With their beautiful harmony vocals and gentle melodies, Peter, Paul & Mary were the most popular folk act of the 1960s. While Bob Dylan was unquestionably the genre's most influential and revered performer by the mid-1960s, it was Peter Yarrow, Noel Paul Stookey, and Mary Travers who helped him to reach a larger audience with their accessible '63 renditions of his "Blowin' in the Wind" and "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right." In addition to Dylan, the group also championed the work of Gordon Lightfoot and John Denver, most notably with the wanderlust tales "For Lovin' Me" and "Leaving on a Jet Plane" (a runaway hit in '69), respectively.
All of the aforementioned tunes are presented on THE VERY BEST OF PETER, PAUL & MARY, a 25-track set carefully compiled by the trio itself. This 2005 collection focuses almost exclusively on the '60s and '70s work of PP&M, with the exception of the deceptively breezy "El Salvador" (from '86) and 2003's "Don't Laugh at Me," which finds the threesome in fine voice more than 40 years after the group was founded in New York City's Greenwich Village. Also included are three early-'70s solo tracks–one apiece by Yarrow, Stookey, and Travers–rounding out this wonderfully selected disc, which is a must for any folk collection.
Peter, Paul & Mary: Noel "Paul" Stookey, Peter Yarrow (vocals, acoustic guitar); Mary Travers (vocals).
Recording information: 1962 - 2003.Dirty Linen (p.85) - "It's fun to see the group really lay its politics on the line in 'El Salvador,' and 'Weave Me the Sunshine' is as vibrant as anything Peter, Paul, and Mary ever recorded."
"Hard to believe, but Capitol's 2008 collection Idolize Yourself: The Very Best of Billy Idol is only the second Billy Idol hits album to be released in America, following the first – 2001's Greatest Hits – by just seven years. [~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide]
This two-CD set collects most of Celine Dion's essential recordings from her pre-superstar years, when she was a very young French singer, popular in Canada and France. This set starts with the heavily synthesized Euro pop of the 1988 Eurovision contest winner "Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi," which was the song that introduced the singer to international audiences, and is something of a milestone in her career. Many of the songs on this set are fair, and differ from the processed teen pop of the late 1990s because of the ever-present sincerity in Dion's voice. Highlights include the elegant ballads "Tellement J'ai D'amour Pour Toi," "Benjamin," and "La Voix Du Bon Dieu"…
While the two previous Best of UB40 collections neatly divided the band's output between their more political early period and their later, covers-oriented pop success, they were also only ten tracks apiece. The Very Best of UB40 1980-2000 is the first comprehensive single-disc overview of the band's career, and it's a lot more generous at 20 tracks. It isn't arranged chronologically, which actually helps the programming by splitting up the covers over the course of the running order. There's a bit more toughness to the earlier songs, both in the lyrics and the punchier performances. Yet in the end, the sonic differences are subtle enough that casual fans should still be able to enjoy them (unless they only want to hear the band performing reggae-pop versions of oldies they already know).
Whether it was singing with Big Brother And The Holding Company or with her Full Tilt Boogie Band, Janis Joplin had one of the most identifiable, most emotional and most soulful voices ever recorded. Coming to San Francisco from Texas in 1966, Janis soon had the music world’s total attention, simply blowing the audience away at Monterey in 1967 while fronting Big Brother and gaining a record deal with Columbia Records in the process. After that, it was hit after hit with songs like her signature Piece Of My Heart, Cry Baby, and her Number One take of Kris Kristofferson’s present day standard Me And Bobby McGee, all included here. Through it all, Janis Joplin established herself as one of the very best and one of the most important singers and song interpreters ever to hit the music scene.