Definitive All-Time Greatest Hits

Performers John Denver

BMG Heritage | October 5, 2004 | Compact Disc

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Placing the word definitive on a best-of collection is usually a panicked label attempt to fill last-minute Christmas stockings, but in the case of RCA's Definitive All-Time Greatest Hits John Denver retrospective, it's a truly apt description. Coinciding with the 35th anniversary of Denver's first album release on RCA, the two-disc, 24-track overview of the country-pop singer's storied career is the most concise and nuanced yet. Digitally remastered from the original master tapes, road-trip classics like "Take Me Home, Country Roads," "Rocky Mountain High," and "Back Home Again" are as warm as the singer's lauded tenor. There are no gimmicky re-recorded cuts or disappointing live tracks -- "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" spent its time on the charts in its live incarnation -- and his spotty '80s material is only briefly covered ("Perhaps Love" and "Shanghai Breezes"). The only real omission is "Grandma's Feather Bed," but the 20-page booklet and song-by-song commentary by longtime friend Milt Okun more than suffice. The bonus disc, maddeningly sparse at just four tracks, makes up for its brevity by including a goose bump-inducing 1975 acoustic version of "Calypso." With the pompous string section, clanging ship bell, and unnecessary drum fills removed, his ode to Jacques Cousteau's tenacious vessel is a wonder of emotion and nautical kinsmenship that inarguably exhibits Denver as one of the greatest vocalists of his time. For those unwilling to sift through the exhaustive four-CD Country Roads Collection, this Definitive package is a good buy and a rewarding visit with an old friend. ~ James Christopher Monger

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: October 5, 2004

Genre: Folk Rock

Style: Pop/Rock

Number of Discs: 2

Stereo/Mono: Stereo

Studio/Mixed/Live: Studio

Originally Released: 2004

Label Name: BMG Heritage

UPC: 828766076424

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– More About This Product –

Definitive All-Time Greatest Hits

Performers John Denver

Format: Compact Disc

Released Date: October 5, 2004

Genre: Folk Rock

Style: Pop/Rock

Number of Discs: 2

Stereo/Mono: Stereo

Studio/Mixed/Live: Studio

Originally Released: 2004

Label Name: BMG Heritage

UPC: 828766076424


Title Track Time
0.DISC 1: --
1.Leaving on a Jet Plane --
2.Take Me Home, Country Roads --
3.Sunshine on My Shoulders --
4.Poems, Prayers and Promises --
5.Eagle and The Hawk, The --
6.Rocky Mountain High --
7.Farewell Andromeda (Welcome To My Morning) --
8.Annie's Song --
9.Back Home Again --
10.Sweet Surrender --
11.Thank God I'm A Country Boy --
12.Calypso --
13.I'm Sorry --
14.Fly Away --
15.Looking For Space --
16.Like A Sad Song --
17.My Sweet Lady --
18.Perhaps Love - (with Placido Domingo) --
19.Shanghai Breezes --
20.Wild Montana Skies - (with Emmylou Harris) --
0.DISC 2: BONUS DISC: --
1.Leaving on a Jet Plane (babe I Hate To Go) - (previously unreleased, original version) --
2.Weight, The - (previously unreleased) --
3.Annie's Song - (previously unreleased, acoustic version) --
4.Calypso - (previously unreleased, acoustic version) --

Editorial Notes

Placing the word definitive on a best-of collection is usually a panicked label attempt to fill last-minute Christmas stockings, but in the case of RCA's Definitive All-Time Greatest Hits John Denver retrospective, it's a truly apt description. Coinciding with the 35th anniversary of Denver's first album release on RCA, the two-disc, 24-track overview of the country-pop singer's storied career is the most concise and nuanced yet. Digitally remastered from the original master tapes, road-trip classics like "Take Me Home, Country Roads," "Rocky Mountain High," and "Back Home Again" are as warm as the singer's lauded tenor. There are no gimmicky re-recorded cuts or disappointing live tracks -- "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" spent its time on the charts in its live incarnation -- and his spotty '80s material is only briefly covered ("Perhaps Love" and "Shanghai Breezes"). The only real omission is "Grandma's Feather Bed," but the 20-page booklet and song-by-song commentary by longtime friend Milt Okun more than suffice. The bonus disc, maddeningly sparse at just four tracks, makes up for its brevity by including a goose bump-inducing 1975 acoustic version of "Calypso." With the pompous string section, clanging ship bell, and unnecessary drum fills removed, his ode to Jacques Cousteau's tenacious vessel is a wonder of emotion and nautical kinsmenship that inarguably exhibits Denver as one of the greatest vocalists of his time. For those unwilling to sift through the exhaustive four-CD Country Roads Collection, this Definitive package is a good buy and a rewarding visit with an old friend. ~ James Christopher Monger
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