Q - 9/02, p.1284 stars out of 5
- "...Seeger's reedy voice and banjo pluckings may have been rudimentary, but his belief in the power of song...is always moving..."
Personnel includes: Pete Seeger (vocals, acoustic guitar, banjo).
Producer: John Hammond.
Compialtion producer: Lawrence Cohn.
Recorded between April 28, 1962 and March 22, 1967. Includes liner notes by Pete Seeger and Arthur Levy.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Adapter: Pete Seeger .
Liner Note Authors: Pete Seeger ; Arthur Levy .
Recording information: New York, NY (04/28/1962-10/29/1966).
Photographer: David Gahr.
Arrangers: Fred Hellerman; R. Gilbert; Lee Hays; Pete Seeger ; Tony Saletan.
"Greatest Hits," as Seeger himself wryly wrote in his liner notes, is a misnomer considering that he never had hit singles or huge-selling albums as a solo artist, though actually "Little Boxes" (included here) made the lower reaches of the charts. In reality this 1967 compilation (since reissued on CD) collects the most popular tracks of his 1962-1966 output for Columbia, which was a pretty small slice of his prolific career. Nonetheless, these were among his most popular recordings ever, whether as done by him or covered by others. To begin with, it has the original 1962 version of "Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)," made into a number one folk-rock hit in 1965 by the Byrds (and covered to good effect by Judy Collins in 1963). There's also "The Bells of Rhymney," also covered by the Byrds in 1965, and "Where Have All the Flowers Gone?," a hit for the Kingston Trio, although the 1962 version here is a disappointingly thin a cappella one. Other tracks were among the most popular staples of his repertoire: "We Shall Overcome," "Wimoweh (The Lion Sleeps Tonight)," and "Guantanamera." Though it might not qualify as an ideal career survey given its narrow chronology, certainly it's among the one or two best anthologies for those who just want one or two Seeger comps, as it has many of the most renowned songs he wrote or popularized in their most popular recorded versions. [Columbia/Legacy reissued a remastered edition of this 1967 album in 2002, including four bonus tracks.] ~ Richie Unterberger