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Definitive All-Time Greatest Hits

John Denver 10/5/2004


Placing the word definitive on a best-of collection is usually a panicked label attempt to fill last-minute Christmas stockings, but in the case of RCA' s Definitive All-Time Greatest Hits John Denver retrospective, it's a truly apt description. Coinciding with the 35th anniversary of Denver' s first album release on RCA, the two-disc, 24-track overview of the country-pop singer's storied career is the most concise and nuanced yet. Digitally remastered from the original master tapes, road-trip classics like "Take Me Home, Country Roads," "Rocky Mountain High," and "Back Home Again" are as warm as the singer's lauded tenor. There are no gimmicky re-recorded cuts or disappointing live tracks -- "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" spent its time on the charts in its live incarnation -- and his spotty '80s material is only briefly covered ("Perhaps Love" and "Shanghai Breezes"). The only real omission is "Grandma's Feather Bed," but the 20-page booklet and song-by-song commentary by longtime friend Milt Okun more than suffice. The bonus disc, maddeningly sparse at just four tracks, makes up for its brevity by including a goose bump-inducing 1975 acoustic version of "Calypso." With the pompous string section, clanging ship bell, and unnecessary drum fills removed, his ode to Jacques Cousteau's tenacious vessel is a wonder of emotion and nautical kinsmenship that inarguably exhibits Denver as one of the greatest vocalists of his time. For those unwilling to sift through the exhaustive four-CD Country Roads Collection, this Definitive package is a good buy and a rewarding visit with an old friend. ~ James Christopher Monger
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Leaving on a Jet Plane John Denver 3:36
  3. 2 Take Me Home, Country Roads John Denver 3:8
  4. 3 Sunshine on My Shoulders John Denver 5:10
  5. 4 Poems, Prayers and Promises John Denver 4:6
  6. 5 The Eagle and the Hawk John Denver 2:8
  7. 6 Rocky Mountain High John Denver 4:44
  8. 7 Farewell Andromeda (Welcome to My Morning) John Denver 4:3
  9. 8 Annie's Song John Denver 3:0
  10. 9 Back Home Again John Denver 4:45
  11. 10 Sweet Surrender John Denver 5:28
  12. 11 Thank God I'm a Country Boy John Denver 3:19
  13. 12 I'm Sorry John Denver 3:31
  14. 13 Calypso John Denver 3:37
  15. 14 Fly Away John Denver 4:9
  16. 15 Looking for Space John Denver 3:59
  17. 16 Like a Sad Song John Denver 3:40
  18. 17 My Sweet Lady John Denver 4:24
  19. 18 Perhaps Love John Denver 2:55
  20. 19 Shanghai Breezes John Denver 3:12
  21. 20 Wild Montana Skies John Denver 4:2
  22. 1 Leaving on a Jet Plane [Previously Unreleased] John Denver 3:13
  23. 2 The Weight [Previously Unreleased] John Denver 4:29
  24. 3 Annie's Song [Acoustic Mix][Previously Unreleased] John Denver 3:1
  25. 4 Calypso [Previously Unreleased][Acoustic Mix] John Denver 3:35

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