Both Sides Now

Judy Collins

Song Review by Matthew Greenwald

Judy Collins' first pop hit (it went Top Ten in 1967), "Both Sides Now" was also the first time Joni Mitchell's songs were exposed to the mainstream. Collins first heard the song over the phone late one night from a fan and made the decision there and then to record it. A song about innocence and experience, it's filled with a phantasmagoria of vivid imagery that beguiles both the heart and mind. The feeling of holding on to childhood while being led kicking and screaming into adulthood seems to be at the lyrical core here, along with the confusion of audience expectations of a young musician; although, like all great songs, it is certainly open to interpretation. Colored by an evocative and elegant arrangement by Joshua Rifkin (one of the more underrated musician/arrangers of the era), the melody is one of Joni Mitchell's more overtly accessible ones, with a rich chorus and a lovely, descending refrain that provides the song with its hook. One of the first songs to utilize the Dolby sound system.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Wildflowers 1967 Asylum 3:14
First Family of New Rock 1969
Various Artists
Warner Bros. 3:10
Both Sides Now 1971
Colors of the Day: The Best of Judy Collins 1972 Audio Fidelity / Darted 3:14
Superstars of the 70's [Warner] 1973
Various Artists
Warner Bros.
So Early in the Spring...The First 15 Years 1977 Elektra / Asylum 0:00
Judy Collins, An Audio Discography, Vol. 2 1979 Elektra
Most Beautiful Songs of 1979 Elektra 3:14
Book-of-the-Month Records Box Set 1981 Warner Music 3:14
Amazing Grace 1985 Telstar / Pickwick 3:32
Singers & Songwriters [Time Life] 1990
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:14
Singers & Songwriters: 40 Hits, All Orignal Recordings [Time-Life] 1990
Various Artists
Time / Life Music
Divas of Pop 1996
Various Artists
GNP / Crescendo 3:14
Forever: An Anthology 1997 Elektra 3:15
American Pie 1998
Various Artists
ZYX Music
Both Sides Now [Intersound] 1998 Intersound 3:15
Respect: A Century of Women in Music 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 0:00
Send in the Clowns 2000 Disky 3:17
Classic Folk 2000 Madacy 3:16
Easy Listening Gold: 1968-1969 2000
Various Artists
Heartland Productions, Inc. 3:12
Singers & Songwriters: The 1960's 2000
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:17
The Very Best of Judy Collins 2001 Elektra / Rhino 3:16
Casey Kasem Presents: America's Top Ten - The 60's Folk Years 2002
Various Artists
Top Sail Productions 3:14
36 Greatest Hits! 2002 Warner Music 3:12
The Folk Years: Blowin' in the Wind 2002
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:15
The Very Best of Singers and Songwriters 2003
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:18
The Folk Years [Box Set] 2003
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:15
Folk Hits of the '60s 2003
Various Artists
Shout! Factory 3:15
Women & Songs: Beginnings 2003
Various Artists
WEA International 3:16
Classic Songs 2003 Flashback Records / Rhino Flashback 3:15
The Essential [Wildflower] 2004 Wildflower 3:28
Wildflowers/Who Knows Where the Time Goes 2006 Phantom Import Distribution / Rhino / WEA International 3:16
Golden Legends: Judy Collins 2006 Madacy 3:17
Introducing... Judy Collins 2006 Rhino 3:17
Love in the 60's [Rhino] 2009
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music 3:13
Pop Memories of the '60s: My Special Angel 2009
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:16
Singers & Songwriters [Time-Life Box Set] 2011
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:18
'60s Music Revolution 2012
Various Artists
Time / Life Music 3:15
Send in the Clowns: The Collection 2012 Rhino / Warner Bros. 3:14
70s: The Collection 2012
Various Artists
Rhino 3:12
Original Album Series 2013 Rhino 3:16
Both Sides Now: The Very Best Of 2014 Cleopatra / Goldenlane / Wildflower 3:27
Retrospective: The Music of Mad Men [Original Series Soundtrack] 2015
Various Artists
Republic
Drop the Needle On the Hits: Best of Judy Collins 2018 3:14
'60s: The Collection
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music 3:14
100 Greatest 60s: Golden Oldies from the Sixties
Various Artists
Rhino 3:13
100 Greatest American Songs (The Greatest Tracks From The USA)
Various Artists
Rhino 3:13
100 Greatest Shower Songs
Various Artists
Rhino 3:13
101 Most Beloved Pop Masterpieces
Various Artists
Warner Music 3:16
60s Classics 60s Hits 60s Pop 60s Songs
Various Artists
Rhino
60s Songs
Various Artists
Rhino
American Classics [Rhino]
Various Artists
Rhino
American Pie: Singer Songwriter Classics
Various Artists
ZYX Music 3:10
Easy Listening Classics: Time Life's Movie Classics
Various Artists
Time Life / Time / Life Music 3:14
Forever Changing: The Golden Age of Elektra 1963-1973
Various Artists
WEA International 3:17
Girls Run the World
Various Artists
Rhino 3:13
Happy Mother's Day
Various Artists
Rhino 3:13
Mum
Various Artists
Mum
Rhino 3:13
Mum: The Collection
Various Artists
Rhino 3:12
Oh What a Night: 70s Classics
Various Artists
Rhino / Warner Music 3:14
Romancing the '60s: My Special Angel
Various Artists
StarVista 3:16
Sixties [Rhino]
Various Artists
Rhino 3:14
Solid Gold Hits [Rhino]
Various Artists
Rhino 3:13
Time Life Presents the 60s
Various Artists
Time Life 3:14
Women Voices [Warner]
Various Artists
Warner Music 3:16
Yesterday's Top Hits, Vol. 1
Various Artists
Dockland Music 3:14