Somewhere between Bing Crosby's vocal novelties back in the '40s and the current popularity of dance troupes like Riverdance and Michael Flatley's Lord of the Dance, the flag of Irish music was held aloft in North America during the '60s by the success of the Irish Rovers. Patterning themselves after the Clancy Brothers (another popular group during the folk boom of the late '50s and early '60s), the group scored their 15 minutes of fame with the children's novelty, "The Unicorn," included here on Best of Irish Rovers. But the group was no children's novelty act, as witnessed by the preponderance of straight-ahead Irish drinking songs that spice up this 16-track collection. Highlights include "The Irish Rover," "Whiskey on a Sunday," "Mrs. Crandall's Boarding House," Lucy Simon's "Winken, ' Blinken' and Nod," "Nancy Whiskey," "Goodbye Mick and Goodbye Pat," and Gordon Lightfoot's "Did She Mention My Name." Those who are only familiar with the group's one big hit will find much to love in this collection. Excellent notes from Todd Everett, too.
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AllMusic Review by Cub Koda