Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Kingston Trio - 36 All-Time Favorites!

I tend to be a bit ridiculous in my devotion to the first version of a song I hear. Take Les Miserables for example. I heard the London cast recording first, and that ruined any chance that I would ever appreciate the Broadway or international cast recordings. I just had my mind made up about what Jean Valjean was supposed to sound like. On a related note, I hate Tina Turner's version of "Proud Mary." CCR did it first and best. What does any of this have to do with The Kingston Trio? Plenty.

I became familiar with 85% of the songs on this album as they were performed by other folk artists. Folk has a grand tradition of performing songs selected from a collective pool, but I still have the versions I prefer. I tend to like Peter, Paul, and Mary's "Lemon Tree" and "500 Miles", Bob Dylan's "Blowin' In the Wind" and The Beach Boys' "Sloop John B" more than the Kingston Trio versions. I generally like The Kingston Trio, and I really like "Tom Dooley" (though The Smothers Brothers had a great version). They're a good folk band and I can't knock this album for my own weird preferences.

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