Richard & Mimi Fariña

Pack Up Your Sorrows: Best of the Vanguard Years

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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann

When Vanguard Records issued its double album The Best of Mimi & Richard Fariña in 1971, five years after the motorcycle crash that claimed Richard Fariña's life, the label simply repackaged the duo's two regular album releases, Celebrations for a Grey Day (1965) and Reflections in a Crystal Wind (1966). In 1988, when it reissued the package on CD, Vanguard cut six tracks to fit The Best Of on a single disc, leaving 20. Eighteen of those tracks are repeated on Pack Up Your Sorrows: Best of the Vanguard Years, which restores one of the cut songs and adds two tracks from the 1968 outtakes album Memories, plus one previously unreleased instrumental, "Tuileries." All of that makes the new compilation a slight improvement in terms of selection, while the CD remastering improves the sound. (Ed Ward's enthusiastic but ill-informed liner notes -- he confuses the Big Sur Folk Festival with the Newport Folk Festival and makes other errors -- are not a plus.) As a lyricist, Fariña matched the elliptical style of mid-'60s Bob Dylan image for image, and tracks such as "Hard Loving Loser" are stylistically identical to the folk-rock of Dylan's Bringing It All Back Home, partly because they employ some of the same sidemen. But Fariña and his wife Mimi gave his words a sweet-and-sour harmony style, and their most distinctive music was made when they duetted on autoharp and dulcimer, as on the instrumentals that make up a good part of the song list. Richard Fariña's early death robbed the music world of an important singer/songwriter (not to mention robbing literature of a promising novelist), but the work he left behind ranks with the best folk-rock of the 1960s.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
1 Richard & Mimi Fariña feat: Mimi Fariña / Richard Fariña 01:47 Amazon
2 Richard & Mimi Fariña feat: Mimi Fariña / Richard Fariña 03:01 Amazon
3 Richard & Mimi Fariña feat: Mimi Fariña / Richard Fariña 03:33 Amazon
4 Richard & Mimi Fariña feat: Mimi Fariña / Richard Fariña 02:52 Amazon
5 Richard & Mimi Fariña feat: Mimi Fariña / Richard Fariña 01:33 Amazon
6 Richard & Mimi Fariña feat: Mimi Fariña / Richard Fariña 04:41 Amazon
7 Richard & Mimi Fariña feat: Mimi Fariña / Richard Fariña 05:11 Amazon
8 Richard & Mimi Fariña feat: Mimi Fariña / Richard Fariña 01:50 Amazon
9 Richard & Mimi Fariña feat: Mimi Fariña / Richard Fariña 04:05 Amazon
10 Richard & Mimi Fariña feat: Mimi Fariña / Richard Fariña 03:42 Amazon
11 Richard & Mimi Fariña feat: Mimi Fariña / Richard Fariña 03:12 Amazon
12 Richard & Mimi Fariña feat: Mimi Fariña / Richard Fariña 03:52 Amazon
13 Richard & Mimi Fariña feat: Mimi Fariña / Richard Fariña 04:08 Amazon
14 Richard & Mimi Fariña feat: Mimi Fariña / Richard Fariña 04:00 Amazon
15 Richard & Mimi Fariña feat: Mimi Fariña / Richard Fariña 02:55 Amazon
16 Richard & Mimi Fariña feat: Mimi Fariña / Richard Fariña 03:13 Amazon
17 Richard & Mimi Fariña 05:13 Amazon
18 Richard & Mimi Fariña 02:58 Amazon
19 Richard & Mimi Fariña 04:04 Amazon
20 Richard & Mimi Fariña 02:33 Amazon
21 Richard & Mimi Fariña 05:42 Amazon
22 Richard & Mimi Fariña 01:13 Amazon
blue highlight denotes track pick