Music to save your mortal soul
Matthew G. Sherwin | last seen screaming at Amazon customer service | 01/02/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Best of Don McLean has several important highlights from his career; but I wish that this had been a more thorough compilation. However, don't get me wrong--what we do get here is excellent material; there's just not enough of it. However, the quality of the sound is excellent and the artwork is great, too. The CD is probably best suited as a starter CD for people who are just discovering just how wonderful Don McLean really was earlier on in his career. I wish there were more songs from his more recent years as a performer; and there should have been some liner notes as well.
"American Pie" starts the CD off with a huge BANG! This is certainly one of Don McLean's biggest hits ever and he does this flawlessly. I always liked "American Pie" even though the subject matter isn't exactly cheerful. The musical arrangement to accompany Don's vocals is very well done and all together "American Pie" makes a very strong start for this album. "Vincent" is an ode to the great painter Vincent Van Gogh; Don sings this with great sensitivity and I'm very impressed. The tempo is just right and the music sounds great as Don sings "Vincent" to perfection and beyond!
"And I Love You So" is another tender, poignant ballad that Don McLean performs with all his heart and soul; this love song strikes me with its beauty and I really like "And I Love You So;" it's truly a major highlight of this album.
"Dreidel" shines when Don bats this straight out of the ballpark! The electric guitars sound great and the band works wonders for this tune. "Dreidel" gets the royal treatment from Don and I predict that you'll like this number very much. There's another gem in "Winterwood;" "Winterwood" has an attractive country flavor mixed with a side dish of rock and Don McLean aces this easily. Of course, Don could make his song sound all so easy to do; but we know they really weren't. Don's talent led him through every time; and it continues to do so.
"Mountains O'Mourne" features Don McLean giving this a most delicate, sensitive treatment and the guitar work complements his vocals very well. The album ends with Don performing "Prime Time;" "Prime Time" rocks hard and it stands out because it rocks hard with a very catchy melody. The backup vocals are equally well done.
Overall, Don McLean fans will probably already have these songs in their collections; but this album still serves a great purpose as an inexpensive overview of what is mostly Don McLean's earlier work. Big fans of Don would do well to check out other much more comprehensive CDs including the two CD set entitled Complete Hits.
An OK collection
David A. Elliott Jr. | Pinellas Park,Fl | 03/15/2009
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I bought this in 1993, & I was a bit disappointed that "Castles In The Air" is a re-recorded version & not the original version I had back in the 70's as the original flipside of the United Artists single "Vincent". I used to love "American Pie" until radio overplayed it to death, now my favorite McLean song is the last song here, "Prime Time", though I don't know when it came out."