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Best of Odetta
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Album: Best of Odetta
# Song Title   Time
1)    He's Got the Whole World in His Hands
2)    Lowlands
3)    Fox, The
4)    Lass of the Los Countree
5)    Devilish Mary
6)    Take This Hammer
7)    Greensleeves
8)    Deep River
9)    Chilly Winds
10)    If I Had a Ribbon Bow
11)    Shame and Scandal
12)    'Buked and Scorned
13)    Joshua
14)    Glory, Glory
15)    Been in the Pen
16)    Deep Blue Sea
17)    God's Gonna Cut You Down
18)    Spiritual Trilogy
 

Album: Best of Odetta
# Song Title   Time
1)    He's Got the Whole World in His Hands
2)    Lowlands
3)    Fox, The
4)    Lass of the Los Countree
5)    Devilish Mary
6)    Take This Hammer
7)    Greensleeves
8)    Deep River
9)    Chilly Winds
10)    If I Had a Ribbon Bow
11)    Shame and Scandal
12)    'Buked and Scorned
13)    Joshua
14)    Glory, Glory
15)    Been in the Pen
16)    Deep Blue Sea
17)    God's Gonna Cut You Down
18)    Spiritual Trilogy
 
Product Description
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Performer Notes
  • Personnel: Odetta (vocals, guitar).
  • The title The Best of Odetta sets a standard that the contents of this disc are unable to meet, even though the material is valuable. It would be difficult to assemble a true Odetta best-of, because the folksinger's recordings are extensive and have covered the labels Fantasy (1954-1955), Tradition (1956-1957), Vanguard (1959-1962 with releases continuing into 1963), Riverside (1962), RCA Victor (1962-1965), and Verve Folkways (1966-1967). But the concern here is solely the Tradition material, which consists of a total of 31 tracks that originated on two albums, Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues (1956) and Odetta at the Gate of Horn (1957). The Best of Odetta is a truncated repackaging of this material, an 18-track disc excerpting nine selections from Odetta at the Gate of Horn followed by nine from Odetta Sings Ballads and Blues. On it, an Odetta in her mid-twenties gives mesmerizing performances of traditional folk and blues standards in her trademark contralto, accompanying herself on acoustic guitar or singing a cappella. (Bill Lee plays bass on the tracks from Odetta at the Gate of Horn.) These are good performances, and any folk fan should have some version of the Tradition recordings. But the album's title makes a promise the music itself does not keep. (The Best of Odetta has been reissued under the title The Best of Odetta: Ballads & Blues.) ~ William Ruhlmann
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