Around the Campfire
With the release of their first album (Peter, Paul & Mary) in 1962, this hip-for-the-time trio brought the folk-music revival to the top of the pop charts with radio-friendly hits such as "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," "Puff, the Magic Dragon," and "500 Miles." PP&M stumped for social justice with songs like "We Shall Overcome" in a way that intrigued audiences who might have been reluctant to sing along with Bob Dylan or Pete Seeger (songwriters represented here by the hits "Blowin' in the Wind" and "If I Had a Hammer," respectively). They also helped launch John Denver's career with a smash recording of his song "Leavin' on a Jet Plane." This 1998 two-disc release finds Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey, and Mary Travers sharing their trademark harmonies and infectious joy on 21 previously recorded classics as well as four newly recorded contemporary and traditional favorites (including "Somos El Barco," which could be called a new incarnation of "This Land Is Your Land") that they've picked up along the decades. As overviews go, this is one wide and wonderful.