With the Vietnam War winding down, Joan Baez, who had devoted one side of her last album to her trip to Hanoi, delivered the kind of commercial album A&M Records must have wanted when it signed her three years earlier. But she did it on her own terms, putting together a session band of contemporary jazz veterans like Larry Carlton, Wilton Felder, and Joe Sample, and mixing a wise selection from the work of current singer-songwriters like Jackson Browne and John Prine with pop covers of Stevie Wonder and the Allman Brothers Band, and an unusually high complement of her own writing. A&M, no doubt recalling the success of her cover of the Band's "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," released her version of the Allmans' "Blue Sky" as a single, and it got halfway up the charts. But the real hit was the title track, a self-penned masterpiece on the singer's favorite subject, her relationship with Bob Dylan. Outdoing the current crop of confessional singer/songwriters at soul baring, Baez sang to Dylan, reminiscing about her '60s love affair with him intensely, affectionately, and unsentimentally. It was her finest moment as a songwriter and one of her finest performances, period, and when A&M finally released it on 45, it made the Top 40, propelling the album to gold status. But those who bought the disc for "Diamonds & Rust" also got to hear "Winds of the Old Days," in which Baez forgave Dylan for abandoning the protest movement, as well as the jazzy "Children and All That Jazz," a delightful song about motherhood, and the wordless vocals of "Dida," a duet with Joni Mitchell accompanied by Mitchell's backup band, Tom Scott and the L.A. Express. The cover songs were typically accomplished, making this the strongest album of Baez's post-folk career.
Performance CreditsJoan Baez Primary Artist,Guitar,Vocals
Red Rhodes Steel Guitar
Max Bennett Bass
John Guerin Drums
Hampton Hawes Keyboards
Jim Horn Saxophone
Rick Lotempio Guitar
Ollie Mitchell Trumpet
Buck Monari Trumpet
David Paich Keyboards
Technical CreditsJoan Baez Producer
Dickey Betts Composer
David Kershenbaum Producer
Rob Martens Engineer
Rik Davis Producer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Diamonds & Rust based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
My husband and I were 5 feet away from Joan Baez in a intimate setting at Chrysler Hall in Va.True Vocals and not a 'crack' in the voice. Many Folk Tunes the Audience knew well, yet restrained from joining in with such a heady 'spot on vocals'. We were all mesmerised. Enchantingly Lovely. As for 'Diamonds & Rust', a bad break~up was consoled by this CD. The Tears shed were floods. Soul aching and this would be the only way to Mourn.So, Snyder if you're out there, listen and remember the Love Lost. Hope You are Happy, as Am I.
joan baez has the richest voice i have ever heard. it's inexplainable how gorgeous it is. the song diamonds and rust is wonderful, and the pain from her bitter breakup with dylan really comes through. she also does some great covers, especially janis ian's jesse. i grew up on the original lp, so i can only hope her voice is as warm as it is on a record on the cd
This is certainly Joan's most successful album both commercially and artistically. Her title song is of course a classic but so are many of her cover songs. Her singing of John Prine's "Hello In There" is straight forward yet strikingly beautiful and her version of Stevie Wonder's "Never dreamed you'd leave in Summer" out does Stevie's own version. A great great album.