A Song's Best Friend: The Very Best Of John Denver Original recording remastered
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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).
His music is so honestly pleasing, it really is a joy to listen to, it wont be long before you're singing away.
My favs are, Poems, prayers and promises - Annies song - Country roads.
If you like John Denver and you want an album that reflects him and his best songs, GET THIS ONE.
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
i have several of john denvers cds..there are many songs on this i dont have.wonderful..brilliant songsPublished 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
Excellent, includes all the hits and is a joy to listen to. Timeless.Published 8 months ago by TERRY STEVENSON