Entertainment Weekly - 10/11/96, p.93
"...Seeger may be a rigid purist and a less-than-virtuosic banjoist, but these recordings are one of the Left's most enduring legacies." - Rating: A-
A LINK IN THE CHAIN is part of Columbia/Legacy's Common Chord series.
Personnel: Pete Seeger (vocals, guitar, banjo); Fred Hellerman, Ramblin' Jack Elliott (vocals, guitar); Ed McCurdy (vocals, banjo); Sandy Bull (vocals).
Producers: Jonh Hammond, Tom Wilson, Goddard Lieberson, Mike Berniker.
Compilation producer: Lawrence Cohn.
Recorded between 1961 & 1971. Includes liner notes by Dave Marsh.
All tracks have been digitally remastered.
Personnel: Pete Seeger (vocals, guitar, 12-string guitar, banjo); Fred Hellerman, Ramblin' Jack Elliott (vocals, guitar); Ed McCurdy (vocals, banjo); Sandy Bull (guitar).
Liner Note Authors: Dave Marsh ; Fred Hellerman; Lawrence Cohn; Peter Yarrow; Anthony Seeger; Ronnie Gilbert; Joan Baez.
Recording information: Village Gate, New York, NY (04/30/1961-04/12/1971).
Photographers: David Gahr; Arlo Guthrie.
The two-disc, 38-track compilation A LINK IN THE CHAIN splits Pete Seeger's long and prolific career into two thematic sections. Disc one collects many of Seeger's best-known topical songs and social anthems, opening with the Dust Bowl ballad "My Oklahoma Home Blowed Away" and ending with the passionate civil rights anthem "We Shall Overcome." Even decades after these songs were recorded, they still wield remarkable power, particularly the allegorical "Waist Deep in the Big Muddy" and the hymn-like "Turn! Turn! Turn!"
Disc two features ballads and story songs based on figures both historical ("Aimee Semple McPherson," "Pretty Boy Floyd") and mythical ("Jesse James," "Belle Starr"), as well as a handful of traditional ballads such as "The Cowboy's Lament" and "Cumberland Mountain Bear Chase" and singalong standards like "This Land Is Your Land" and "Michael Row the Boat Ashore." It's the easier listen, perhaps, but it's no less impassioned.