Judy Collins' earliest recordings were either straightforward covers or facsimiles of songs by vastly superior contemporaries like Bob Dylan and Phil Ochs. A collaboration between Collins and famed orchestrator and ragtime enthusiast Joshua Rifkin gave us the songwriter's most enduring work: 1966's In My Life was Collins' first foray into the world of pop music, ditching minimalist folk instrumentation for bombastic string arrangements and featuring cover songs by artists like the Beatles and Randy Newman. Her 1967 follow-up, Wildflowers—which features both original compositions and covers (most notably, a radio-friendly rendition of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides, Now")—is a dense, vaguely trippy folk-pop masterpiece ripe for rediscovery. MORGAN TROPER
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