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Very Best of Peter Paul & Mary

4.7 out of 5 stars 709 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

One of the most enduring acts in American music, Peter Paul And Mary both defined and transcended the 1960s folk revival. The trio's passionate commitment to peace and social justice made them the conscience of an era as they soulfully communicated political concerns through music in an unprecedented way. At the same time that they reached millions with their social message, they acheived phenomenal mass popularity.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 23, 2005)
  • Original Release Date: 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rhino
  • ASIN: B0009YA39U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (709 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #325 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Tognetti TOP 500 REVIEWER on August 25, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
It is hard to believe that they released their very first Warner Brothers single more than 47 years ago. And although Peter Yarrow, Noel Paul Stookey and Mary Travers get credit for producing Rhino's brand new 2005 release "The Very Best of Peter Paul and Mary", I find it hard to believe that these folks ever really thought of themselves as a singles act or worried too much about how successful their records were on Billboard's Hot 100. Peter Paul and Mary were much more concerned with the issues they sang about and with the "live" performances they gave. Yet the fact of the matter is that Peter Paul and Mary made a half dozen Top Ten hits and amassed an impressive total of 19 charted hits. During their heydey in the 1960's they sold a ton of albums as well. The group still performs on a fairly regular basis, continues to record new material and boasts an extremely loyal following.

For collectors like myself, Rhino has finally given us a pretty comprehensive single disc collection cleverly entitled "The Very Best of Peter Paul and Mary". Fans of the group would quickly point out that the 25 tunes on this CD do not necessarily represent the best songs the group ever made. I would be the first to agree with that assessment. Rather, "Very Best" presents the groups biggest and best singles as well as a number of memorable tunes from the groups most popular albums. Of course you will find the familiar hits you heard on the radio like "For Lovin' Me", "Puff The Magic Dragon", "Blowin' In the Wind" and their biggest hit ever from 1970 "Leaving On A Jet Plane". You will also hear Peter Paul and Mary belt out some of folk music's most important and memorable songs.
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This collection is superior to any of the other "best-of" releases. Peter, Paul & Mary have been, throughout their successful career, consistently talented capturing their audiences attention and delight for 40 some years.

This collection includes their major hits as well as the best of their other works. Solo efforts -- The Wedding Song, Follow Me, and Weave me the Sunshine -- round out the collection.

Unlike other "best-of" collections which are essentially vinyl re-packages, this one contains proper re-masterings and provides great value for anyone who enjoys the folk-rock experience.
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When reviewing PP&M's other 'Best of' CD (10 Years Together), I advised that this 'Very Best of' CD is better value, and I stand by that. It has solo efforts by each of the trio, including Noel (Paul) Stookey's very fine The Wedding Song (There is Love). It has all the tracks that the other CD has, plus 12 more. That's almost twice as many. So this is very definitely the one to go for.

Today's listeners might prefer to hear some of these songs from the writers themselves - Bob Dylan, Gordon Lightfoot, John Denver - rather than these covers. At the time, we preferred the sweet tones of PP&M. They did a lot to start the careers of Dylan and Denver.

As a cultural phenomenon, the 60s didn't really get going until 1963 or 64, so PP&M anticipated this slightly and their early style has much of 50s skiffle in it. This music is the bridge between skiffle and late 60s folk-rock, and between Pete Seeger/Woodie Guthrie social awareness and mid-60s protest songs. It's the genuine article; there is nothing on this album that would be out of place in a folk club.
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Format: Audio CD
The Very Best of Peter, Paul & Mary is an impressive CD with twenty-five (yes, twenty-five) wonderful folk rock songs by Peter, Paul & Mary. They sing and play beautifully; and this album proves they were--and still are--extremely talented. The sound quality is excellent and the artwork is very well done.

"Early In The Morning" starts the CD with some great harmonizing and they sing their separate parts well, too. The guitar work is beautiful and Peter, Paul & Mary never sounded better! "Lemon Tree" is a classic folk rock song and this always was one of my very favorite tunes by Peter, Paul & Mary. They sound great and the guitars work well for "Lemon Tree." "If I Had A Hammer" is a song of hope for a better future and a better quality of life than people had in the turbulent 1960s; and these musicians don't ever miss a beat!

"Puff, The Magic Dragon" still manages to tug at my heartstrings even though I first heard it roughly forty years ago; this touching song really is very beautiful. I don't know if the rumors about hidden meanings of the lyrics are true or not; I just like the song for what it is at face value. "This Land Is Your Land" is a stunning ballad that gets the royal treatment from Peter, Paul & Mary who sing this with panache, heart and soul. It's a beautiful and somewhat catchy number that is clearly a major highlight of this album. "Blowin' In The Wind" also stuns me with its beauty; Peter, Paul & Mary sing this to perfection--and beyond! Peter, Paul & Mary cry out for social justice and this all works very well.

"Stewball" was always one of my favorite Peter, Paul & Mary songs even though it wasn't their very biggest hits; this tune about a horse that ran good races is very touching.
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