This two-LP, 23-song set was the second Judy Collins
compilation in five years and the third in under a decade. However, in contrast to the folk-oriented Recollections
or Colors of the Day
's focus on her best-known popular tracks from the late '60s, this was a more comprehensive retrospective covering all phases of her career. Unfortunately, it came out at a point when Collins
' career momentum was slowing, and a little too long after her unexpected chart hit "Send in the Clowns." In addition, all of Collins
' albums were still in print at the time, and there was nothing here that wasn't on those LPs. This collection could be of little interest to anyone but hardcore fans -- and they were the people who needed it least. Fans of her post-folk era didn't need the summary of the early period, and fans of the folk period didn't want the pop/rock material. However, as a career overview it was the only place to go, and as of the year 2000 So Early in the Spring...
is still available as a cassette. It can be considered superior in aspects of its programming to Forever: An Anthology
-- indeed, there has never been a definitive anthology of Collins
' work. Maybe they should let Lenny Kaye
try his hand at that, since he's been so good at repackaging so many Elektra releases.