The Best of Burl Ives: Little Bitty Tear gathers up ten of the grandpappy of folk's most popular songs into one economy priced niblet. To put it mildly, the sound quality is awful. True, this is a concert recording, and to be fair, some ambient sound is probably unavoidable. But these tracks are so scratchy and hollow one can only guess that they were extracted from an ancient VHS tape. An audience of humorless, out-of-tune old folks accompanies an undaunted Burl Ives on hits like "Blue Tail Fly," "Little Bitty Tear," "Big Rock Candy Mountain," and "Funny Way of Laughing." "The Old Front Porch" takes on an eerie, gritty quality on this disc, as does "Funny Way of Laughing," which has a funny way of speeding up and slowing down as the track progresses. Those looking for an introduction to Ives' catalog should probably turn to his recordings with the Andrews Sisters and steer clear of this disturbing record.
AllMusic Review by Margaret Reges