The Essential Pete Seeger [Sony]

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Pete Seeger is the sort of person who has become the stuff of legend for all the best reasons. As a musicologist, he's been a passionate archivist of folk songs of all sorts from around the world for most of his life, and thousands of people perhaps millions would not have heard songs such as "Goodnight Irene," "This Land Is Your Land" and "Wimoweh" aka "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" had he not championed them. As a songwriter, any man with "If I Had a Hammer," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," "I Come and Stand at Every Door" and "Turn, Turn Turn" in his catalog among many, many others has created a truly impressive repertoire. As a musician, it's hard to count how many people...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
Pete Seeger is the sort of person who has become the stuff of legend for all the best reasons. As a musicologist, he's been a passionate archivist of folk songs of all sorts from around the world for most of his life, and thousands of people perhaps millions would not have heard songs such as "Goodnight Irene," "This Land Is Your Land" and "Wimoweh" aka "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" had he not championed them. As a songwriter, any man with "If I Had a Hammer," "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," "I Come and Stand at Every Door" and "Turn, Turn Turn" in his catalog among many, many others has created a truly impressive repertoire. As a musician, it's hard to count how many people picked up the guitar or banjo from his example, and he's always been a pithy and compelling player. And as an activist, Seeger has bravely put his ideals of peace, justice and equality ahead of his career in a manner few musicians of any stature have ever dared or even imagined. However, since Seeger is as influential as any figure in the history of American folk music, and has been recording since the 1940s, the question is -- can this man's life in music be accurately summed up on a single CD? That more than anything is the rub with The Essential Pete Seeger, a compilation which focuses primarily on Seeger's recordings for Columbia from the 1950s and '60s. Assembled by Nedra Olds-Neal, The Essential Pete Seeger does make some important gestures towards being career-inclusive -- it includes the 1950 hit recording of "Goodnight Irene" with the Weavers, as well as Seeger's 1941 version of "Talking Union" and a few other tracks licensed from Smithsonian Folkways who issued the majority of Seeger's catalog. Many of the songs most closely associated with Seeger are included if not always in their definitive recordings, and all these performances especially the ones recorded before a live audience are impassioned, powerful and direct from the heart, especially "Guantanamera" and "We Shall Overcome" the understated force of the latter is still remarkably moving more than forty years after it was recorded. But this man has made far too much important music for a single disc to hold all that is "essential." The Essential Pete Seeger is a fine introduction to his work as a musician, and includes an excellent liner essay by Dave Marsh, as well as testimonials from Joan Baez, Billy Bragg, Roger McGuinn, Bruce Cockburn and many others on the lasting importance of these songs and this artist. But isn't it high time Pete Seeger got the full box-set treatment that his body of work deserves and demands? Or at the very least a two-disc entry in Legacy's Essential series?
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/19/2005
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 828767762326
  • Catalog Number: 77623

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Pete Seeger Primary Artist, Banjo, Guitar, Vocals, 12-string Guitar
Ronnie Gilbert Vocals
Lee Hays Vocals
Fred Hellerman Banjo, Vocals
Technical Credits
Leadbelly Composer
Joan Baez Liner Notes, Author
Guy Carawan Composer
Woody Guthrie Composer
Tom Paxton Liner Notes, Author
Malvina Reynolds Composer
Pete Seeger Composer, Liner Notes, Adaptation, Musical Adaptation
Billy Bragg Liner Notes, Author
Bruce Cockburn Liner Notes, Author
Donovan Author
Janis Ian Liner Notes, Author
John Hammond Sr. Producer
Almanac Singers Composer
Frank Hamilton Composer
Eric Anderson Liner Notes, Author
Michael Berniker Producer
Milt Gabler Producer
Mark Greenberg Producer
Lee Hays Composer
Fred Hellerman Composer
Zilphia Horton Composer
John A. Lomax Composer
J.D. Martin Poetry
Roger McGuinn Liner Notes, Author
Toshi Reagon Liner Notes, Author
Mark Wilder Mastering
Tom Wilson Producer
R. Gilbert Composer
Dave Marsh Liner Notes
Gordon Jenkins & His Orchestra Contributor
Howard Fritzson Art Direction
David Gahr Cover Photo, Tray Photo
Howard Fritzon Art Direction
Jorge Orbon Adaptation
Millard Lampell Composer
Solomon Linda Composer
Héctor Angulo Lyric Editing
Ken Casey Liner Notes, Author
Idris Davies Composer
Traditional Composer
Eric Bernay Producer
Peter Kszan Packaging Manager
Tom Choi Packaging Manager
John F. Hammond Producer
Tony Saletan Adaptation
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

4 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    FOLK SINGER OF THE UTMOST HIGHEST !

    I was still a young kid when Pete Seeger was at his height of Folk SInging in the 1960's. .......but I never forgot the sound of his music or the tunes that he sang .

    This is the first piece of his music that I ever purchased---but the sounds of his music have never left my head...all those concerts and Strawbery Festivals ...and often people just gathering to sing and play together,

    For me--this is a 5 Star....It has the tunes I remember so vividly !!,,,and the sounds of guitar and voice as well !

    Memories that will forever stay in my mind --now of CD --so that I can hear them again...and clear as a bell.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Now THIS is American music at its finest...

    If Woody Guthrie is the grandfather of modern American folk-music, Pete Seger comes in a very close second, which is not suprising once one realizes that Seeger was Guthrie's friend, bandmate, and occasional music student. Whether it is a folksong written long ago or a song that he wrote himself, Seeger undoubtedly reigns in American folk-music, even in 2006. Kudos, Columbia Records, for including an artist in your Essentials series who truly deserves such an honor.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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