Joan Baez's Debut Vanguard LP Coming From Craft, Cut From Original Master Tape

Joan Baez's debut album recorded in 1960 when she was 19 years old will be released in early September by Craft Records cut by Kevin Gray from the original master tapes that were rumored to have been lost.

Baez told Kurt Loder in a Rolling Stone interview: "It took four nights. We were in some big, smelly ballroom (the Manhattan Towers Ballroom—ed.) at a hotel on Broadway, way up by the river. We couldn't record on Wednesday nights because they played bingo there. I would be down there on this dirty old rug with two microphones, one for the voice and one for the guitar. I just did my set; it was probably all I knew. Just put 'em down. I did "Mary Hamilton" once, that was it. That's the way we made 'em in the old days. As long as a dog didn't run through the room or something, you had it." — Kurt Loder, Rolling Stone, issue no. 393

The recording engineer was Marc Aubort who AnalogPlanet interviewed a decade ago.

In 2015 the album was inducted into the National Recording Registry of the Library of Congress. This should be a superb reissue!

mraudioguru's picture

...a terrific release. I've already pre-ordered it. Can't wait to hear it.

ScottTso's picture

How do you do that? Nary a mention on the Craft Recordings website...

mraudioguru's picture

I preordered this from Music Direct.

john75's picture

Great to see that Craft issues AAA. I hope they see that's the unique selling point. Perhaps they can now do the Contemporary catalog too...

mbutchko's picture

Pure Pleasure reissued this back in 2007, I think. That one was cut from the mono master by Steve Hoffman and Kevin Gray and is still pretty available to purchase online. I assume it was AAA too.
Would the stereo version really be preferable for this recording? It's just Joan and a couple of guitars. Not doubting that the stereo master is superior, I'm just curious how it compares to the mono.

Tom L's picture Craft found or restored the original stereo masters. It would be nice to know, but I can't find any info. Pure Pleasure had this to say about their mono release from 2007:

"The original tapes of the stereo release, VSD 2077 were found to have deteriorated. Consequently the mono tapes for the release VRS 9078 were used to master from for this release. Although the label and sleeve carry the stereo catalogue number it is in fact VRS 9078."

Michael Fremer's picture
In fact I think I reviewed and/or wrote about the Pure Pleasure version but unfortunately this website's search engine sucks so I can't locate it. Oddly though PP used the stereo cover, which made no sense. I will reach out to Craft but after my negative reviews of "Way Out West" and "Concert For George", I don't think they like me.
Tom L's picture

...Discogs shows 65 versions of this album!