Both Sides Now – Judy Collins | Top 40 Chart Performance, Story and Song Meaning

Chart Performance: Pop (#8) & Adult Contemporary (#1); 1968

Story Behind The Song By Ed Osborne

Musical Renaissance man Jimmy Wisner has done it all in his illustrious career. An accomplished jazz pianist, the “Wiz” wasn’t above lending his talents to Top 40 recordings. His amusement park-style organ playing propelled Freddy Cannon’s Palisades Park to #3 in 1962, the year after he – billed as “Kokomo” – pounded out a souped-up classical riff named Asia Minor to #8. And many hits – including Len Barry’s 1-2-3, Tommy James and The Shondells’ I Think We’re Alone Now, and Spanky and Our Gang’s Sunday Will Never Be The Same – sported Wiz-crafted arrangements. While head of A&R at Columbia Records, Jimmy got a call from drummer Bobby Gregg (who’d played on 1-2-3). Would he please help out on a Judy Collins session? So Jimmy joined guitarist Vinnie Bell, bassist Joe Macho, and Bobby at Columbia’s 30th Street studios to record Both Sides Now. Jimmy’s gorgeous electric harpsichord playing and Judy’s crystal clear singing helped earn Both Sides Now a spot in the Grammy Hall Fame in 2003.

This content and all Song Meaning articles were created and written by Top 40 Contributing Editor Ed Osborne. © 2024 Ed Osborne. All Rights Reserved. In addition to these song meaning articles, Ed has written our “Year in Music 1960s-1990s” articles.

Produced by:

  • Joni Mitchell

Lyrics Written by:

  • Joni Mitchell
  • Paul A. Rothchild