First of all, if you're an America fan, just buy this collection, you won't be disappointed. What first struck me when I played this anthology was how rocking this first album was for an America album: Silent Letter has a classic 1970s sound which is still probably my favorite period sound, when strong vocals were the rule, intruments were live, acoustic, and productions were so clear and yet experimental. The songs by both Dewey and Gerry are strong and meaningful, as well as the contributions from outside writers. Unfortunately, George Martin was not the problem or the reason for the lack of success of the 1st album...to be honest, no one was...it just wasn't picked up, why, I can't imagine. As well, the singles were some of the best tracks on the album, the vocals are pristine, yet powerful, w/ good range and harmony -- People, The Eagles (who are and will always be Classic and probably The Best)have got nothing on America in terms of melody and vocal harmonies! Silent Letter is a ***1/2 star album. Alibi, the second album on the disc is a *** star album (If you listen to the whole collection in one sitting, it seems like a rather unified double album, rather than two separate albums put on one CD), with songs of a similar quality, though not as rockish as Silent Letter. It's got a touch of that '80s sound that was just starting to make itself known. It's sad that neither one of these albums were successful in the U.S., but it seems that some of the best stuff being done isn't being snatched up the way that the very "commercial" is. The packaging is very good for this collection (good pictures and liner notes), only there seems more discussion about the period and the people who produced America than America itself (the George Martin material is interesting), and NO LYRICS! That's such a pain, since these two writers are rather poetic w/ their words and that these are probably the first reissues of these albums ever produced. This collection makes me think of how it has a kinship w/ their brand new album, Here & Now, which I strongly recommend -- It should've been nominated for some grammies. In some ways, as excellent as that new album was, I partly wish some of that rockishness of these earlier albums had been present, though Dewey Bunnell's "Ride On" certainly speaks to that conceit...Indeed, RIDE ON!