"John Denver's sincerity has made him an object of ridicule to those who prefer indifferent ambivalence to emotional honesty. So fans like myself, ever aware of their precarious social standing, have been driven underground, and dare not hum "Sunshine on my shoulders" in public.Hide no more! Even the most cynical are astonished by the power of these performances. I'm even allowed (nay, requested) to play these CDs in the office! John gives his all on these tunes; it was, after all, the "Wildlife Concert," a benefit for The Wildlife Conservation Society. This version of "Rocky Mountain High," with its driving percussion and soaring vocals, should be definitive. And I love the inclusion of some of my favorite older tunes, including "Darcy Farrow" (sublime) and "I Guess He'd Rather be in Colorado." The most popular songs, including "Country Roads" and "Back Home Again" live up to your highest expectations. "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" is the only obvious omission, but you won't miss it.Many years ago (long before John did this concert, back when his glasses were still round) I was a first-year college engineering student heading towards a lifetime of stressful drudgery and a stomach full of ulcers. I came to John Denver's music as a way to relieve the anxiety and "escape reality." As I was listening to "Rocky Mountain High" after one particularly awful day, I realized that reality is what you make of it, and I'm a professional ecologist (and ulcer-free) today. I had an opportunity to tell John this story after a concert in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and he actually said thanks for the inspiration. Can you imagine?"The Wildlife Concert" is a must for old diehards and probably the best John Denver CD for everyone else. And while you're buying this CD, send a few bucks to The Wildlife Conservation Society- John would certainly have appreciated it."
The Best of The Best - by THE BEST!
MrsDM | Near Chicago, IL | 01/13/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have listened to John Denver for about 30 years now... his music takes me to a wonderful "comfort zone" where I only hear the words, the music and the voice... nothing outside of that bothers me. For someone who was over 50 years old at the time of this release, he hit some truly great notes on this live concert that would put some of these young pups to shame! This version of "For You" is so STRONG - you can feel the emotion and passion... He truly was - IS - a master talent when it comes to BEING HUMAN ! Thank you God for bringing John Denver and his music into my life. Gone - but never forgotten... his SPIRIT lives on!Try this CD and you just might agree! ENJOY!"
The Essential John Denver Album - Stunning!
MrsDM | 06/08/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Songs like "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" and "Grandma's Feather Bed" gave John Denver an undeserved reputation as a purveyor of corniness. Songs like "Rocky Mountain High,""Poems, Prayers, and Promises" and countless others showcase the songwriting and performing skills that make John Denver unique among American songwriters.The performances on this CD are stunning. Some arrangements are very true to the original recordings we know and love; others take songs to a new place. The great surprise of this CD are the inclusion of great songs that, unless you are a serious JD collector, would not be known to most listeners. I've always loved John Denver, not only because of the beauty of his songs and his committment to various causes, but because he is the only artist whose songs speak to me. Love the outdoors? Then "Rocky Mountain High,""Sunshine On My Shoulders," and "Calypso" are for you. Love someone? Try "Annie's Song" and "For You." Problems with the one you love? "Two Different Directions." Ever contemplate what you might have done differently with your life? "Whispering Jesse" - one of the gems I uncovered on this CD, and truly one of his great songs.The old cliche is that, "if you could only own one CD"....well, that would be a shame, because there are many other great John Denver CDs...but, if you could only own one CD..."