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4.7 out of 5 stars99
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on 3 September 2003
After waiting a while since the release in the USA, we now get the opportunity to listen to a great collection of JT's old releases, but why another "Greatest Hits"?
A simple answer, the collection has been remastered and the sound quality is just great - all those nuances that were missed are now clear to hear.
There is of course also the addition of another great track written by John Sheldon, entitled "Bittersweet" - this being an instant hit with me.
If you are just starting out on a JT collection, this is a "must have" - if you are a JT fan of old, this is a must add (to your collection).
Here is a tip - get a quality pair of headphones and listen to this CD - cut everyone else out of your life for a little while and ENJOY!!
Dibbs!!
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on 9 September 2003
A spiritually uplifting collection of gentle songs largely from his period of greatest success in the 70's (there is one song from the mid 80s and a completely new song as the last track) that has a fantastically calming affect on the listener. If you want to relax listening to songs that are quiet but do not lack substance this is a must buy!
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on 31 December 2003
What can i say, other than he's one of the greatest artists in contemporary music! Each and every single one of his tracks in this album brings some memory, some important date, some discovery, some period of my life. His songs are evocative, intelligent, funny, his voice is full and he managed to capture a time to perfection. Though i find it hard to be subjective, i will say that this album contains material from his best era; what he produced later in the 90s does not match his earlier work, so on that basis, i'd say go ahead and buy it and, like some other person reviewed here, smile while you listen to Walking Man...and let yourself go with Shower the people..!
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on 27 February 2004
Originally I bought this CD for my Dad at Christmas. However, having listened to it before giving it to him, I was suddenly asking myself whether I should keep it or give it to him. I particularly love the song, "Handy Man" but the rest of the album is extremely listenable. Buy this!
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on 23 December 2005
I've been a fan of JT since Sweet Baby James, Mud Slide Slim and One Man Dog all still played on vinyl - though "You've Got a Friend" is slightly blurry as I've worn the groove down! Saw him a few years ago at Cambridge Folk Festival and was surprised how similar his voice was. It has changed little over the years - remarkable given his track record. However, he has less hair!! This album can quite rightly claim to be the best - at least it has all my favourites on many of which I only have on vinyl. It's great for playing lazily at home or on the car CD. Do yourself a favour and buy it. You'll never regret it.
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on 6 October 2003
The first thing you must understand is that i was only born in 1987 and obviously wasnt around in James taylor's hayday, but i love his music. What suprised me when i listened to this album for the first time was the number of songs that have been copied. This album contains all the originals and as always are far superior to any copy. You can't help but relax when you listen to this album, a truly wonderful album. Just listen to his voice and you can feel the quality. My favourite song is Walking Man it just makes me smile, buy this and i can guarantee you a smile.
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James was born into a wealthy family but that didn't shield him from life's problems including drug addiction and depression. Perhaps these problems ultimately helped him to succeed in the often strange music business - the song that first established his reputation (Fire and rain) is autobiographical and could not have been written by a man without any worries or problems.

James, though born and raised in America, made his first recordings in London for the Apple label in 1968. The resultant album was a flop at the time although it contained some fine songs including Carolina on my mind (here in a 1976 re-recording) and Something in the way she moves (NOT the Beatles classic). Peter Asher, formerly of Peter and Gordon, began his career as a record producer with Apple and James Taylor's album was among his earliest productions. James returned to America following the album's failure. Peter also moved to America after quitting Apple and secured an American recording contract for James, in whom he still had faith.

James had far greater success with his first American album, Sweet baby James. The outstanding song was the aforementioned Fire and rain. Only a minor UK hit, it was a much bigger hit in America, where it catapulted him to superstardom. His next album, Mud slide Slim and the blue horizon, yielded another huge American hit - You've got a friend, which also made the UK top five and remains his only major UK hit. Indeed, James only had one more UK hit after that (Mockingbird - see later).

One-man dog, his third American album and fourth altogether, yielded another American hit, Don't let me be lonely tonight, which failed to chart in the UK. After that, Peter Asher switched his production efforts to Linda Ronstadt, with whom he had even greater success, while Carly Simon rescued James from his loneliness (at least for a few years). They married and also recorded a duet - Mockingbird, a cover of the R+B classic by Charlie and Inez Foxx, made the American top five but is conspicuous by its absence from this set.

James never quite reached the same level of brilliance again (even when he teamed up with Peter Asher again in 1978) although his later music is still worth hearing. He continued to have American hits, but with covers rather than original material. His cover hits included How sweet it is (Marvin Gaye - or Junior Walker), Handy man (Jimmy Jones) and Up on the roof (originally an American hit for the Drifters, it became a UK top ten hit for Kenny Lynch).

This compilation, focusing on his seventies music but including one newly recorded track (Bittersweet) contains all the essential James Taylor tracks except Mockingbird so if you only want one collection of his music, this is a good choice. Buy a Carly Simon compilation for Mockingbird - and plenty of other great music.
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on 7 June 2009
I have been a huge fan of James Taylor since 1979 when my then boyfriend introduced me to his unique and stunning lyrics. "Whenever I see your smiling face..." was 'our song' and despite the fact that we parted the ways and I have since been married to another man for 23 years, I am still passionately in love with JT. His lyrics are magical, memorable, sentimental, soothing and just downright brilliant. This album will not disappoint!!!
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on 25 September 2006
This is a great album; as soon I listened to the first song I was hooked on this man, I listened to this cd for a month non-stop; his voice has something in it which I could never tire of hearing again and again; every song on here is a gem; Steamroller and Mexico spring to mind as two of the best on this cd; an utter joy to listen to anytime of the day.
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on 19 January 2010
This a second Best Of for James Taylor and again his easy going style is just the thing for chilling out. He has a rich mellow voice, and his guitar playing complements this. Many of the songs are old friends from years gone by, some of the cover songs also. You've Got A Friend, the brilliant Carol King composition is always a welcome addition along with Handy Man, and Something In The Way She Moves, Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight, and a recent favorite of mine, You Can Close Your eyes, although I like the version with his ex wife Carly Simon better than this one.
All in all a CD to listen too in a quiet place with your headphones on when you want to wind down, maybe with drink along the way, yes that would be fine thank you.
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