Joan Baez – 5

Joan BaezJoan Baez/5 is a 1964 album by American folk singer Joan Baez. It peaked at number 12 on the Billboard 200 chart. The single „There But for Fortune” reached number 50 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the U.S. and became a top-ten single in the U.K.

Unlike her prior albums, Joan Baez/5 was divided evenly between contemporary work and traditional folk material. „There But for Fortune” was written by Phil Ochs, and she also included Bob Dylan‘s „It Ain’t Me Babe” and Johnny Cash‘s „I Still Miss Someone”, as well as a number of traditional English and American folk songs. Director Spike Lee included Baez’ recording of Richard Fariña‘s „Birmingham Sunday” (about the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in 1963, in which four young African-American girls lost their lives) in his 1997 documentary 4 Little Girls. Liner notes were written by Langston Hughes. The 2002 Vanguard reissue contains two bonus tracks: „Tramp on the Street” and „Long Black Veil”.

In his Allmusic review, music critic Bruce Eder noted the variety of genres Baez was now exploring. He wrote the album „was where the singer’s music experienced its first major blossoming. Having exhausted most of the best traditional songs in her repertory on her four prior LPs, Baez had to broaden the range of her music, and she opened up some promising new territory in the process.”

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