Tom Jans was a gifted singer and songwriter whose compositions were recorded by the likes of Elvis Presley, Kris Kristofferson, Gary Stewart, and Dobie Gray, and who was a musical partner with Mimi Fariña, the folksinging sister of Joan Baez. While Jans was well respected by his peers, he enjoyed little mainstream success, and this two-fer reissue marks the first time that this pair of albums, much sought after by collectors, has been available on compact disc. Released in 1971, Take Heart was a collaboration between Jans and Fariña, and it finds the two working with some of the best studio musicians of the day, including Jim Keltner, Leland Sklar, and Sneaky Pete Kleinow, while Jans and Fariña trade off on superb vocals. Tom Jans, from 1974, found the songwriter stepping out on his own; the set includes contributions from guitar legend Lonnie Mack and frequent Neil Young collaborator David Briggs, and features Jans' best-known song, the often covered "Loving Arms."
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AllMusic Review by Mark Deming