- Number of Discs: 4
- Released: September 26, 1995
- Originally Released: 1995
- Label: Capitol
The Kingston Trio: Dave Guard, Bob Shane, Nick Reynolds, John Stewart.
Producers: Voyle Gilmore, Henry Jacobs, Pete Kameron.
Compilation producer: Ron Furmanek.
Recorded between 1957 & 1967. Includes liner notes by Bill Bush and song annotations by Ben Blake.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
The Kingston Trio were always looked at askance by the coffeehouse hipsters who spearheaded the folk revival, most of whom thought the trio were bandwagon jumpers with little innate feeling for the form. That this exhaustive four-disc set starts with both sides of a Capitol single by The Calypsonians might support this view ("Oh, calypso isn't the next big thing? Okay, let's become a folk act."), but listening to the first disc of this set, it's clear that the original Trio had a greater knowledge of folk, calypso and country tropes than many might have suspected at the time. The generous amount of unreleased tracks suggests that it was actually Capitol Records who were pushing the group into a safer and more commercial direction; these previously unheard tracks are a bit rougher and more "authentic" than admittedly fine comic folk songs like "M.T.A." and traditional ballads like "Tom Dooley." The remastered sound is terrific, and the enclosed book goes into admirable depth, but at the end of the day, it's the remarkably consistent high quality of this material that makes THE CAPITOL YEARS such a satisfying listen.