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An Evening with John Denver [Bonus Tracks]

John Denver 3/20/2001


For those who know or have heard of John Denver, his life, his songs, and his experiences have been legendary. Bursting onto the scene in the early '70s, Denver used his skill of folk-rock and mastery of composition to bring light and heartfelt spirit to the world of music. This compilation is remarkably engineered and produced. "I've been looking forward to this for a long, long time," said Denver during this live recording for RCA at the California Universal Amphitheater in August/September of 1974. He also tells the audience, most attentive to say the least, that he worked on his songs late into the evening on the beach's lifeguard stands the first time he arrived in California in the late '60s. It was a long journey to the top of singing stardom, just eating in order to play for people in the early days. This is a different record from those of his individual ones. It is here that Denver is backed up by a phenomenal orchestra conducted by Lee Holdridge. Dick Kniss is there to back him up on bass guitar. Steve Weisberg adds the electric guitar, steel pedal, and dobro. Herb Lovelle sits in on drums, Hal Blaine adds the percussion, and John Sommers puts added touches with rhythm guitar, banjo, fiddle, and mandolin. The album begins with Denver's song of encouragement, "Farewell Andromeda." "Welcome to my morning/Welcome to my happiness/It pleases me to have you here for just a little while," sings Denver. Then it's off to the races with the uptempo Beatles cover "Mother Nature's Son," in which Denver received much praise for playing, keeping the spirit of the Fab Four alive. "Summer" takes the listener to their favorite vacation spot in the midst of a memory-filled season. He throws in Randy Sparks' song "Toledo" for laughs. The artist receives from the audience a strong reception for the hilarious tune. A song about Denver's uncle, "Matthew," brings to the listeners a lesson "that joy is the thing you should be raised on/And love is just a way to live and die." Denver gives the audience his version of Jim Connor's "Grandma's Feather Bed," another crowd pleaser. After quite an entertaining ending, he introduces his beautiful song "Annie's Song" in sentimental fashion, a song written and played in love of his wife. As the record seems to show, the list of songs flow with a great emphasis of highs and lows, such like the momentum of a roller coaster. It is after the soothing, sweet ballad for Annie that Denver puts on all the stops, pressing full forward with the intense and passionate tune "The Eagle and the Hawk." This song has the theme of the environment written all over its melody, as does nearly all of the artist's work. Another ballad is played with sheer eloquence and sincerity by Denver, "My Sweet Lady." This is certainly an album filled with the artist's best, and one must wonder how he manages to fit all these tunes into one concert for the listeners' enjoyment. A wonderful version of "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" ignites the audience with another rousing of applause, as do "Take Me Home, Country Roads" and his most well-known hit, "Rocky Mountain High." This is a must even for the casual John Denver listener. Only by fully taking in the music can listeners see his vision of good music and passion for protection of the environment. [The 2001 double-CD edition features the concert in full and adds bonus tracks from another show.] ~ Shawn M. Haney
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 The Music Is You John Denver 1:2
  3. 2 Farewell Andromeda (Welcome to My Morning) John Denver 5:46
  4. 3 Mother Nature's Son John Denver 2:27
  5. 4 Summer John Denver 3:2
  6. 5 Today John Denver 6:23
  7. 6 Toledo John Denver 2:30
  8. 7 Matthew John Denver 3:51
  9. 8 Rocky Mountain Suite (Cold Nights in Canada) John Denver 3:14
  10. 9 Sweet Surrender John Denver 5:2
  11. 10 Grandma's Feather Bed John Denver 2:35
  12. 11 Annie's Song John Denver 3:35
  13. 12 The Eagle and the Hawk John Denver 2:20
  14. 13 My Sweet Lady John Denver 4:55
  15. 14 Annie's Other Song John Denver 3:5
  16. 15 Boy from the Country John Denver 5:1
  17. 16 Rhymes & Reasons John Denver 3:19
  18. 17 Forest Lawn John Denver 3:3
  19. 1 Pickin' the Sun Down John Denver 2:18
  20. 2 Thank God I'm a Country Boy John Denver 3:41
  21. 3 Take Me Home, Country Roads John Denver 3:18
  22. 4 Poems, Prayers and Promises John Denver 4:40
  23. 5 Rocky Mountain High John Denver 5:4
  24. 6 This Old Guitar John Denver 4:48
  25. 7 Intro/Saturday Night in Toledo, Ohio John Denver 3:1
  26. 8 Follow Me/Leaving, on a Jet Plane John Denver 4:47
  27. 9 The City of New Orleans John Denver 4:30
  28. 10 Zachary & Jennifer/For Baby (For Bobbie) John Denver 4:24
  29. 11 I'd Rather Be a Cowboy (Lady's Chains) John Denver 4:28
  30. 12 Amsterdam John Denver 4:7

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