The first serious compilation of the Kingston Trio's work is broader than any of the various "best of" albums that ever showed up on LP, although it also lacks some important tracks that were on those 12" discs ("Take Her Out of Pity" is especially missed). The Dave Guard era is especially well represented and at the time of this disc's release, the sound was better than anything heard from the group up to that time. However, the emphasis on singles -- albeit all hits -- limits the range of the music represented, and also creates an impression of the group that is somewhat skewed from most fans' memories. After 1960, the Kingston Trio was one of the relatively few pop acts of the period (Frank Sinatra was another, curiously also on Capitol) who sold albums more easily than singles, and this became more true as the John Stewart years progressed. As a result, Kingston Trio fans (and one assumes that those are the people who would buy this collection) often took in the group's songs 12 at a time rather than one or two at a time. It's for that reason that the four-CD set The Capitol Years can be recommended more highly to those who really want to understand the group's appeal and music, or just to remember the stuff they heard back when. This disc is a good introduction to one side of the Kingston Trio's work, but it shouldn't be the last compilation that one buys on the group.
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AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder