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Country Roads Collection - John Denver

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£25.09 Best Offer by: betamonline.com See more offers
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Genre: Rock / Artist: John Denver / Box set / Audio CD released 2004-09-30 at RCA

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      10.08.2009 20:52
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      The biggest John Denver Collection out there, a must have!

      When I bought the Country Roads Collection I already had a few John Denver CD's. Most of them were 'best of' albums and so I did wonder whether it would be worth me buying this 4 CD collection. I soon realised I had nothing to wonder about. It's a fantastic collection of some of JD's finest work. Ok I am a John Denver fan, so you may say I'm biased but I won't pull any punches here (as much as it hurts!)

      If I was choosing the tracks myself then there are some songs I would've swapped for others that are not included here. However I can see that the intention from the creators of this collection was to showcase John's work from the very start to the very end of his career and on a whole this is accomplished well. This does mean that the 2 latter CD's contain some of what you may call John's less well known work and in some cases not the traditional John Denver sound we know and love but they are still packed with some gems.

      Anyway I'm getting a little ahead of myself talking about the 4th CD. I'll back track a little and tell you about the lovely presented case of John Denver - The Country Roads Collection.

      The outer cover contains a picture of John walking down a path in his beloved countryside, clearly taken in the spring time. The collection is in a tall and thin book format. On opening it you're presented with discs 1 and 2 on the left and in the centre is a 24 page high quality booklet which is bound to the case. Flicking to the end of the booklet you'll find discs 3 & 4 on the inside of the back cover. If you're a John Denver fan (and let's face it probably wouldn't sit through a John Denver review if you weren't) then you'll really enjoying reading about John's rise to fame in the booklet. It tells you about his upbringing, how he got started on his road to music stardom, his influences, the reason behind his name change. Before then going on to detail how he made it in the big time after initially starting out with the Mitchell trio. It was no easy road for John but I won't spoil it for you here, I'll let you read it for yourself. It also tells you about his albums, the records he broke and his chart success. Finally on the last pages of the booklet it details every song in this collection. It includes the writers of the songs (often John), the track length, producer and the recording date. Dotted throughout this booklet are high quality photographs of John. Mostly of him in the countryside or with a guitar in his hand or in some cases, both!

      This is certainly not your average, rushed together collection. It's evident that careful thought and planning have gone into the production behind this collection. Tracks are in chronological order by recording date. This works well as it gives you an insight into how John's music progressed and changed slightly over the years.

      Disc's 1 and 2 arguably contain most of his well known and loved songs. You would be hard pressed to find a song you don't like here.

      Disc 1's highlights include... Leaving on a Jet Plane, Rhymes & Reasons, Follow Me, Sunshine On My Shoulders, Take Me Home Country Roads, Poems, Prayers & Promises

      Disc 2's highlights include... Rocky Mountain High, Goodbye Again, I'd Rather Be a Cowboy, Annie's Song, Back Home Again, Thank God I'm a Country Boy, This Old Guitar, I'm Sorry

      There are many other great songs on the first 2 CD's but those for me epitomise the best of John's style and are of course some of his most famous songs.

      You might be thinking at this point, is this a case of 2 good CD's and 2 bad ones? Don't worry it isn't! True, I don't think the 3rd and 4th CD's have quite the same strength in quality as the first two. This is in part due to the track choices behind this collection, which I feel for the latter two CD's could've been slightly better in places. It is also in part due to the reduced frequency in which John produced hits. Though it must be said I do feel his later work did not get the credit it deserved. Perhaps he just set the standard so high with earlier work?

      Disc 3 starts from 1975 onwards and has some beauties on it, highlights include... Calypso, Like a Sad Song, In The Grand Way, How Can I Leave You Again, You're So Beautiful, It Amazes Me, Autograph.

      During the period of time which Disc 3 covers, John began writing more 'activist' oriented songs, highlighting the plight of animals and nature at the hands of man. Whilst this was admirable and indeed he was loved for it, I do think his popularity as a musician suffered a little. Those songs were generally not his strongest work and so they haven't made it on this collection.

      Disc 4 starts from 1981 and finishes in 1986. Whilst John released new songs after this point I feel the collection as a whole gives a good account of his career. It's perhaps apt and poignant that the last song is 'Flying for me' which he wrote for the astronauts who were killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger accident. Poignant, as John himself was killed whilst piloting his own aeroplane in 1997.

      Disc 4 highlights include... Some Days are Diamonds, Seasons of the Heart, Perhaps Love, Falling Out of Love, Wild Montana Skies, Love Again, Flying for Me.

      Perhaps my only gripe with disc 4 is that it doesn't include (in my opinion) one of John's best songs. That being 'For You'. It's inclusion at the expense of say 'I'm In The Mood To Be Desired', would've made this CD all the stronger for it. Similarly omiting 'Whispering Jesse' from Disc 4, another one John's best songs is a curious one.
      All in all this is a fantastic collection. I would say it's a must have for John Denver fans, partly because of the songs in this collection and partly because there is not another John Denver CD Collection that has as much of his music as this 4 CD collection does (none to my knowledge at any rate). It's also desirable for its presentation and informative booklet. It's particularly recommend if you don't already own a lot of John's music. This will catapult you to owning most of his best work in one fell swoop whilst at the same time giving you a valuable insight into his life and music.

      'Far out!'

      Track Listings

      Disc 1
      1. Leaving On A Jet Plane
      2. Circus
      3. Rhymes & Reasons
      4. Catch Another Butterfly
      5. Daydream
      6. Follow Me
      7. Aspenglow
      8. Molly
      9. Sticky Summer Weather
      10. Isabel
      11. Sunshine On My Shoulders
      12. My Sweet Lady
      13. Take Me Home Country Roads
      14. I Guess He'd Rather Be In Colorado
      15. Poems Prayers And Promises
      16. Starwood In Aspen
      17. City Of New Orleans
      18. All Of My Memories
      19. Casey's Last Ride
      20. Eagle And The Hawk
      21. Friends With You

      Disc 2

      1. Rocky Mountain High
      2. For Baby (For Bobbie)
      3. Goodbye Again
      4. We Don't Live Here No More
      5. I'd Rather Be A Cowboy
      6. Farewell Andromeda
      7. Rocky Mountain Suite
      8. Annie's Song
      9. Back Home Again
      10. Grandma's Feather Bed
      11. Sweet Surrender
      12. Eclipse
      13. Thank God I'm A Country Boy
      14. This Old Guitar
      15. Spirit
      16. Song Of Wyoming
      17. I'm Sorry
      18. Looking For A Space
      19. Fly Away

      Disc 3

      1. Calypso
      2. Come And Let Me Look In Your Eyes
      3. Like A Sad Song
      4. Polka Dots And Moonbeams
      5. In The Grand Way
      6. How Can I Leave Again
      7. Ripplin' Waters
      8. It Amazes Me
      9. Singing Skies And Dancing Waters
      10. Dearest Esmerelda
      11. Thirsty Boots
      12. I Want To Live
      13. Southwind
      14. Garden Song
      15. What's On Your Mind
      16. You're So Beautiful
      17. In My Heart
      18. Mountain Song
      19. Song For The Life
      20. Autograph

      Disc 4

      1. Some Days Are Diamonds
      2. Country Love
      3. Dreams
      4. Heart To Heart Talk
      5. Shanghai Breezes
      6. Seasons Of The Heart
      7. Perhaps Love
      8. Falling Out Of Love
      9. It's About Time
      10. Wild Montana Skies
      11. Dreamland Express
      12. If Ever
      13. I'm In The Mood To Be Desired
      14. Don't Close Your Eyes Tonight
      15. Love Is The Master
      16. I Can't Escape
      17. Love Again
      18. Flying For Me

      Writing this has put me in a JD mood so I'm off for a listen!

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  • Product Details

    Disc #1 Tracklisting
    1 Leaving On A Jet Plane
    2 Circus
    3 Rhymes And Seasons
    4 Catch Another Butterfly
    5 Daydream
    6 Follow Me
    7 Aspenglow
    8 Molly
    9 Sticky Summer Weather
    10 Isabel
    11 Sunshine On My Shoulders
    12 My Sweet Lady
    13 Take Me Home Country Roads
    14 I Guess He'd Rather Be In Colorado
    15 Poems Prayers And Promises
    16 Starwood In Aspen
    17 City Of New Orleans
    18 All Of My Memories
    19 Casey's Last Ride
    20 Eagle And The Hawk
    21 Friends With You
    22 Calypso
    23 Come And Let Me Look In Your Eyes
    24 Like A Sad Song
    25 Polka Dots And Moonbeams
    26 In The Grand Way
    27 How Can I Leave Again
    28 Ripplin' Waters
    29 It Amazes Me
    30 Singing Skies And Dancing Waters
    31 Dearest Esmerelda
    32 Thirsty Boots
    33 I Want To Live
    34 Southwind
    35 Garden Song
    36 What's On Your Mind
    37 You're So Beautiful
    38 In My Heart
    39 Mountain Song
    40 Song For The Life
    41 Autograph
    42 Rocky Mountain High
    43 For Baby (For Bobbie)
    44 Goodbye Again
    45 We Don't Live Here No More
    46 I'd Rather Be A Cowboy
    47 Farewell Andromeda
    48 Rocky Mountain Suite
    49 Annie's Song
    50 Back Home Again
    51 Grandma's Feather Bed
    52 Sweet Surrender
    53 Eclipse
    54 Thank God I'm A Country Boy
    55 This Old Guitar
    56 Spirit
    57 Song Of Wyoming
    58 I'm Sorry
    59 Looking For A Space
    60 Fly Away
    61 Some Days Are Diamonds
    62 Country Love
    63 Dreams
    64 Heart To Heart Talk
    65 Shanghai Breezes
    66 Seasons Of The Heart
    67 Perhaps Love
    68 Falling Out Of Love
    69 It's About Time
    70 Wild Montana Skies
    71 Dreamland Express
    72 If Ever
    73 I'm In The Mood To Be Desired
    74 Don't Close Your Eyes Tonight
    75 Love Is The Master
    76 I Can't Escape
    77 Love Again
    78 Flying For Me