Janis Ian
The Essential Janis Ian

Release Date: September 08, 2009
Produced by: Janis Ian
Format: 2CD



Matt Rowe


Columbia Records, in conjunction with Legacy Records has brought wider release to the previously released Best of Janis Ian: The Autobiography Collection, now tagged as The Essential Janis Ian. 

Janis Ian gained a receptive audience with her "Society's Child" at the mere age of 15, further expanding her growing fanbase with her well-known autobiographical epic, "At Seventeen."  Although many are familiar with either of those two hits, many are simply not aware of the massive body of largely unheralded songs that have filled many albums.

Janis Ian's work is nothing short of brilliant.  Her songs are all well-composed and explore a wealth of issues and personal thoughts that seat her firmly among the great singer-songwriters of our time.

This 2CD collection contains, as does the previously released Best of Janis Ian (Rude Girl Records, an Ian-owned venture), 25 tracks plus 6 extra bonus tracks for a total of 31 songs that span a unique career.

Of course, such a collection would not be complete without the defining "At Seventeen," in both LP form and the shorter single edit, which still clocked in at near 4-minutes.  There's also the necessary pop-oriented song, "Society's Child."  But to bask in the fullness of Janis Ian songs, one must listen to such a collection as this.  Fans who have followed her every album are not surprised by such strength exhibited in these "other" songs.  If you haven't enjoyed Janis Ian apart from her two known singles, then you are deprived.  If you enjoy the extraodinary works of our great singer-songwriters such as Baez, Dylan, Anderson, and a host of recognizeable others, then you owe it to yourself to investigate the one you may have missed.

The Essential Janis Ian, with it's 31 tracks of hits, album cuts, demo bonus cut ("Hair of Spun Gold"), unreleased (before 2008) bonus tracks ("I Long For You," "Today You're Mine), re-recordings ("His Hands," "Some People's Lives," "Days Like These," "Through the Years"), and Live tracks including the phenomonal "The Train Still Runs," as well as "God &The FBI," "Silly Habits," and "Tattoo," is grand walkthrough of the undiscovered miracle that is Janis Ian.

Don't let this complete gem slip through your fingers as it is superb from song 1 through song 31.  Clearly essential.  So essential that the entire album is a playlist!









Copyright 2002-2009 Matthew Rowe.
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212 Frech

"Even though most of the people I knew in my youth are gone, I still reach out to them..." Norman Maclean - Paraphrase

"...we should enjoy every sandwich." -- Warren Zevon
"Buy the ticket, take the ride." -- Hunter S Thompson
"...you best wake up 'fore tomorrow comes creepin' in...: -- Mark Farner (Grand Funk Railroad)
"We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be." -- Kurt Vonnegut
"Because they wouldn't let me go for three..." -- Woody Hayes (OSU)
"Show me peaceful days before my youth has gone" -- Neil Diamond (Serenade)