This richly rewarding live anthology draws on recordings made at a variety of venues on both sides of the Atlantic between 1990 and 2003, including heartfelt performances of many of her finest songs. The moody introspection of classic creations such as “Stars” and “At Seventeen” contrasts nicely with the much more whimsical charms of “Cosmopolitan Girl” and “Boots Like Emmy Lou’s,” and the inventive New Yorker also breathes new life into “Society’s Child,” the barbed slice of social commentary which the fourteen year old Janis Ian had penned in 1965 and which finally entered the higher reaches of the U.S. singles charts when it was released for the third time two years later.
New Yorker Janis Ian has been around a long time now, writing and recording beautifully crafted and incisive songs.
Her first major breakthrough came in 1967 in her native USA, with the top twenty hit Society’s Child. Her 1975 Grammy award-winning album Between The Lines would rate in my top ten albums of all time.
I can’t say that I’m generally a fan of live albums, but this double-CD is a cracker. There are 31 tracks in all, recorded at various venues around the world between 1990 and 2003.
Standout performances include Will You Dance, the autobiographical Stars, the heart-wrenching Jessie, Fly Too High and the brutally honest At Seventeen. Excellent stuff.