JOAN BAEZ - Gracias a la Vida (1974) & Diamonds & Rust (1975)
Gracias a la Vida, or Here's to Life: Joan Baez sings in Spanish is a 1974 studio album released by American singer-songwriter Joan Baez. It was performed mainly in the Spanish language (just one song in Catalan language). Baez stated at the time that she released the album as a "message of hope to the Chileans suffering under Augusto Pinochet", in the wake of the death of Salvador Allende. (Baez is known for her criticism of US foreign policy in Latin America, and has toured and worked on behalf of improving human rights in the region). Songs include selections by Chilean composers Victor Jara (who was tortured and killed in the aftermath of the 1973 coup d'état) and Violeta Parra, who composed the title song. A more upbeat version of "Dida" appears on Baez's Diamonds & Rust, released the following year. Countries represented in the track listing range from Mexico and Cuba to Chile and Spain. The album was moderately successful in the US but extremely so in Latin America. The album has a dedication: "This record is dedicated to my father who gave me my Latin name and whatever optimism about life I may claim to have."
Diamonds & Rust is a 1975 album by American singer-songwriter Joan Baez. Baez on this album covered songs written or played by Bob Dylan, Stevie Wonder, The Allman Brothers, and Jackson Browne. Diamonds & Rust, however, also contains a number of her own compositions, including the title track, a distinctive song written about Bob Dylan, which has been covered by various other artists. On her cover of Dylan's "Simple Twist of Fate", one verse features Baez attempting an impersonation of the song's composer. An alternate recording of "Dida" had appeared on the previous year's Gracias a la Vida. The Diamonds & Rust recording of the song was more uptempo and featured duet vocals by Joni Mitchell.
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