grace to Collins's high seriousness. Joni Mitchell's two compositions are further softened, while Leonard Cohen's three songs sound positively biblical. Toss in a Jacques Brel piece and a 14th-century Italian ballad, and you have the perfect formation of Collins's aesthetic before it congealed in the middle of the road. --Rob O'Connor

1. Michael From Mountains
2. Since You Asked
3. Sisters Of Mercy
4. Priests
5. A Ballata Of Francesco Landini
6. Both Sides Now
7. La Chanson Des Vieux Amants
8. Sky Fell
9. Albatross
10. Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye

Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Elektra / Wea
  • ASIN: B000002I26
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #90,736 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on August 25, 2000
Format: Audio CD
I remember seeing Judy in concert in the quite informal setting of Avaloch, a wonderful sylvan natural amphitheater that all the folk stars from Collins to Joan Baez to Kris Kristoferson to Tom Rush to James Taylor performed at in Lenox Massachusetts in the summers of 1970. Sadly, it is now the site of a ritzy set of summer condominiums for the New York summertime Berkshires crowd. Yet I can still recall hearing Judy with that magical soaring voice of hers warming up on stage with "Amazing Grace" as we filed onto the grass, and the song so echoed and reverberated over the warm humid airwaves that he older folks at Tanglewood, some six or seven miles way, complained about the noisome interruption. It became an inside joke that Collins, Baez and others would playfully aggravate when performing for the very mellow crowd of counterculture fans. I recall a certain sweet aroma wafting through the air, too, and it wasn't the smell of cotton candy.
Of course, it probably goes without saying that I love most of the songs on this album, from the opening cover of "Michael From Mountains" to her own beautifully and lyric "Since You've Asked" to two back to back Leonard Cohen classics, "Sisters Of Mercy and "Priests". Cohen's haunting and evocative lyrics are masterfully interpreted by Collins, an early champion of his amazingly poetic folk songs. Of course, the song propelling the sales of the album was her number one hit song, "Both Sides Now", a song that literally dominated the charts for months. I love her amazing vocal work in "Albatross", and one can almost feel the rush of emotion in the song as she advances through it. Finally, I still think her interpretation of Cohen's "Hey, That's No Way To Say Good-bye" is one of the best songs she ever recorded.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By klavierspiel VINE VOICE on August 27, 2001
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Judy Collins is by now one of America's most enduring popular singers. "Wildflowers," along with "In My Life," "Whales and Nightingales" and one or two other albums, represents her particular sensibility in its best light. She started as a strong-voiced folk performer of a distinctly challenging bent. By "Wildflowers" her voice had become higher and lighter in timbre, and her repertory had broadened to include songwriters as diverse as Brel, Mitchell, Cohen and herself. One appreciates after thirty-plus years the quality of the material she chose, and the intricacy and intelligence of the lyrics, even if at times they seem somewhat precious. The beautiful orchestrations by Joshua Rifkin also still give much pleasure. In general the songs on this album do not cover as wide an emotional range as on some of her other discs, tending uniformly toward the gentle and contemplative. On the other hand, they play better to her particular vocal and interpretive strengths. For me, this remains my favorite Collins album.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on March 31, 2003
Format: Audio CD
For starters, the shot of Judy Collins on "Wildflowers" is probably my favorite album cover and the music inside matches the tranquil field of yellow flowers it displays. Collins started out as one of the premier interpretive folksingers of her generation, along with Joan Baez, but by the time this 1967 album was released she was becoming much more of a vocal artist. Given her gloriously pure soprano voice, this certainly made sense. There are still traditional folk songs, although "A Ballata of Francesco Landini Lasso!" presents the broadest definition of traditional possible, but there are more contemporary songs as well. Listen to Collins' soaring voice on a pair of Joni Mitchell songs, "Michael From Mountains" and "Both Sides Now." There are also a trio of songs by Leonard Cohen along with an equal number of original compositions by Collins. The latter evince a sense of meditation and spirituality that defined her music during this period of her career. The only substantial complaint against "Wildflowers" is that the album is just a little more than a half-hour long, which means you could have combined it with either the album that came before it, "In My Life," or after it, "Who Knows Where the Time Goes," to come up a more substantial CD. But that is a minor complaint all things considered.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Johnny-Nuz on December 13, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Judy Collins' "Wildflowers" is the epitome of avant-garde chic. It was released in 1967 and Judy obviously had the artistry, musicianship and nerve to release such an daring album, in the process paving the way for the modern "art-song", as "Wildflowers" straddles the gap between popular and classical music.

Recorded entirely backed by orchestral instruments, Judy Collins' "Wildflowers" contains songs which the artist presents with a classical aire yet still somehow have a popular music accessibility to them.

On "Wildflowers", the songwriting is particularly strong: Judy chose and combined material from a then unknown Joni Mitchell ("Michael From Mountains", about an elusive young man, opens the album and "Both Sides, Now", with it's glorious harpsichord arrangement, became a big hit single); Leonard Cohen ("Sisters Of Mercy", the trance-like "Priests" and the vocal harmony-layered "Hey, That's No Way To Say Goodbye" are each one more beautiful than the other!); the legendary French composer Jacques Brel ("La Chanson de Les Vieux Amants", sung in French); and a traditional 14th century Italian chant ("A Ballata di Francesco Landini" - honestly, I don't know where she digs up some of these interesting pieces!).

At the advice of her fan, then friend, then ultimately mentor, Leonard Cohen, Collins had just begun songwriting herself; and the album is rounded out by her very own first three compositions: the abstract "Sky Fell", the imagery-laden "Albatross" and "Since You Asked", all three beautiful and polished, sounding like the works of a seasoned writer.

All of these songs are further enhanced by Judy's wonderful singing.
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