Search - John Denver :: Live At Cedar Rapids 12/10/87

Live At Cedar Rapids 12/10/87
John Denver
Live At Cedar Rapids 12/10/87
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (15) - Disc #2

What is the sound of an audience eating out of the palm of a performer s hand? Utter silence and that s what you hear while John Denver is singing or speaking during this two hour-plus concert. It s not just that John s pe...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: John Denver
Title: Live At Cedar Rapids 12/10/87
Members Wishing: 4
Total Copies: 0
Label: Collector's Choice Live
Release Date: 4/20/2010
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 617742600223


Product Description
What is the sound of an audience eating out of the palm of a performer s hand? Utter silence and that s what you hear while John Denver is singing or speaking during this two hour-plus concert. It s not just that John s performances (part acoustic, part with a string quartet), drawn from his vast repertoire, are flawless; it s also that his manner with the audience is so humble, so engaging, that he immediately creates a hushed intimacy with the crowd, and never more so than when he tells the story of how it was almost he and not Christa McAuliffe who was chosen to be the civilian aboard the ill-fated Challenger mission.

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CD Reviews

Outstanding Live Performance
birdman3155 | San Antonio, Texas | 04/20/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"John Denver always was at his best in a "live concert" setting, so this release of the concert he performed on Dec. 12, 1987, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, is another fine addition to his legacy of work. Hard-core fans such as myself will love it. But even lesser fans of the man will enjoy it.

Several years ago, PBS released a six-song CD entitled "Live and Unreleased," which they used to solicit money during their pledge breaks. Those songs came from this show. Apparently the release was popular enough that PBS released a Vol. II a couple of years later which contained six more songs from the same show.

Those releases only whetted the appetites for Denver fans who wanted the whole show. Well, here it is, thanks to Collector's Choice Music's new "Live" branch label.

The first part of the show _ 14 tracks including one in which Denver talks to the audience _ are acoustic. It is just Denver and his guitar.

Then the first disc closes with him performing "Flying for Me," the song he wrote as a tribute to the astronauts who were killed in the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger in early 1986. His intro description of how he thought for a time that he would be going on that mission is most interesting.

As he did in other shows during that period, he elected to sing live accompanied by the "Flying for Me" track recorded in the studio for the "One World" album. In effect, it is Denver doing karaoke to his own song, something many performers often do for television appearances. While he did that, he had a video play behind him that was produced from NASA's archives with their cooperation. Of course, the CD listener cannot see the video, which is really too bad. He performed the song that way when I saw him in concert late in the summer of 1986, and it was very effective. So it is really cool to have an "audio souvenir."

Denver switches gears for the first seven songs of the second CD by bringing a string quartet on stage to accompany him. It is another solid choice.

After that, Denver turns into political activist. He uses a spoken rendition of Joseph Malens' "The Ambulance Down in the Valley" to lead into a spoken intro of his anti-arms race song "Let Us Begin (What Are We Making Weapons For?)."

The intro to "Let Us Begin ..." is not preaching, but an effective way of asking his audience to think about the nuclear arms race that was going on at the time between the United States and the Soviet Union. Though the Soviet Union dissolved a few years after this concert, the danger of nuclear arms proliferation is still with us 10 years into the 21st century. So in that context, the presentation remains very valid.

When Denver performed "Let Us Begin ..." in concert during this period, he sang to the studio track, but with a twist. Unlike the version on the "One World" album, he included the version containing the duet track vocal of Russian artist Alexander Gradsky and another video, both of which were very effective. So on this CD, Gradsky's vocal is present, although the video is not, which is again unfortunate. But perhaps it and the "Flying for Me" video can be included on a future DVD release of Denver in concert.

After "Let Us Begin ...", Denver returns to the guitar-only format for five more songs to close the concert. Among those five songs is "Annie's Song," in which Denver sings a verse in Russian, showing even more versatility.

