Albatross

Album: Wildflowers (1967)

Songfacts®:

  • Before Wildflowers, folk singer Judy Collins relied on covers of other artists songs such as Leonard Cohen for her material. It was Cohen who encouraged her to write her own songs and this was one of three self-penned tracks that appeared on the album. She told Mojo magazine April 2010: "When Leonard said, 'Why aren't you writing your own songs?' I was never going to write anything on the guitar, it's not my instrument, the piano is, and on In My Life I'd gone back to the piano in order to do the songs. And that led to all the song's I've written, which are more Leonard Cohen than they are anything. There's a kind of freedom in the kind of songs he had written that I was never able, through my background as a classical pianist, to work into my own particular style, and that allowed me to do that."
  • Wildflowers was a bestseller, spending 18 months in the US charts. Apart from the three Collins originals (the others being, "Since You Asked" and "Sky Fell"), it featured three Leonard Cohen songs, plus two by another Canadian, a young singer-songwriter called Joni Mitchell. One of those songs was Collins' first hit, "Both Sides Now."
  • The song was later covered by Rufus Wainwright on the 2008 Born in the Breed: A Tribute to Judy Collins album.
  • Collins' recording was used in the 1968 film adaptation of The Subject Was Roses.

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