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The Best of Arlo Guthrie

4.6 out of 5 stars 114 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Arlo Gutherie was cut from the same cloth of his father and was equally aware of the social and political topics within his music. As a definition of the hippie era, Arlo had numerous epic hits, especially "Alice's Restaurant Massacree," which is presented here in its full 18-minute marathon.

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Alice's Restaurant Massacree
  2. Gabriel's Mother's Hiway Ballad #16 Blues
  3. Cooper's Lament
  4. Motorcycle (Significance Of the Pickle) Song
  5. Coming Into Los Angeles
  6. Last Train
  7. City Of New Orleans
  8. Darkest Hour
  9. Last To Leave


Product Details

  • Audio CD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B000R7I3IW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,361 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Considering Arlo Guthrie's estrangement from modern record-making (especially for his former employer, Warner Brothers), "The Best of Arlo Guthrie" may be the only hits collection we get from this folk troubadour. Even so, it's a tidy best-of from someone often neglected today among Sixties folk's earth-movers (Dylan, Baez, Phil Ochs).
"The Best of Arlo Guthrie" contains the artist's touchstones: Steve Goodman's bittersweet "City of New Orleans" (featuring Crusader Wilton Felder on bass; the late songwriter no doubt would have been amused by its recent inclusion in a laxative commercial), the Woodstock anthem "Coming Into Los Angeles," the silly sing-a-long "Motorcycle Song" (which Guthrie prefaces by saying, "It's amazing that someone could get away with singing a song this dumb for that long,")
Then you get the evergreen "Alice's Restaurant Masacree." A decade before Elvis Costello sneered, "I used to be disgusted/now I try to be amused," Guthrie turned two then-common hippie brushes with authority into a moving, absurd masterpiece. It satirizes small town/big country bureaucracy too well to spin only every third Thursday in November. Yet thankfully, Guthrie's consistent performances and devotion to folk style (incorporating gospel and political protest music within it, always with humor) kept this anthem from swallowing his career as 1971's long and winding "American Pie" did Don McLean's.
"Alice's Restauarant Massacree" is essential to any Sixties collection, and this set is the most cost-effective way to get it. New fans should then check out 1967's original "Alice's Restaurant," Guthrie's duet LPs with Pete Seeger, or 1976's "Amigo" for the best from this second-generation folk icon.
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In an age in which tecno-pop or country dominates the airaves...this is a breath of fresh air. A collection of tunes with with a fanciful wit and sense of humor...magnificently performed. "Alice's Restaurant" and "Comin' in to Los Angeles" alone are worth the price of this CD...but there is even more.

Few people remember Arlo Guthrie...but he remains a genius ahead of his time. Well worth checking out and certainly worth the investment.
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Format: Audio CD
I am often stunned to find how few people are still unfamiliar with Arlo Guthrie and his wonderful music. This collection of his greatest hits and the best of his several terrific albums illustrates in one work what incredible talent, diversity and intelligence this sometimes slapstick and even vaudevillian singer has. Arlo really is one of a kind, a true artist who often covers sour subjects with a sugary satirical style, thus making these bitter pills about life more tolerable and acceptable to discuss and think about.
Here our perpetually young and impish Mr. Guthrie shows all of his sides, sometimes serious, often impish, and always sporting a twinkle in his eyes, from the silly and perhaps immortal "Alice's Restaurant", Arlo's true (if somewhat embellished) account of how the irony of the "Establishment's" bureaucratic rules inadvertently allowed him to avoid the military draft to the equally diverting and amusing "Motorcycle Song" or as we who love it refer to it, "The Pickle Song". He shows his more serious side with wonderful entries like "Darkest Hours" and "City Of New Orleans". Probably the greatest thing about most of these songs is that they weave their way into your subconscious memory, so you may find yourself humming or singing one of them involuntarily next time you're in the shower and feeling pretty good about the world.
My biggest regret concerning this album is that the lovely ballad "Massachusetts" about his adopted state, as well as the evocative "Manzanillo Bay" about that unspoiled seaside Mexican paradise, are not included here. Both of these songs are from his virtually unknown but spectacular album "Amigo".
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Format: Audio CD
This is one great album! Arlo Guthrie is so funny. "Alice's Restaurant Massacree" and "Motorcycle Song" will have anyone laughing everytime they listen. Guthrie is a true entertainer. I would highly recommend this album to anyone!
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Format: Audio CD
all of the songs on this cd are great especially CITY OF NEWORLEANS. Arlo tells a great story through all of his songs and they are a joy to listen to.
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Format: Audio CD
Highlighted by the complete 18 minute version of "Alice's Restaurant Masacree," "The Best of Arlo Guthrie" neatly hits the highpoints of a career that for the most part has been non-commercial. Guthrie had a mighty big legacy to follow being the son of Woody Guthrie, and he rather cleverly emerged from the old man's shadow with his good natured wit and humor. The other highlights from the album are his ace cover of "City of New Orleans," which was his only true hit single, "Coming Into Los Angeles," and the best and funniest version of "The Motorcyle Song," the one that in which Arlo explains to a receptive live audience the "(Significance of the Pickle)."
Overall, an intelligently selected single disc anthology that will satisfy the casual fan.
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