Search - John Denver :: Country Roads Collection

Country Roads Collection
John Denver
Country Roads Collection
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #2
  •  Track Listings (20) - Disc #3
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #4

Massive and impressively comprehensive, the Country Roads Box Collection is classic John Denver. Spanning four discs, the collection not only draws upon the obvious highlights of Denver's career, but also includes fan favo...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: John Denver
Title: Country Roads Collection
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: RCA
Original Release Date: 8/26/1997
Release Date: 8/26/1997
Album Type: Box set
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Rock
Styles: Easy Listening, Singer-Songwriters, Soft Rock, Oldies, Folk Rock
Number of Discs: 4
SwapaCD Credits: 4
UPCs: 078636743721, 078636743745

Massive and impressively comprehensive, the Country Roads Box Collection is classic John Denver. Spanning four discs, the collection not only draws upon the obvious highlights of Denver's career, but also includes fan favorites that might not have received the same airplay as their more popular counterparts. Listening to Country Roads, the finesse with which Denver balanced his folk rock tendencies with his country leanings emerges as testament to his talent. As a box set, the collection would be remiss if it didn't include "Leaving on a Jet Plane," "Annie's Song," "Thank God I'm a Country Boy," or "Rocky Mountain High"--and, of course, the box set's namesake is here. Later hits like "Calypso," with its sea-shanty yodeling, portray Denver's ability to ease himself into the role of balladeer, regardless of the genre. Novelty duets with Placido Domingo and Emmylou Harris were intended to rekindle what seemed to be lagging popularity, but Country Roads establishes John Denver's contributions as timeless, nonetheless. --Steve Gdula

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CD Reviews

Thank God for John Denver
Steve Vrana | Aurora, NE | 02/20/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is not for the neophyte John Denver fan. [They would be better served by the recently released 2-disc Portrait or the single disc Greatest Country Hits.] But true fans of the late John Denver will settle for nothing less than this sprawling 4-disc, 79-song box set. And even at that, this is not a complete retrospective, being limited to his 1969 to 1986 tenure at RCA. [So there are no songs from his stint with the Chad Mitchell Trio or anything from the albums he released on his own Windstar label after leaving RCA.] But what you do get shows the breadth and depth of one of America's best singer-songwriters of the past half century.Of course, you get all the hits--fifteen top forty hits in all, and six of them sold at least a million copies! Disc-1 covers his first four albums, beginning with the song which gave him his first national exposure as a songwriter--the lovely "Leaving on a Jet Plane" from 1969's Rhymes and Reasons (and covered by Peter, Paul & Mary who take it to No. 1). It wasn't until his fourth album, "Poems, Prayers, and Promises," that he charted with the single "Take Me Home, Country Roads." Disc-2 essentially covers Denver's peak commercial years (1972-75). "Annie's Song," "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" and "Calypso" all went to No. 1. His anthemic "Rocky Mountain High" epitomized the wholesome, down-home qualities of this all-American boy next door. And perhaps it was these same qualities which became his undoing. As the seventies wore on and musical tastes changed, a fickle record-buying public were no longer enthralled with the bespectacled "country boy."Disc-3 sees the hits charting lower and lower. In fact, Denver's last hit of the seventies, 1977's "My Sweet Lady," was originally the flip side of 1975's "Thank God I'm a Country Boy." This is not to say he wasn't still turning out quality music. Listen to the gorgeous "How Can I Leave You Again," or "I Want To Live" or "Autograph" to remind yourself that Denver was still writing beautiful songs. Disc-4 contains his only two hits from the eighties: the mournful "Some Days Are Diamonds (Some Days Are Stone)" and the lovely "Shanghai Breeze." However, the highlight is Denver's duet with Emmylou Harris on "Wild Montana Skies."Denver amassed a substantial body of work during his seventeen years with RCA. This collection does an excellent job of providing a complete picture of the artistry of John Denver. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED"
Excellent retrospective
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 12/21/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"You have to enjoy John's music a lot to want this box, but you don't have to be a fanatic. This set provides a comprehensive overview of his career from his years at RCA (which are really the only ones that matter to most people).The first CD is interesting. It is made up entirely of tracks from Rhymes and reasons, Take me to tomorrow, Poems prayers and promises and Aerie. These were his first, second, fourth and fifth albums. The third album (Who's garden was this?) is mentioned in the accompanying booklet, but is not represented here at all. The collection starts with Leaving on a jet plane, which John wrote before he was famous. It became a huge international hit for Peter Paul and Mary. The most famous track is Take me home country roads, but there are many other great songs here. I would like to have seen his cover of Buddy Holly's Everyday and something from that third album included, but I have no complaints about what has been included.The second CD is compiled from the next four original albums - Rocky mountain high, Farewell Andromeda, Back home again and Windsong. This was the period when John's popularity was at its peak. Many of his famous songs are on this CD, including Annie's song, Back home again, Sweet surrender, I'm sorry and Rocky mountain high. Thank God I'm a country boy, originally a track on Back home again, was later recorded live and that recording became another huge hit. It is that version which is included here, not the original studio recording.The third CD begins with one last track from Windsong - Calypso, a tribute to Jacques Cousteau. During the period covered by this CD, John recorded two Christmas albums including one with the Muppets. Neither of these are represented here. So, the remainder of this CD contains tracks from Spirit, I want to live, John Denver (no other title) and Autograph. Although less successful than his earlier music, this was mainly due to changing public taste. The songs are brilliant.There are some great moments on the final CD, although lacking consistency. It was a decade of experimentation and change, but it yielded two superb duets - Perhaps love (with Placido Domingo) and Wild Montana skies (with Emmylou Harris). The albums represented on this CD are Some days are diamonds, Seasons of the heart, It's about time, Dreamland express and One world. This comprehensive collection contains many tracks not otherwise available on CD and is fitting tribute to a unique singer."
Poor Mixes Compromise Fine Music
Richard J. Silverberg | Kew Gardens, New York USA | 12/28/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"During the seventies, as a youngster, I had mixed emotions about John Denver's hit music. Tentatively, after the tragedy I decided to purchase this 4 c.d. set from BMG Direct - his old record company. After listening to the entire set, I gained tremendous respect for Mr. Denver. I'm now embarrassed that I didn't fully appreciate his talents. In my opinion, 25% of the songs are truly outstanding, 35% are good, 30% are average and 10% are unlistenable.As such, I decided to puirchase more of Mr. Denver's music. After acquiring various individual albums (remember those things?) and c.d.'s, it became apparent this box set is poorly mixed. The vocals are upfront while the instumental work, especially the guitars, lacks presence. One simply cannot hear the complexity of the musical backing of which incoporates Mr. Denver's own guitar playing. I wonder if anybody else out there has the same impression?Regardless, this set is a fine introduction To Mr. Denver's music from 1969-1986. Also,his music after this period is worth owning. I wish that BMG would reissue his complete catalogue - MIXED PROPERLY !"