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Woody Guthrie's recordings, virtually all made in the 1940s, are in the public domain in Europe, where copyright extends only 50 years. That means anyone who wants to can release a Guthrie album without licensing the material or paying royalties. Golden Stars' three-disc Guthrie box set American Folk Legend is a good example. Running an hour and 52 minutes and containing 42 tracks, the contents could have fit onto two CDs easily. The collection has no annotations beyond song titles and songwriting credits. It appears that all the unnamed compilers did was take some of the recent Guthrie collections made in the U.S. by Smithsonian Folkways and copy a bunch of the tracks. For example, "Farmer-Labor Train" was released for the first time on Smithsonian Folkways' Long Ways to Travel in 1994. It might sound as if taking another company's CD and copying it would constitute counterfeiting and therefore be illegal, but apparently that's not the case given the disparity in copyright law. (This ought to mean, though, that albums like this would not be for sale in the U.S.; in practice, they are readily available, not only through mail order, but often at retail as well.) Since the Smithsonian Folkways albums boasted cleaned-up fidelity, the sound here is usually quite good. And many of Guthrie's best-known songs are included, among them "This Land Is Your Land," "Pastures of Plenty," "So Long (It's Been Good to Know Yuh)" (with special lyrics relating to World War II), "Do-Re-Mi," "Pretty Boy Floyd," and "Grand Coulee Dam." So, a casual fan buying this album at a modest price would get a reasonable Guthrie collection, despite the skimpy packaging and miscellaneous selection and sequencing. But, of course, this album simply is not in the same league with the Smithsonian Folkways albums.


A1 Pastures Of Plenty
A2 So Long, It's Been Good To Know You
A3 Hard, Ain't It Hard
A4 Car Song
A5 Ramblin' Round
A6 Ship In The Sky
A7 Sinking Of The Reuben James
A8 Do-Re-Mi
A9 Jesus Christ
A10 When The Curfew Blows (Curfew Blow)

B1 1913 Massacre
B2 Talking Fishing Blues
B3 Pretty Boy Floyd
B4 The Grand Coulee Dam
B5 When That Great Ship Went Down (The Great Ship)
B6 Billy The Kid
B7 Buffalo Gals
B8 Dead Or Alive (Poor Lazarus)
B9 New York Town

C1 Hard Travelin'
C2 This Land Is Your Land
C3 Buffalo Skinners
C4 Muleskinner Blues
C5 Wreck Of The Old 97
C6 Sally Goodin'
C7 I Ain't Got No Home
C8 Whoopie Ti Yi Yo, Get Along Little Dogies
C9 Jesse James

D1 Going Down The Road Feeling Bad
D2 New Found Land
D3 Talking Columbia
D4 Talking Sailor
D5 Go Tell Aunt Rhody
D6 Chisholm Trail
D7 Ranger's Command
D8 Stackolee
D9 Better World A-Comin'



WOODY GUTHRIE 2xLP American Folk Legend

€24.90 Regular Price
€19.90Sale Price
  • Label: Vinyl Passion ‎– VP 80754

    Format: 2 × Vinyl, LP, Compilation, Remastered 

    Country: Europe

    Released: 2016

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