"Jennifer Warnes has not had much luck in her career. Dropped by her label in the early 70's when she chose to tour as a back up singer with Leonard Cohen rather than as an opener for Neil Diamond, she got another chance in the late 1970's when she was signed to Arista. Arista, however, was determined to turn her into a Linda Ronstadt clone, by giving her lovely voice, generally acceptable, but far from extraordinary standard commercial material. The result were two modest selling (and now out of print) albums the best cuts of which went ignored.She left Arista after the second of these album and remerged in 1986 with the magnificent album "Famous Blue Raincoat" a disc of songs written by her hero and mentor Leonard Cohen.Unfortunately, this compilation isn't really "the best" of Jennifer Warnes, as any compilation with that tittle would draw heavily from her post (and pre) Arista career. But this is a pleasant CD continuing the catchy as all get out "I Know A Heartache When I See One," the lovely "It Goes Like It Goes" (from the movie "Norma Rae") and the stellar "I'm Restless." But overall it proves that this was not really the type of material Jennifer was meant to record. What is sad is that "Famous Blue Raincoat" is now out of print. It has been in that status before and so maybe someday it will be reissued. But for now, if you want to get a better sense of what this fine singer is capable of, give her only other CD remaining in print, "The Hunter" a listen."
A MOST OVERLOOKED ARTIST.
Harold J. Gaugler | Philadelphia, PA USA | 07/27/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jennifer Warnes has got to be the most underrated, under appreciated singer in the entire recording industry. She's also not very prolific, which is likely the main reason she's so often forgotten, having released only 4 albums of new material in the past 25 years. This compilation includes tracks from her two 70's Arista albums ("Jennifer Warnes" and "Shot Through the Heart") as well as several singles and b-sides. "The Right Time of the Night" and "I Know a Heartache When I See One" are her biggest solo hits, but the best tracks here are "It Goes Like It Goes", the hauntingly beautiful, Oscar-winning theme song to "Norma Rae", and two Jennifer Warnes originals, the Laura Nyro-like "Shot Through the Heart" and the heartbreaking "I'm Restless", both of which reveal her to be as talented a writer as she is a singer. It's a good collection, and highly recommended for the beautiful voice of Jennifer Warnes, but Arista chose some puzzling selections to include. "Run to Her" and "Come To Me" are both fine songs, but they never appeared on a Jennifer Warnes album. Instead, Arista should have included her beautiful cover of the Everly Brothers "Love Hurts" and her self-penned "Frankie in the Rain", two of her best recordings and unavailable on cd. As good as "The Best of Jennifer Warnes" is, it could have been better!!"
A plea to the record company
Harold J. Gaugler | 02/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great CD with memorable songs...particularly "It Goes Like It Goes" from the movie "Norma Rae." What I realy wish, though, is that Warnes' self-titled first album would be re-released on CD. There's a wonderul song on it called "You're The One" that I would dearly love to hear again. Hope the owner of the master tapes is listening..."
How did I miss this?
Rod Reviewer | VA USA | 04/16/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have to confess. My purchase of this CD was sparked by a recent visit to a Wendy's restaurant. They were playing "Right Time of the Night" on the radio, and so many memories of my childhood began to flow back to me. I remembered how much I loved that song then, and how I never knew who sang it. So, I went to my local CD store the same day and looked up the song--only to find out that Jennifer Warnes sang it. I rushed to her section in the store, but the bin was empty. So, I ordered the CD from Amazon--and when it arrived, I practically tripped on the way to the CD player. What shocked me was all of the beautiful songs on this CD...songs that I had been missing all these years. What a wonderful surprise!"
Her pop-country music 1976 to 1982
Peter Durward Harris | Leicester England | 02/21/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Jennifer's career has been varied to say the least. I suspect that she is, at heart, a folkie, but she has scored major international pop hits with a couple of movie themes (Up where we belong, I've had the time of my life) both of which were duets that became top ten hits in Britain and topped the American charts. In between those two hits, Jennifer recorded an excellent Leonard Cohen tribute (Famous blue raincoat). All those recordings are outside the scope of this collection, which focuses on her recordings for Arista between 1976 and 1982.
The tracks here include Jennifer's breakthrough hit, Right time of the night, which was an American top ten pop hit and also topped the country charts. I know a heartache when I see one, another excellent song, also made a big impact in America. Jennifer demonstrated her songwriting ability by contributing two songs here (I'm restless, Shot through the heart) but also showed her ability to interpret a classic - Run to her (a gender-adapted update of Bobby Vee's Run to him). Elsewhere, It goes like it goes (from the movie Norma Rae), When the feeling comes around, Could it be love, I'm dreaming and Come to me are all brilliant.
A career-spanning retrospective is available on the Raven label, so you may prefer to buy that but it contains many different musical styles so it won't appeal to everybody. The tracks on this album sit together comfortably. The overall style is pop with a country flavor. If you enjoy listening to the Carpenters, you will probably enjoy this album."