- Hardcover: 368 pages
- Publisher: Crown Archetype (October 18, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780307717344
- ISBN-13: 978-0307717344
- ASIN: 0307717348
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.3 x 9.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 125 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,346,749 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Sweet Judy Blue Eyes: My Life in Music Hardcover – October 18, 2011
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“…a fascinating and even harrowing musical and personal reflection.” --Kirkus
“Collin’s improbable and utterly charming tale of assuming iconic status as a popular music star from the early 1960’s onward also proves a tremendously valuable chronicle of the early folk music scene…[A] forthright, radiant work.” –Publisher’s Weekly (Starred Review)
About the Author
JUDY COLLINS has recorded more than forty albums over her illustrious career. With several top-ten hits, Grammy nominations, and gold- and platinum-selling albums to her credit, she has also written several books and has her own music label, Wildflower Records.
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About halfway into Sweet Judy Blue Eyes, I was somewhat bored and annoyed, feeling it was largely a retread of ground well-covered in the first two books, but somehow had lost their heart in an over-abundance of detail. I could not hear her voice. But by book's end I'd become more appreciative of the detail, because as they say, that's where the devil resides. It is by the piling up of these details that the darkness and weight of Collins' demons are truly felt. And with that, the consistent clarity, light, and transcendent quality of "a Judy Collins song" becomes all the more remarkable.
If anything, the book well illustrates the contradictions and complexities residing in us all, the angels and demons, darkness and light. Most people would probably prefer to not expose their darker side to public scrutiny, but maybe that willingness is one of the qualities that distinguishes a true artist.
Love her voice and her music. The book was overly detailed, unfocussed and a tad self-indulgent. Rather than actually hear her voice, you hear about her very active sex life, which I guess sells books. Who cares how many times she and Still and her grocery list of lovers made love? We get it, Judy. You were (still are) a beautiful passionate woman. Too many tedious descriptions. Lastly, her son's suicide wasn't given the attention it warranted. She says he inherited the family gene for addiction. Never addresses the fact that she didn't have custody of him and her own addictions and selfish lifestyle may have attributed to his problems. Sorry, I don't mean to be cruel, but anyone in her shoes would consider that they might have been a neglectful mother. If you're going to be open and honest about sex and your alcoholism and bulimia, why skirt such an issue?
I picked up a lot of repetitions throughout the book. The editor should have had a better eye. Perhaps he or she also started skipping pages due to boredom. Plus, she makes erroneous comments about Joni Mitchell. No wonder Joni's elusive towards her.
Most importantly, this book is a story of her victory, grit, and resurrection from the darkest depths of her own crippling illness to which she was mostly blind while in the midst of her brilliantly successful career. I went to hear her sing again this spring at an outdoor concert in Portsmouth, New Hampshire and it was the old "Judy Blue Eyes" singing again with renewed talent, enegy, and grace, charming and mesmerizing all who were privileged to be there. Judy Collins remains one of America's great folk heroines! I salute her! Read this book and you will too.
Dr. Harold C. Lyon, Jr. - author and professor
At any rate, the subtitle for the book should be "How Sex, Drugs and Rock n Roll" messed me up badly. This is a chronicle of a woman's battles with alcoholism and with sex addiction. She had a thirsty liver and a hungry vagina. The music industry was a major force in this personal evil hell.
I've read biographies of Dylan, Mitchell, Baez, etc. This one shows a good deal of editorial working over: possibly a good ghostwriter working with sets of interviews. It's good reading, a compelling tale of personal compulsions. The real bottomline of the Collins story for me is that drugs, alcohol and promiscuous sex/relationships can really mess a person up good.