Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
A Return To Nature
W. Foley | Canandaigua NY | 12/18/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Although I agree with the other reviewer that BMG needs to release other material, I'd like to review the content of this CD.Songs For America is a compilation of previously released material. But all of the songs deal with a nature theme, and except for one song selection, I think this is a very well done and inexpensive homage to John Denver. All of the songs were recorded in the late 80s or early 90s, and even the more popularly known songs are re-recordings of those earlier hits.The CD opens with a new 1994 recording of "Take Me Home, Country Roads." John's mature voice is immediately evident on this track. Although the original recording of this song had a bouncy feel, this version is a wistful celebration of going home. John's voice is augmented on the chorus with backup singers which adds warmth and texture to the song.Next is "Eagles and Horses." This song was originally on the CD "The Flower That Shattered The Stone." The original 1990 recording of this song is offered here and it is one of my favorite songs that John did later in his career. It was co-written with his long time friend Joe Henry. I always felt that this song captured the magic John had back at the peak of his popularity in the 70s. This song would have been at home on the 1975 album "Windsong," or any of his top seling albums from that period.A 1990 re-recording of "Rocky Mountain High" is offered next. This originally was offered on the Earth Songs CD. It is a little faster paced than the 1972 original, and John's rich voice and signature guitar licks will transport the listener to a very mellow and serene state of mind. But time has only enhanced the environmental theme of the song. "Rocky Mountain High" is a rich contemporary folk song that is interwoven with spiritual symbols of finding that one place on this earth you can call home.Another Earth Songs selection is "To The Wild Country." It is simply a wonderful song about leaving behind the hectic fast paced American culture and going back to nature, to renew ones spirit. Next is "Calypso," also from Earth Songs. I personally think this is John's best version of the song. Believe it or not this version has more energy to it, and John's astonishing vocals are not buried in the orchestration. To any of his critics who said that John Denver could not sing needs to listen to this re-recording of "Calypso." If they do they will hear the fact that he had an incredible voice that could reach amazing pitches.The next song, "Ponies," is the only song on this CD not written by John Denver. It was originally released on his final studio CD "Different Directions" in 1991. This is a song that finds John exploring the deeper levels of his voice. The imagery in this song is one of a Horse Whisperer who has that gentle touch and compassion for one of God's noble creatures. A very well done song.Two songs about Alaska (John's home away from home) are offered next. "Alaska and Me" is pulled from the 1988 Higher Ground album. It is written as a waltz, a style of music that I feel is an excellent example of John's absolute genius in his gift for writing beautiful melodies. "American Child" is a 1990 re-recording of the song, co-written with Joe Henry, that first appeared on the album Autograph. John's soaring vocals serve as a warning to the lower 48 states not to repeat the environmental damage on this young member of our American family.Another Earth Song alumni is served up in the song "Rocky Mountain Sweet (Cold Nights in Canada)." This version is by far superior to the 1973 version from the "Farewell Andromeda" album. The sweeping orchestral movement that opens the song was not on the original and it really adds a brilliant texture to the piece. Plus again John's voice is as crystal clear as the mountain air that he is singing about.The last song is the only bummer on the CD. "Earth Day Everyday" was yet another tune from Earth Songs. It starts out with much promise in its melodic reverence. But then switches to a conga line beat that sounds as cheesy and simplistic as the rest of the lyrics in this song. He had done better before, and I think there are other songs that could have been included here that celebrated John's love for the wilderness.Other than that selection this is a very good compilation that represents music which stays true to the spirit of John Denver."
This is really getting to be disappointing!
L. Jaffe | Springfield, VA USA | 11/05/2002
(1 out of 5 stars)
"Once again, BMG, the label that John found the majority of his success with during the height of his career, has once again repackaged a handful of his work with the patriotic "Songs For America" title, put an artificially low retail price on it, and is serving it up just in time for the holidays. CAN YOU BE ANY MORE INSULTING?There are still, by my count, five of John's albums that have never come out on their own domestically. "Rhymes And Reasons", "Take Me To Tomorrow", "Aerie", and "Rocky Mountain Holiday" have never seen the light of day as U.S. releases. The last title, to the best of my knowledge, has never been released anywhere ever! "Whose Garden Was This" was meagerly split between two reissues. The remaining majority of JD's catalogue is in need of a digital overhaul. And I will just bet there is a boatload of material still sitting in RCA's vaults just begging to be released to his legions of fans, who will not be around forever. BMG, are you getting the picture? Enough with the warmed-over stuff! How about that concert John did with the Houston Symphony Orchestra just before he passed on with his last song, "Yellowstone (Coming Home)"? Please get with the program and take this review to heart. There are enough anthologies of John's out there already without putting more out to take up space on the store racks and in our collections."
A great collection of John Denver tunes focusing on America
Jason Pumphrey | Falls Church, Virginia United States | 08/17/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is nice little collection of John Denver songs with the theme being America and nature,some songs might have been re-recorded but they still sound good,R.I.P. John Denver. A nice budget priced collection!!! A+"