164 of 166 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2004
America formed in 1970 in England as the sons of Air Force military men. The trio wrote some of the seventies most beautifully crafted songs, merging both elements of folk and rock. Their first hit "A Horse With No Name" became a huge hit in 1972, soon to be followed by "Sandman" and "I Need You" all of which were on their debut top selling album "America". Their second album "Homecoming" again became a top selling album and produced the hits "Ventura Highway" and "Don't Cross The River". America continued to release numerous albums throughout the seventies and into the eighties. This collection gives one a good retrospective of the band's output (with only a few minor deletions) including such hits as "Muskrat Love", "Tin Man","Lonely People", "Sister Golden Hair", "Daisy Jane", "You Can Do Magic" plus more . Their big hits are all here and the entire collection is beautifully remastered by Rhino Records. There's also an excellent booklet enclosed with interesting information about the band and it's songs. If you enjoy listening to groups such as Bread, Three Dog Night, Steely Dan, The Eagles (to name just a few) then this collection will not disappoint.
60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on March 21, 2005
For those of you out there who like a Greatest Hits compilation that contains all of the songs by an artist to chart on Billboard's Hot 100, this CD is for you. I have been waiting for a compilation that contains all of their hits, yet does not include a bunch of other songs that I am not interested in. Previously they have released "History: Greatest Hits" which just focused on the early 70's hits. Then they released "Encore: More Greatest Hits" which focused on the late 70's early 80's hits. Then they released "Highway: 30 Years of America", which was a box set bloated with non-hits. For the America fanatic, I am sure all of the previous compilations were great. However, for the casual listener like me who just wants the hits, this is the CD to get. And you get all of the songs on one disc, which saves space in a CD collection like mine that numbers over 1,000 CD's. Another bonus, this CD plays the songs in chronological order of when they were hits, which I really appreciate. The liner notes are also good with a 20 page booklet with lots of full-color photos, a history of the band, and a track listing that tells where the songs peaked on both the Pop and Adult Contemporary charts.
Some reviewers have commented on how the band turned to shlocky AC in the early 80's. I think the songs from that period were just as vital as the 70's hits. And a lot of people have made negative remarks about "Muskrat Love". At least this version is less embarassing than the Captain & Tenille version with all of the keyboard chirping sounds. I recommend this CD highly for anyone who enjoys 70's and 80's adult pop music.
99 of 107 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2001
America was basically riding the crest of the Crosby Stills & Nash sound, but they did it quite well without coming off as a mere copycat band. This remastered compilation includes every track from the very popular "History: America's Greatest Hits" CD and expands from there with later chart singles and notable in-between tunes. I was happy to see that they weren't shy about including their so-sappy-it's-good 80's hits "You Can Do Magic", "The Border" and the excellent "Right Before Your Eyes". These songs obviously pale by comparison to their more politically charged and psychedelic 70's output, especially in the lyrics department (of the three, only "The Border" was co-written by any band members), but they're great ear candy regardless. America fans of all intensities now have three levels of compilation extensiveness to choose from - this single disc of all their chart hits, or get "History" combined with "Encore: More America's Greatest Hits" to expand on their latter year output, or get the box set for a 3 CD overview! I personally would recommend this one for its pristine sound.
An additional note on the song "Daisy Jane" - I've always been a big fan of Janet Jackson, and one of my favorites of hers is the ballad "Let's Wait Awhile" from 1986. I never realized until picking up the America CD that her and her co-conspirators Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis basically pilfered parts of the melody from "Daisy Jane" for that song! In fact, Janet (Ms. Jackson if yo' nasty) must be a closet America fan, seeing as how she also sampled the riff from "Ventura Highway" for her own "Someone To Call My Lover" last year.
35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
I'm re-discovering a LOT of 70's bands lately and realizing that this decade produced an incredible amount of really good music (disco notwithstanding). America was definitely in the running as one of the high points of this era of music exploration. A truly exceptional collection by a really great group of musicians. Anyone doubt me? Check it out for yourselves. 'Sister Golden Hair' can hold its own today as well as it did almost 30 years ago. But let's not stop there, how 'bout 'Tin Man', 'Ventura Highway', 'A Horse With No Name', 'I Need You', 'You Can Do Magic', 'Lonely People' and MANY more. Not just good music, but GREAT music.