I hope there will be many more releases of Denver "Live" like this one from the vaults. In particular, it would be cool to have the full show from "Live at the Sydney Opera House," recorded in 1977. That one, which has been only excerpted so far, contrasts with "Live at Cedar Rapids" in that it was with a full band and a small orchestra in Denver's heyday. I'd also like to see releases of the full shows from Wolftrap with the Washington National Symphony in 1995 and Saratoga Springs, N.Y., in 1980. And a DVD of the Red Rocks show in Colorado in 1982. There are others I could mention, but that's enough for this forum. I'm greedy, and I make no apologies for it.

But to get back to the "Live at Cedar Rapids" release, it is another great addition to Denver's legacy. The sound quality is excellent. I can't recommend it highly enough."
A MUST HAVE CD for John's fans!
Teresa A. Spencer | USA | 04/23/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This CD is a must have for John Denver fans. Mere words cannot express the emotions that I have after listening to it. However, I will attempt to do so. It's also ironic that today is Earth Day, and I got and listened to this CD on that day.

From the first note, it was an incredible CD. I'm a Massage Therapist, and I enjoy listening to John's CDS while I work. (I even have converted a few of my clients to JD music.) The passion in John's voice had my spirit soaring like an eagle, and it came through in my work. There were some songs that I succeded in holding back my tears (Matthew)while others that I couldn't help but cry. (What are we Making Weapons For? Flying for Me, and Falling Leaves.) After the last note played for "Falling Leaves" Leslie and I prayed together.

I know that if you pay your money for this CD, that you will be well pleased too. It is well worth your hard earned money.

Excellent John Denver live performance from the mid-80s
hyperbolium | Earth, USA | 05/09/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"By the time John Denver performed this 1987 concert in Cedar Rapids, IA, he was a decade past his commercial peak of the mid-70s. He'd found continued success into the early `80s, but his most recent release, 1986's One World, was both the last he'd recorded for RCA and the first album in fifteen years to miss the chart entirely. The album's single, "Along for the Ride ('56 T-Bird)," had only middling success on the Adult Contemporary chart, and was left out of this set. Denver had forged a non-music public role as an activist, philanthropist, humanitarian, and social critic, but always remained an in-demand live performer. By this point in his career, his non-music activities flowed seamlessly into his stage performances.

This two-hour, twenty-eight track live set touches on fan favorites, social and political commentaries and well-selected covers. Denver's voice hasn't the youthful elasticity of his earlier years, but his investment in the songs, even those he'd been touring for fifteen years, is enthusiastic and resolute. He sings the hits at full length, rather than mashing them into medleys, and performs covers (Lennon & McCartney's "Mother Nature's Son" and Randy Sparks' "Toledo") that had been in his live set for nearly fifteen years. He was an endearing performer, as engaging with a story or a joke as with a song, and his invitations to the audience to sing-along are as warm as a summer campfire.

Denver performs most of the songs solo with his acoustic 12-string, adding a taped background for "Flying for Me" and welcoming a string quartet on stage for disc two. His material is drawn from throughout his career, going back as early as the title song of his debut album, Rhymes & Reason, and as current as "For You" (which was dedicated to his soon-to-be second wife) and the set-closing "Falling Leaves (The Refugees)," which he'd record the following year. His newer material is easily woven into the set, making evident that it wasn't the quality or appeal of Denver's music that had waned, only the interest of radio and the new generation of record buyers.

Disc two includes Denver's statements on the arms race and world hunger and a segue into his then-current "Let Us Begin (What Are We Making Weapons For)." He reaches back to 1971 for the thoughtful "Poems, Prayers and Promises" and climaxes with a crowd-pleasing trio of hits. A dozen of these tracks appeared previously on a pair of PBS promotional releases [1 2], but having the entire concert start-to-finish gives fans an opportunity to relive the magic of Denver's stagecraft. Collectors' Choice delivers the discs in a double-digipack with a four page booklet (with liner notes by Gene Sculatti) tucked into a tight pocket beneath disc two's tray. [©2010 hyperbolium dot com]"