Joan Baez - Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You

Joan Baez

Babe, I'm Gonna Leave You

Vanguard Records

Release Date: September 12th, 1962

Words by: Whaley Big Jesus
November 3rd, 1962

Joan Baez's voice is instantly recognisable. For many people around the world she was a beacon of hope in 1962; 'the queen of folk music' was a titled banded around. It's easy enough to see why: the delicately plucked nylon string guitar, the lyrical sensibilities. In many respects she was one of the first publicly lauded hippies, complete with flowing black hair, downy-hemp style threads, and regular shoelessness.

I've never bought into the whole Baez bit though. In fact, when I hear her 'instantly recognisable' voice I feel as if I might have a violent allergic reaction. It's just so shrill and it seems to linger for way longer than necessary whenever she hits the top of her range–which seems to be every 5-10 seconds.

I think my impression of Baez has been tainted by my Dylan fandom. The duets they did together gave us some of the worst recorded material that Bobby ever put his name to, and I attribute this to Baez's non-stop wailing. The Pennebaker documentary, Don't Look Back, really tipped my dislike for Joan's singing over the top.

All that being said, is there really any need for me to review 'babe, I'm gonna leave you'? Suffice to say that I far preferred Zeppelin's 1969 version.

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