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Joan Baez – Joan Baez (1960)

December 30, 2019

[Album 707/1001]

“And Joan Baez, I never listened to too much jazz
But hippie songs could be heard in our pad…these are the songs I keep singin'”
– Weezer, Heart Songs

Lyrically, Weezer’s Heart Songs provides a neat glimpse into the music of Rivers Cuomo’s formative years.

And the eclectic mix of artists referenced in the track includes everything from Iron Maiden to Terrance Trent D’Arby, a “cat named Stevens” to Abba, Devo to Joan Baez.

According to weezerpedia, Rivers references a grand total of 23 artists in the tune.

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Untitled presentation (24)

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So what does Joan have in common with her fellow weezer influencers?

I’m not sure if there’s an answer beyond being the middle section of a ‘name-checked in Weezer’s Heart Songs‘ venn diagram – and despite being a longtime graph enthusiast, I fear that trying to create a 23-circle Venn diagram here as a visual aid would be more than a tad ambitious!

But I can see why the Cuomo family were Joan Baez fans.220px-JoanBaezAlbum

More importantly, I now see that their beloved blue album doesn’t happen without Joan Baez & co.

Would the riffs have been as good if Iron Maiden hadn’t taught Rivers how to shred?

Would the tunes have been so well crafted if it weren’t for Abba showing Mr. Cuomo how to write such perfect singles?

And finally, would the songs still work so well when stripped down to just vocals and acoustic guitar, as Joan Baez did so efficiently & effectively with her song arrangements here?

I would have to answer, probably not, to all of the above.

So my very belated thanks to you, Joan!

…..

Verbalize the Positive

Some of my favourite high school memories involve just vocals & guitar, singing the blue album with friends around campfires!

From → 1960s

12 Comments
  1. That ‘Blue’ release is a classic. I still love that record and need to get it on vinyl. In My Garage with the Criss/Frehley line and that distorted fuzz guitar solo is ace(no pun).
    Have a good day Geoff.
    We had 25 cm of snow yesterday and are looking at another 10-20 cm today!

    • I’ve got posters on the wall, My favourite Rock Group Ki$$!
      Stay warm Deke – we’re in ice storm conditions here, never boring!

      • I hear ya Geoff. If you don’t have to leave your house don’t!

      • I think I left the house to retrieve the recycling bins at the end of the driveway yesterday – and that was about it!

  2. 23 artists referenced in the same tune, wow! Surprisingly I don’t know that one by Weezer and will check it out.

    Baez seemed old even when she was young, like her pal Bob Dylan.

    • Well said, Chris – she definitely sounds mature here, much more so than I would have at age 19!

  3. What!? No Venn Diagram!? That’s ruined my morning coffee!

    Never really liked Baez, but I did like Weezer and still like that blue album, so, y’know, there is that!

  4. Thanks. Genuine landmark release.

    Happy New Year

    Thom

  5. I love Joan Baez and I had no idea she was connected to fairly recent artists. Thanks for this!😀

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