As the first part of a five-volume series presenting most of the Seekers' recordings, the 26 tracks on 1963-1964 document their roots as a more or less pure folk-pop combo, predating their heavier crossover into pop in 1965. Very much in the style of the Weavers, the Kingston Trio, Peter, Paul & Mary, and perhaps more distantly the more folk-oriented recordings by the Springfields, the Seekers come across as a very competent clean-cut folk trio, if not all that original. The repertoire's heavy on well-traveled folk songs that found a place in many folk act's sets at the time, like "Kumbaya," "Lemon Tree," "All My Trials," "This Train," "Lonesome Traveller," and "Cotton Fields," though they did add a slight slant with a few folk songs of Australian origin. This CD does give listeners a chance to hear some material that's unfamiliar even to many Seekers fans, particularly the 12 tracks taken from their 1963 audition tape (recorded while they were still based in Australia). The disc also includes five other songs recorded in Australia that would find a place on their debut LP, Introducing the Seekers (though unfortunately these are mastered from vinyl); their early Australian single "Myra", and eight tracks cut in London in 1964 for their first World Record Club album (the other songs from that record are included on volume two of this series, 1964-1965). As a slight annoyance, there are no original release dates accompanying the track listings, though there are reasonably informative liner notes. 1963-1964 was included as one of the discs in Australian EMI's Complete Seekers box set, which contains all five volumes of the series.
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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger