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The Ultimate Collection

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Album Review

The dominate folk artists of the 1950s, the Weavers were instrumental in bringing true folk music to the American public, scoring radio hits with the most unlikely material, including the then obscure Leadbelly song, "Goodnight Irene." That song is included here, along with the old sailor's lament "The Wreck of the John B," a folk song from the Bahamas later turned into a huge hit by the Beach Boys as "Sloop John B," and Woody Guthrie's "Hard Ain't It Hard." What keeps this collection from being truly ultimate is the sweetened arrangements and often intrusive orchestrations that color nearly every track. The Weavers were always best as a live act, and with several live collections on the market, that would probably be the way to go to sample what this historically important group has to offer. Weavers mainstay Pete Seeger went on to become, well, Pete Seeger, and revisited these tunes many times in his long career.


Formed: 1948 in New York, NY

Genre: Singer/Songwriter

Years Active: '40s, '50s, '60s, '80s

The Weavers had the most extraordinary musical pedigree and pre-history of any performing group in the history of folk or popular music. More than 50 years after their heyday, however, their origins, the level of their success, the forces that cut the group's future off in its prime, and the allure that keeps their music selling are all difficult to explain -- as, indeed, none of this was all that easy to explain at the time. How could a song as pleasant and tuneful as "Kisses Sweeter Than Wine"...
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The Ultimate Collection, The Weavers
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