Greatest Hits

Not Rated

"These are my 'hits?' Columbia Records picked the title of this album, not me. Now read the truth," Pete Seeger says at the beginning of the liner notes he has written for the back of this new collection. It is a very good collection: "Little Boxes," "Wimoweh," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," "Bells of Rhymney," "Turn, Turn, Turn," "Guantanamera," among others. They were recorded in concert.

Seeger goes on to explain that these aren't his hits, but things that he has come across, some of which he has put tunes to or to words and other people have taken up and made hits. The one extraordinary case is when he made a hit of Malvina Reynold's song ("Little Boxes") in his own version. If you are in the mood for reminisce or authenticity, this album is an adequate, reasonable and cheap way of suiting the mood without buying a stack of Folkways LP's.

The songs are familiar; they are good songs and Seeger puts into them the feeling and meaning which groups like the Byrds heard. "Like many other old songs," Seeger concludes, "maybe their popularity didn't come at once, but snuk up on us. Like a man in middle life realizes how much more he loves his wife than ever before."

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