What does it sound like?:
These are in some ways strange reissues. Although remastered they do not have any bonus tracks so aside from the mastering they are straight reissues but I guess at a little over a fiver a disc at the Tax Dodgers they are value for money or attractive for those wishing to add missing items to their Janis Ian collection. Between the lines will be the one most familiar to Janis Fans and non fans alike as it container her biggest selling song At Seventeen the success of which has probably hampered her career but not her bank balance.
However my favourite album is Stars the title track being in my mind the best song she has written. It also includes Jesse another great song.The other release are Aftertones with the excellent Belle of the Blues and Night Rains which was her first album to go platinum outside of the USA.
Although at seventeen is his most famous song the most controversial was Society’s Child.
Written amazingly when she was 14 it details a mixed race relationship and one Atlanta radio station that played it defying local outrage suffering the ignominy of being burned to the ground. The saddest thing being this is not that long ago in the scheme of things.
She is a skilled songwriter with a great voice and an ear for a melody but has not been prolific in recent years and as such has probably slipped out of people’s consciousness. She has doing a few dates in the use and an appearance at Cambridge folk festival but doubt this will raise her profile.
Individually all of these releases contain some great songs but not enough to make them great albums. If i was recommending a starting point I would go for The Essential Janis Ian 2cd set which has all of her best songs in one place.
What does it all *mean*?
Janis Ian was on the verge of going massive at one time – sadly her star is no longer in the ascendency and these releases will likely only appeal to those seeking a moment of nostalgia.
Goes well with…
A lazy summers day and a glass of wine.
Stars is truly a gem of a song.
Might suit people who like…
Girls with great voices and a penchant for detailing the issues of the day.