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]
Polydor wised up with this 1997 expanded version of their 1990 set, The Very Best of the Bee Gees, in that they took the collection and added nine tracks (from 12 to 21), intensifying the study of the impressive depth and breadth of the Bee Gees catalog. The collection runs chronologically from the group's late-'60s folk-pop period through their legendary disco contributions, thus tracing the arc of the Gibbs brothers' diverse career via their influence on pop culture and vice versa. The collection is then topped off by two late-'80s cuts that sit alongside the collection remarkably well and serve as a reminder that the Bee Gees were much more than the definition of disco, but continued to write some great songs regardless of production or arrangement.
The Story So Far: The Very Best of Rod Stewart is a 2001 Rod Stewart career-retrospective compilation album, which summarizes his solo work beginning with material from his 1971 breakthrough album Every Picture Tells a Story until his 2001 album Human. For contractual reasons, only two songs from his Mercury Records tenure ("Maggie May" and "You Wear It Well") were included (a third song from the Mercury era, "Reason to Believe", was included in a live acoustic version from the Warner Bros. album Unplugged…and Seated). The rest of the material is from different albums released under Warner Bros. Records…
The U.K. collection The Very Best of Michael Bolton – initially released in 2005, repackaged as a slide pack in 2007 – is a good overview of the singer's peak years, containing all the big hits except "Love Is a Wonderful Thing" (only natural, considering the lawsuit surrounding the song) in a 17-track compilation that should give most listeners all the Bolton they need.
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.