23 Songs, 54 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

As folk music began losing market share to rock 'n' roll, its most popular young practitioners looked to find ways to evolve with the times. Joan Baez covered Bob Dylan and even added mild electric guitar to her 1965 album Farewell, Angelina. With 1966's Noel, she began working with composer Peter Schickele (a.k.a. P.D.Q. Bach), who'd also orchestrate her next two albums of nonseasonal music. Here, Schickele adds harpsichords and strings as Baez runs through a largely solemn collection of Christmastime fare. "Deck the Halls" is the one spirited number, and it's done as a flute-led instrumental that's just 23 seconds long. Several brief instrumentals are scattered throughout the album. "Ave Maria" and "O Holy Night" are sung in German, while an alternate take of "Away in a Manger," included among the six bonus tracks, is sung in French. Baez's soprano is a natural fit for "What Child Is This," considering it's set to the tune of the traditional English folk song "Greensleeves." Noel wasn't just an album of seasonal affection; it was a perfect way for Baez to introduce herself as a vocal stylist beyond genre

EDITORS’ NOTES

As folk music began losing market share to rock 'n' roll, its most popular young practitioners looked to find ways to evolve with the times. Joan Baez covered Bob Dylan and even added mild electric guitar to her 1965 album Farewell, Angelina. With 1966's Noel, she began working with composer Peter Schickele (a.k.a. P.D.Q. Bach), who'd also orchestrate her next two albums of nonseasonal music. Here, Schickele adds harpsichords and strings as Baez runs through a largely solemn collection of Christmastime fare. "Deck the Halls" is the one spirited number, and it's done as a flute-led instrumental that's just 23 seconds long. Several brief instrumentals are scattered throughout the album. "Ave Maria" and "O Holy Night" are sung in German, while an alternate take of "Away in a Manger," included among the six bonus tracks, is sung in French. Baez's soprano is a natural fit for "What Child Is This," considering it's set to the tune of the traditional English folk song "Greensleeves." Noel wasn't just an album of seasonal affection; it was a perfect way for Baez to introduce herself as a vocal stylist beyond genre

TITLE TIME

More By Joan Baez

You May Also Like