Saturday, October 19, 2013

The Best of Ian & Sylvia - Ian and Sylvia

The Best of Ian & Sylvia
Ian and Sylvia
Columbia  G32516

Is this really the best of Ian and Sylvia?  Of course not, anyone who is even a casual fan of the duo knows that the best of Ian and Sylvia was recorded for Vanguard Records.  If you read the fine print on the back cover you will see that this double record set repackages Ian and Sylvia's two albums for Columbia Records, "Ian & Sylvia" and "You Were On My Mind."  Neither album sold many copies, so presumably some weasel at the record company decided to recoup the losses by deceptively marketing the albums as a greatest hits package.  Being a huge fan of Ian and Sylvia, I knew this was a rip-off when I bought it, heck that is part of the reason I bought it.  I like to collect examples of the major record labels' greed and evil chicanery.  Mostly I bought it because it was really cheap and when I found it in a Pasadena record store many years ago, I had yet to acquire a copy of "You Were On My Mind."  I figured I would buy it and then discard it when I finally did acquire a copy of "You Were On My Mind."  However when that finally happened, I found that I didn't want to part with it, just one of those irrational collector things.  The album is not entirely without value to someone who has the two Columbia albums already.  Bob Palmer's lengthy liner notes are quite good and you get a bunch of leftover photos from the photo session for "Ian & Sylvia," but really I just keep it because I'm a completist.  I've already blogged about the two Columbia albums, so I won't rehash them here, but even though this music is marginal compared to the classic Vanguard albums, it is still worth having, especially if you like country rock.  If I was making up a double record set of Ian and Sylvia's best recordings, I'd probably try to squeeze on a few of the Columbia tracks, in particular the remake of "Summer Wages," "Barney," "Bill (Won't You Please Take Me Home)," and especially "Everybody Has To Say Goodbye."  Recommended to Ian and Sylvia fans who can't find copies of "Ian & Sylvia" or "You Were On My Mind." 

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