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Best of Decca Years
Best of Decca Years
Genres: Folk, Pop
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1

The Weavers--comprised of Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, Fred Hellerman, and Ronnie Gilbert--were the most important group of the folk revival. They helped invent hootenany culture, and charged it with a political urgency. They sa...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Weavers
Title: Best of Decca Years
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Mca
Original Release Date: 10/15/1996
Re-Release Date: 10/22/1996
Album Type: Original recording remastered
Genres: Folk, Pop
Style: Traditional Folk
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 008811146528, 008811146528, 008811146528, 008811146528, 008811146528, 008811146528

The Weavers--comprised of Pete Seeger, Lee Hays, Fred Hellerman, and Ronnie Gilbert--were the most important group of the folk revival. They helped invent hootenany culture, and charged it with a political urgency. They sang everything: Maoist anthems, civil rights hymns, even children's songs like "If I Had a Hammer." The Decca recordings are historic but not always indicative of the Weavers art. "Tzena, Tzena" and "Goodnight Irene" are given more production than suited the quartet's ethos, even if those songs would help change America forever. --Roy Francis Kasten

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CD Reviews

Excellent compilation of the Weavers' mainstream hits
Scott MacGillivray | Massachusetts, USA | 06/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Most of The Weavers' albums, recorded from 1955 forward, faithfully preserve the foursome's folk-music instrumentation and repertoire. This intelligent compilation, however, revives the group's pop hits recorded by Decca from 1950 to 1953. It's easy to see why The Weavers became "America's favorite folk singers;" the performances are tops, the tunes retain their folk origins, and Gordon Jenkins's arrangements for orchestra and chorus are admirable. The monster hit "Goodnight Irene" is here, and this writer thinks the B-side, "Tzena Tzena Tzena," is even better. Other great tunes include "Wimoweh," "The Midnight Special," and "So Long," and "Hard, Ain't It Hard" has a rousing vocal by Ronnie Gilbert. If you've heard The Weavers' albums on the Vanguard label, these big-band Decca sessions will impress you."
Best of the Decca Years
Alan Brody | Cincinnati, OH USA | 12/21/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)

"For the Weavers lover, this is a must have. For someone wanting to discover the Weavers, the concert recordings are much better. On this album 1950s production met a small folk group and the result is very much a 50s sound. Big orchestra backing, instrumental choices that reflected the taste of the day rather than a folk approach. I prefer the Weavers as they stood on stage with their voices, their instruments, and their hearts out there for everyone to enjoy."
Sixties pop-folk, only ten years earlier!
Lee Hartsfeld | Central Ohio, United States | 12/25/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Prior to purchasing this CD, I had heard one or two Weavers sides and hadn't formed any impression of the group. Now I can hear that they were remarkably ahead of their time when these sides were made (1950-1953), at least insomuch as 1960s groups like The Seekers were presenting almost exactly the same sound years later, with or without an orchestra and chorus. And the songs themselves are not out of keeping with other tunes of the early 1950s--for example, Terry Gilkyson's "Christopher Columbus," recorded by Guy Mitchell, or the novelty songs of Bob Merrill. It's true that The Weavers were rather rough-cut compared to the smooth pop sound listeners were used to hearing right after World War II. However, they were Vegas-smooth compared to quartets like The Chuck Wagon Gang, even if Pete Seeger, vocally, makes Wayne Newton sound like Placido Domingo. In a mass-mediated world, authenticity is one of the most relative of concepts.At any rate, these are tremendously enjoyable sides made no less enjoyable by the Lawrence Welk feel provided on several sides by arranger Gordon Jenkins, whose Basie-style introduction to "Wimoweh" is both anachronistic and quite effective. (Listen for Pete Seeger's favorite chord throughout, the dominant 11th.) The Jenkins orchestra and chorus also greatly enhance the CD's best track, "Tzena, Tzena, Tzena," one of the shortest songs ever created, and here featuring a delightful mid-arrangement round. "(The Wreck of the) John B." predates The Beach Boys' "Sloop John B." by many years and is typical of pre-"Pet Sounds" renderings of the tune. All of the tracks are exceptional, and the sound is astonishing. The Weavers may not have started pop-folk (think Burl Ives, for example), but they appear to have established its conventions for a number of years to come."