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4.5 out of 5 stars15
4.5 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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This debut album from Peter Paul and Mary is just magical. It's a masterpiece of 20th Century folk music. Manager Albert Grossman had formed the trio in 1961. And this debut album was recorded and released in 1962.
It had only been a few short months between forming the group to a highly polished act and the originality of this beautiful album in terms of performance and professional style is astounding.
The harmonies and guitar playing is just brilliant.
As a group we have the fabulous tenor voice of Peter and bass of Paul along with the sheer beautiful voice of Mary Travers.
As an album we get a terrific set of songs. The album begins with a wonderful song by Paul, "Early in the morning" Then there are more outstanding songs from Paul and Peter with the likes of "Sorrow". "This Train",, "Its Raining" the anti war song "Cruel War" and the Beautiful "Autumn to May" The album also offers us probably the greatest versions of some classic songs like "500 miles", "Lemon Tree" and two Pete Seeger (Hayes) songs "If I had a hammer" and another anti war song "Where have all the flowers gone?" This album has a cracking great set of songs.
The album is already a classic folk album to those people interested in folk music, but it should also be remembered as a classic piece of art. It should rank alongside the Gods of popular pop albums such as the Beatles Sgt Pepper.
The album is perfection and this release has great sound quality and presentation.
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I find it extraordinarily hard to give a star-rating to this album. My family had a copy of this when I was about 8 years old and I played it incessantly and loved it. Coming back to it half a century later I find that as period-piece it is very good, with some tracks still sounding quite excellent. On the other hand, Peter, Paul and Mary's somewhat sanitized approach to folk music hasn't aged well in places.

Peter, Paul and Mary were very good at what they did. They had fine voices, produced beautiful and - for the time - original harmonies and played their guitars with an unflashy competence which went very well with their vocal style. The result is sometimes still quite exceptional: 500 Miles, Lemon Tree, If I Had A Hammer and others sound fresh, sincere and genuinely beautiful and moving at times. However, I find a very sanitized feel to others: their version of Where Have All The Flowers Gone deserves respect because it brought the song (and Pete Seeger) to a much wider audience, but as a meaningful rendition of a great protest song it doesn't really cut it and the "calypso" Bamboo is to me simply dreadful - smoothed out, gutted and deodorized for the comfort of the intended audience.

So...I'm ambivalent, to be honest. It is often a terrible mistake to go back to things you loved as a child. This isn't a terrible mistake by any means, but it is showing its age in places. The album certainly deserves a re-release; Peter, Paul and Mary were very significant figures of the folk scene of their day, and it's good to have this available in such excellent quality. You may well not share my reservations about the album and the good parts certainly outweigh the poor, so even if you're unsure I'd suggest giving it a try.
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on 18 March 2014
I really like this album and Peter Paul & Mary. I've got mine on original gold label Warner Brothers vinyl..... maybe some of the music is dated, belonging to a bygone era that sounds overly naive, uncomplicated, innocent, optimistic but for me that's the whole point & I still cling to that like a drowning man. Take the dream trip back to when things like building a better more equal peaceful world were thought not only possible by young people but starting to be demanded and doesn't it make you feel better - Sweet harmony indeed!
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on 17 October 2014
Their breakthrough album. A second copy for me. RIP Mary Travers.
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on 28 June 2014
During the late sixties and early seventies my wife and I lived in New York and attended several concerts by P, P and M. We also had the great pleasure to meet Mary Travers at a cocktail party we'd been invited to. We were very much drawn to the simple, mostly accoustic instrumentation and excellent harmonies.

Peter, Paul & Mary's music blended so relevantly well with for instance Simon & Garfunkel and this particular CD showcases their talent superbly.
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on 9 October 2014
This is a "must" if you like the hootenanny folksongs stuff. PP&M at their best !
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on 26 May 2016
excellent folk album from early 60s,highly recommended.
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on 9 June 2016
Classic debut album by iconic 60s folk group
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on 16 May 2013
Would have preferred it in stereo. Bought it to replace a very worn LP (which was in stereo even though it was issued in 1962)
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on 17 February 2015
I like the history
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