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4.7 out of 5 stars
The Original Albums Plus Bonus Tracks
Format: Audio CDChange
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
There have been many compilations of Jim Croce's work over the years, many from the Castle/Sanctuary labels, and if you have any of them you will already have many of the tracks included here. What makes this release from Edsel stand out from the crowd is the quality of its presentation - you get Jim's three studio albums, as released by the ABC label, in chronological order with their tracks in the correct order, followed by a selection of bonus tracks.

CD one contains the two albums You Don't Mess Around With Jim and Life And Times, and CD two features the album I Got A Name along with sixteen bonus tracks which have been previously released on various compilations issued after Jim's death. All 50 tracks have been re-mastered for this release and sound pretty good. Also included is a 32 page booklet containing lyrics to all the songs and a 2000 word essay by Alan Robinson.

Edsel have produced what must now be considered to be the definitive release of Jim's most popular and well-known work in a lovingly created package selling for a very reasonable price. If you have no Jim Croce in your collection do not hesitate to buy this one - and if you are a fan with many tracks already then this CD offers enough for the price to make it worth adding to your collection!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 23 December 2011
Jim Croce didn't make many albums in his time and this is great having all 3 together, I love his singing and if you listen to the words he is singing about things that you could feel taking place today.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 24 February 2012
For years I have been scouring music outlets for a copy of Jim Croce's material without sucess until I tried Amazon. This collection contains everything he produced in his tragically short career and listening to it again I can testify that it definately stands the test of time. Marvellous lyrics and outstanding musical arrangements. Purchase and enjoy.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 2 January 2012
Ordering this on a whim after realising I hadn't ever replaced much earlier cassette...what a joy. The voice, great lyrics and melodies, especially the slower classics. I suppose your view of Jim Croce will depend on where you were at the time, who with etc.... they are really evocative as well as being memorable in themselves. The bonus tracks didn't particularly impress but the sleeve booklet is a good read. The only trouble with ordering this sort of music from the past is driving through the tears when you stick the CD in on the way to work!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 5 October 2012
This has to be the greatest value in music on this or any other planet, although the thooHoubs of Arcturus V are supposed to be pretty good!

This is not a best of, it's three original albums plus a bunch of bonus tracks of about an album's length. When I say album I am talking vinyl, so there are 2 CDs in this package. I much prefer this sort of format to 'Best Of' type compilations. Don't mistake me though, this package certainly contains his very best.

Jim Croce was very much an ordinary (but musically brilliant) guy who died in 1973 at the age of 30 in an aircraft crash. The world lost a truly great artist on that sad day. This collection allows you to hear how great a genius this guy was.

Jim Croce struggled to make it in the music business for a number of years and at the time of his untimely death was just emerging as a super-star and that makes the whole story that much more poignant. That and the fact his songwriting was absolutely unique. He wrote ballads that would bring tears to your eyes and quirky little pop songs that would make you grin all over. One of my favourite pop-lines is in 'Bad, bad Leroy Brown', a song recorded by Sinatra (no less) and that little cracker is "meaner than a Junk-Yard dog". If you have ever bought parts for a car in a junk-yard (breakers-yard here in the UK) then you know how mean a 'junk-yard dog' is.

I could go on all day and discuss some of these songs: 'Operator', 'Time in a Bottle', etc but I have a much better idea. Go and pay the measly few sheckels they are asking for these masterpieces, get settled in front of a warm hi-fi and let it wash over you. You won't be sorry.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 28 December 2011
Must be the best collection available at the price. All the expected numbers plus some I had not previously heard. I had wanted to update an elderly vinyl version - this was the one.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 30 October 2014
Some people say that Jim's songs and style are a little old hat now but I feel confident that post 1973 he would have worked with the top producers and musicians thereafter had he lived. His legacy is here for all to see on this two CD best of that covers his three album releases and a plethora of bonus tracks.

Jim had an easy vocal style and his arrangements were relatively simple (but tastefully done) . His lyrics and observations made for entertaining and thought provoking listening. Has any song writer written a better song than 'Time in a bottle'. Harry Chapin was with us until 1981 and for me his music 1973-80 gives a glimpse into how Jim may have evolved musically. We will never know what Jim and Harry would have taught us had they graced our lives in the last 30-40 years but it is time to say thanks guys - you were the ones who spoke to us and still do long after you left us.
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The best Jim Croce is his first Solo 'You Dont Mess Around With Jim' with so many classic songs such as Operator, Time in a bottle, Photographs and memories and a few more. Jim worked very hard from 1971 to 1973 building up a great career until a tragic end on a plane after a concert in Sept 1973.
Other classics, Next time this time & These dreams on the 2nd album continue the classic acoustic songs.
One man who had a big input to Jims sound and music is the late Maury MeuhLeisen guitarist, singer and close friend of Jim Croce who also died with Jim in that tragic accident. I actually was in contact with the family of Maury and the were very grateful of my compliments. These 2 CDs contain the best of Jim Croce from the early 1970s, during an era when songwriting and music meant something.
The final tracks on CD 2 were actually re-recorded with just Jims guitar and vocals remaining and are sadly not up to the standard of the 1st 2 albums.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2012
Without any doubt Jim Croce was a great singer guitarist,his death a very early age was so sad.
Had he lived he would be rated along with James Taylor,Joni Mitchell and Paul Simon as one of the best .
Its great to have all three of his album in one CD set,together with some early recordings.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 26 May 2014
This is too good for words. My wife never likes any of my music, but she loves this. Jim Croce was taken too soon. I would have loved the opportunity to see him in concert had he been around today. Great albums! If you like good music I would recommend this.
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