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A Song's Best Friend: The Very Best Of John Denver Original recording remastered


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Biography

Biography by Jason Ankeny
One of the most popular recording artists of the 1970s, country-folk singer/songwriter John Denver's gentle, environmentally conscious music established him among the most beloved entertainers of his era; wholesome and clean-cut, his appeal extended to fans of all ages and backgrounds, and led to parallel careers as both an actor and a humanitarian.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (18 Sep 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: Sony Music Tv Projects
  • ASIN: B0002VJY0O
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,731 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Leaving On A Jet Plane
2. "Take Me Home, Country Roads"
3. Sunshine On My Shoulders
4. "Poems, Prayers and Promises"
5. The Eagle and The Hawk
6. Rocky Mountain High
7. Farewell Andromeda
8. Annie's Song
9. Back Home Again
10. Sweet Surrender
11. Thank God I'm A Country Boy
12. I'm Sorry
13. Calypso
14. Fly Away
15. Looking For Space
16. Like A Sad Song
17. My Sweet Lady
18. Perhaps Love
19. Shanghai Breezes
20. Wild Montana Skies

Product Description

Product Description

John Denver Song's Best Friend A (The Very Best Of John Denver) [Remastered]

BBC Review

The official John Denver website describes its subject as "one of the world's most captivating and celebrated men." Admittedly, he did sell more than sixty million albums and was a candidate to be the first civilian in space -­ where he hoped to write a song - but I'd never really thought of JD as belonging in the Nelson Mandela category. Perhaps this new double album, containing all his hits plus bonus previously unreleased covers, would challenge my opinion.

The first two tracks,­ "Leaving OnA Jet Plane" (1969) and "Take me Home, Country Roads" (1971) ­promised to be a treat. Perfect companions, as I remembered, to settle in with on a reflective Sunday afternoon. Within minutes, however, I'd bolted from my cosy den and was heading for the posh hi-fi in the sitting room. Denver's lightweight wailings, underpinned by little more than an acoustic guitar, were grating my good humour red raw. I was going to have to squeeze every bit of bass from this baby or The Antiques Road Show would be wasted on me.

Back again to "Leaving on a Jet Plane". There's certainly class in the chorus but it's surely undermined by the shallow sentiment of verse. We're presented with a man who's "played around" and "let you down" but is now promising to find a job that doesn't mean so much travelling and tie the knot. Hold on, though, he's off again, on that jet plane. Actions speak louder than words, girl. Best move out whilst he's gone.

"Sunshine on my Shoulders" (1971) is the first track that really worked for me. Musically it benefits from a full arrangement and lyrically it rings relatively true, even in this more cynical age. "Annie's Song" (1974) only just squeaks through against the same criteria, but, I fear, it may prove increasingly troublesome over time.

There are few revelations amongst the lesser-known tracks, although the basic songwriting remains consistently strong. As for the covers, Denver seems keen to stretch himself but, sadly, rather too far, not least on "The Port of Amsterdam". Sorry, but I just cannot see him sharing a pot of steamed mussels with Jacques Brel. All in all, it has to be said that none of this really enhanced my weekend and could only be recommended to the most die-hard Denver fan. --Antony Hatfield

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

74 of 76 people found the following review helpful By Peter Durward Harris #1 HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 22 Oct 2004
Format: Audio CD
John wrote Leaving on a jet plane before he was famous. It became a huge international hit for Peter Paul and Mary. Apart from that song, this collection includes all his big American hits including Take me home country roads (a UK hit for Olivia Newton John), Sunshine on my shoulders, Annie's song (his biggest hit - number one in Britain and America), Back home again (my favorite song of his), Sweet surrender, I'm sorry, Rocky mountain high, Thank God I'm a country boy and Calypso (a tribute to Jacques Cousteau). The eighties were less successful but yielded two superb duets - Perhaps love (with Placido Domingo) and Wild Montana skies (with Emmylou Harris).

This is the strongest single CD collection of John's music yet released. Furthermore, the sound quality is better than on any previous collection.

Dedicated fans should be aware that this collection was released as Definitive all time greatest hits of John Denver in the USA, but as A song's best friend - the very best of John Denver in Britain, where the collection was issued in two versions - with and without the bonus CD, which contains some fascinating alternative versions of Leaving on a jet plane, Annie's song and Calypso, plus a cover of The weight, a song normally associated with The Band.

The difference between the British and American titles is justified since only Annie's song and Perhaps love made the UK charts. Just don't waste your money buying both. Buy your local version.

To those of you that think a single CD hardly does justice to John's music, well, I agree, but double CD's and boxed sets have been released previously while many of his original albumds have been released on CD (at least in America). Nevertheless, this is a great introduction to John's music.
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44 of 47 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. B. Ager on 21 Oct 2004
Format: Audio CD
Thirty years ago it was that the BBC enticed John Denver across the pond, gave him and his blend of seeming homespun country and folk songs a concert and then a primetime TV series with which he duly won the ears and hearts of the great British public. Most of this collection draws from his most popular mainstream material of that time through to the early 1980s, and the tunes have certainly stood the test of time, even if some of the lyrics may now be unfashionable. They track his development from one man and his guitar, singing "Poems Prayers and Promises" through the much-covered group number "Take Me Home, Country Roads", and the twee love song to his (then) wife Annie, to the rather over-produced, orchestra-led tribute to Jacques Cousteau, "Calypso", and the perhaps ill-advised duet with Placido Domingo, "Perhaps Love" - even on the back burner Domingo has more heat than most.
It's a fine single album tribute to the late singer and includes all his chart hits. A double album would have been even better, for there is much material on his LPs, both early and later, worthy of bringing to the attention of today's audience.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Mark Smith on 20 Jan 2005
Format: Audio CD
This man's voice is inspiring, I have never listened to music that has had such an emotional effect on me as this. The first time I listed to this cd and heard Annie's Song (which I have learnt he wrote about his first wife), I literally stopped what I was doing just to listen. I love it.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By E. Crofts on 27 Oct 2004
Format: Audio CD
There really are no words to describe the feeling you get when you here John Denver sing. If you've ever heard him sing you'll know what I mean. If you haven't then you've missed out. I can't recommend this album highly enough.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Mr. R. Kimachia on 1 Feb 2010
Format: Audio CD
An outstanding album that I bought for my mother for her birthday and after hearing it in the car, I had to borrow it to put on my iPod! A very calm and soothing album with all his hits and more for the newcomer like myself to discover.

An excellent album to listen to whilst on the road or just chill out at home :D

A must-buy if you love country or are wanting to expand your musical spectrum!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Paul Reynolds on 29 Jan 2009
Format: Audio CD
I bought this album after watching the film 'Take me home ..' and it didnt disapoint. The only song I really knew of John Denvers was 'Annies song'. Although there was one song which was highlighted in the film, called 'This old guitar' which wasnt included in his greatest hits. I may even donwload this track from itunes it is so nice.
I was listening to this album in the car, in the dark and cold mornings, and here was Denver singing about sunshine and streams and mountains, and in some obscure way, it uplifted me - i cant wait til Summer to come (even if it is a British summer).
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Maddynan on 18 July 2010
Format: Audio CD
This is the best CD I have bought in a long time. Its very easy to listen to, either as background music or to sing along with when washing up etc. My first John Denver but not the last. Give it a try it is wonderful.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. Sally Roff on 14 July 2009
Format: Audio CD
What a joy!! This cd is guaranteed to please true John Denver fans, and the quality is excellent.
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