Many people my age know of America's 'A Horse With No Name'; the Neil Young sounding and enigmatic tale, with its famous chorus, though it was a hit before my musical 'time'.
Therefore, I'm just coming into the world of America and spent quite a bit of time before choosing this album as my first real foray into their music. I was also encouraged by the fact that quite a few musical friends of mine had cited Barclay James Harvest, a real, long-term favourite of mine, especially during their iconic mid-'70's protest 'Everybody Is Everybody Else' album were uncannily similar to the sound of America.
This U.S import single-CD 'Complete Greatest Hits has 22 tracks, starting with the eponymous 'A Horse' and gliding sweetly to a great - and BJH sounding - 'Sandman'. Though I won't be commenting on each track, no 3, I Need You is a lovely and simple poem of a song and Everybody I Meet Is From California is a nice mix of up-tempo Beach Boys and Simon & Garfunkel ?!.
What is clear throughout though is that America, fronted by the mellow and beautifully voiced Gerry Beckley, have produced a good variety of mainly acoustic guitar based songs, with imaginative use of percussion and vocal harmonies. If U.S bands of this era - and this 'sound' are your cup of tea, then these interesting, superbly performed and often lyrically strong songs might just be what you've been looking for.
All tracks, some produced by the band themselves, are of excellent audio quality, whatever their age and the generous 20 page booklet that comes within, help make this feel as if it's a quality compilation.
If there's the slightest chance you love Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young's music, then you have to agree that you love America (the band) too! Their harmonies are exquisite, and the listing is the US release. I once had the History album. This seems to be a longer album. One thing I noticed is that Muskrat Love is a different recording than the one I had on the other album. Currently playing this and really enjoying it.
Naturally, Horse With No Name and Ventura Highway are there. Really pleased with this recording of Horse... as there's a full fadeout done, which is usually missing on the slightly shorter version of the song.
Very nicely put together; with great overall sound.
I bought this CD mainly because it has California Dreamin' which cannot be found anywhere else. The remastering also improves the sound quality. For instance, the acoustic guitar on Sister Golden Hair sounds a lot clearer than the original version. If you are a fan of the band, you would enjoy all their classic hits as well as better sound quality.
I think this CD is one of the best I have bought, every single track is produced to the highest quality and gives anyone who wants to get past the classics of A Horse With No Name and Ventura Highway a great insight into the underestimated talent of the group. Lyrically, Musically and Production this is superb,RECOMMENDED !