The ability to hold up well over the years is something that THIS particular generation of music listeners I believe will never truly understand because the bulk of songs produced over the past decade (or so) are almost all throw-away tunes. What is great today will be yesterdays fodder within a few weeks, and almost NONE of it sounds good after just a few spins. Will Britney Spears EVER stand up to 'Satisfaction' by the Stones? Does Eminem even have a prayer of selling millions of albums 30 YEARS after he stops making music like The Beatles? No feakin' WAY. However, America IS a band that can and DOES stand up well after several decades. IF you count yourself a fan of the 70's and you would count a life without disco as a GOOD thing, give America a chance and let them impress you for several more decades to come. An above average collection of songs by a truly underrated band.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2002
This is the best and most complete greatest hits CD available for America. It contains all of their big hits and several strong album cuts. America was one of the most successful folk/rock bands of the seventies and this collection showcases the reason why. It includes two number 1 hits (Horse With No Name and Sister Golden Hair); five more top 10 singles (I Need You, Ventura Highway, Tin Man, Lonely People, and You Can Do Magic); four additional top 40 hits (Don't Cross the River, Daisy Jane, Today's The Day, and The Border); and six more songs that also made the Billboard Hot 100 chart (Only in Your Heart, Muskrat Love, Woman Tonight, Amber Cascades, California Dreamin, and Right Before Your Eyes). It also contains two new recordings not available on any other CD.
The songs are remastered and sound better than they do on the original releases! Also they use the original mix for the early hits rather than the George Martin remixes found on the History CD. If you only buy one America CD, this one should be it! EXCELLENT! This is a must for America fans or any fan of the 70's!
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on October 26, 2003
Finally, America gets a Complete Greatest Hits on one cd, without having to buy their expensive box set. I've always enjoyed America's brand of folk rock from the first time I heard on radio "A Horse With No Name" way back in 1972. I actually thought it was Neil Young singing and to my surprise I never realized it was this great band called America. This Complete Greatest Hits has it all, from songs from 1972 to 2002. All the great songs are here such as "A Horse With No Name", "I Need You", "Ventura Highway", "Don't Cross The River", "Tin Man", "Lonely People", "Sister Golden Hair", and so on. I always thought America had harmonies similar to Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young who are my absolute favorite artists of all time. If you, like me love America then you gotta have this collection.
23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2001
Well, for those of us that have been patiently waiting for a worthy single-disc of America, I think it's finally here. This includes everything from "History" plus more. I'm impressed with the sound quality, seems to be a step up from "History". This is a very comprehensive collection - the selections are well-chosen and I'm pleased to see that a decent amount of great songs were all put on a single disc instead of the 2-disc nonsense. Highly recommended for the casual fan and even for the hardcore fan that might not want to spend the money on the box set .... which I believe ultimately gives you a lot of stuff no one is interested in anyway (not so with EVERY box set, but a lot of them). An excellent buy and a collection that is very well-done.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on August 10, 2005
Like most America fans, I've had to be content with "History" for many years but when my first copy experienced the first signs of cd-rot and I was forced to sell it I decided to wait a while and see if somebody would issue a greatest hits compilation of the band that included "You Can Do Magic" and thank goodness for Rhino!
Not only did I get my wish but I got it in remastered sound as well! Every track in "History" is here plus "... Magic", "Today's the Day", "Amber Cascades" & "Right Before Your Eyes" which I had not heard before until I was pleasantly surprised to hear them for the first time on this cd. Very good tracks indeed; although I didn't enjoy the last 3 tracks as much ("World of Light" sounds too much like a track from the great Tom Petty album "Wallflowers" i.e. "Crawling Back To You")but all the other points mentioned earlier more than justify the 5 stars.
If you are new to America and want to get a compilation, this is the one. If you are like I once was, a beginning acoustic guitarist, this is essential listening and if you can get your hands on the music/tablature, do strum along to it and better still put it in your repertoire. If you are a fan but not fanatical enough to buy every album or the box set then this is it.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 6, 2002
Never mind if you have their previous greatest hits or albums you must buy this cd as the production and remastering is superb. All the hits are here, A Horse with No Name, Ventura Highway, heck they're all great plus a couple of new tunes. Dammit we used to listen to terrific tunes in the 70's. This cd is a must buy if you love or are curious in folk/folk rock music that is slightly coloured with just a touch of country influence. Highly recommended.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2001
An excellent compilation plus two brand new songs! It contains all their charted singles and some of their album classics that received a lot of airplay and were hits in their own rights! If you are a new or casual America fan, this is the CD to start with. It is the most complete single CD compilation available. And if you are a hardcore fan, you will have to buy this for the two new songs (and you know Rhino planned it that way). The sound quality and packaging are first class, but Rhino always seems to do everything first class. Highly recommended!!!