The Best Of Arlo Guthrie CD
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Though several of Guthrie's records contain hidden gems well worth seeking out, his best-known songs are fairly obvious and easy to assemble on a single greatest-hits package. A hefty chunk of this record is taken up by the epic "Alice's Restaurant", which clocks in at 18-and-a-half minutes. Yet--while it's a definitive element of late 1960s counterculture--it's not his best song, either as writer or as performer. For the latter, his version of Steve Goodman's classic "City of New Orleans" remains the pinnacle of his career; among his own songs, it's hard to surpass the somewhat lesser-known but equally beautiful "Darkest Hour". Other highlights here include the rockin' "Comin' into Los Angeles" and the comedic "Motorcycle Song". --Peter Blackstock
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You could describe this greatest hits collection as a showcase built around the hilarious 18+ minute epic tale of Alice's Restaurant (not 25 as Arlo claims in the song), but that would underestimate the value of the rest of the material here. Admittedly, there are some odd moments along the way: here for old-time's sake, though not for any musical or lyrical value, is his live favourite, the Motorcycle Song, explaining "the significance of the pickle" (don't ask - too bizarre!)
This collection gives at least a flavour of Arlo Guthrie, the man and the musician, his whims, his humour and above all the music. Enjoy!
The other song that stands out for me is "The City of New Orleans", a tale of the great Illinois Central train that runs from Chicago to The Gulf of Mexico. The rest of the songs are no disappointment though and are thoroughly enjoyable!
Anyway if you want a taste of what Arlo Guthrie is about have a listen!
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