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American Pie Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks


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Audio CD, Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, June 24, 2003
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

One of the great singer-songwriter albums of all time is back. Essential? You bet!

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There's an old quote of St. Theresa's that goes something like, "More tears are shed over answered prayers than those that remain unanswered." In other words, be careful what you wish for--you just might get it. Don McLean, like any other singer-songwriter, no doubt wanted a hit, or some degree of success. "American Pie" gave him that and more. McLean's ode to Buddy Holly began with a folky intro that sounded like a protest song. Almost nine minutes later the song finally ends. Sure the song's poetic, sure it's a touching tribute, and sure, it's undeniably a classic. But it also became the bane of McLean's existence for many years as it was the only one of his songs that people wanted to hear. American Pie the album sold well on the strength of the title track, and even propelled the comparatively weak "Vincent" into the Top 20. A fine release rooted in folk, American Pie is a classic, whether anyone actually pays attention to the other songs or not. The 2003 reissue includes two bonus tracks—"Mother Nature" and "Aftermath." --Steve Gdula

1. American Pie
2. Till Tomorrow
3. Vincent
4. Crossroads
5. Winterwood
6. Empty Chairs
7. Everybody Loves Me, Baby
8. Sister Fatima
9. The Grave
10. Babylon
11. Mother Nature
12. Aftermath

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 24, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 1971
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording reissued, Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B00009P1MP
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (171 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,148 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

101 of 106 people found the following review helpful By Barron Laycock HALL OF FAME on July 8, 2000
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was fortunate enough to see a very young and nervous Don McLean perform alone at a high school "performing artist" assembly on a wintry March afternoon in 1970, right after his debut environmentally conscious "Tapestry" album had been released, but before "American Pie" was released the next year. Anyone who saw him knew he would be a superstar if that's what he wanted. Sure enough, with the release of "American Pie" he got fame with spades, and promptly retreated from that kind of public attention ever since. he has had a number of excellent albums; but has never recaptured the sort of outrageous success he achieved with this one; indeed, he seems to be singularly uninterested in anything to do with it. Instead, he has spent the last 30 years following the whimsy of his own heart and artistic sensibilities.
Yet all the brilliant talent and ability is here, folks, from the legendary title cut to "Vincent", an esoteric paean to Vincent Van Gogh, "Winterwood", a lovely love song, "Empty Chairs" and a number of others, all of which should still get FM air time but never have. By the way, I have had to chuckle over the years at all the questioning and active efforts at second-hand interpretation that has gone on regarding what the title cut is really all about. Such wondering and endless intellectual speculation really misses the point that McLean the incredibly gifted artist so singularly makes in the song itself; the music is the thing. It's the music that makes us smile. As did Buddy Holly, The Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens, so to with Don McLean. Listen to what he has to say, and how artfully and wonderfully he phrases it. This is a timeless work that will always be around. Enjoy!
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91 of 97 people found the following review helpful By Sam Bethune on March 12, 2000
Format: Audio CD
My brother bought this album when it was first released in 1972. After many repeated listenings over the years, it's still great. Some may say that it's "been goin' in and out of style" ala Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, but the fact is that American Pie never left it's audience so much as its audience left it. The fact that only one customer reviewer rated it at less than four stars is a testament of its staying power (and I might add, that reviewer falsely asserted that the full length version of the title track did not appear on this CD, which probably accounted for the low rating).
Sure "American Pie" is a rock classic and a staple of both classic rock and oldies stations everywhere, but the fact is that this album has so much more to offer. "Vincent", hardly the weak song that the Amazon.com reviewer rather stupidly portrays it to be, is a beautiful and lyrically rich tale of despair, loneliness, and disappointment. It's beautiful in it's simplicity. And many other customer reviewers have spoken eloquently about the shamefully overlooked "Sister Fatima" (which disappeared from reissues of the original vinyl LP but was restored in the CD version).
The song that moves me the most is "Empty Chairs", a wistful song of lost love and loneliness that is in my opinion the beautiful and overlooked track on this CD. Listening to it brings me to the verge of tears. For those of you fortunate enough to see Don McLean's recent PBS special "Starry Starry Night", special guest Garth Brooks performed a first-rate cover of this song.
"American Pie" withstands the test of time as a quintessential recording in the vein of many of Bob Dylan's earlier works. It deserves a place in the collection of anyone who considers his or her self to be a rock afficianado.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Steven K. Szmutko VINE VOICE on March 9, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Undoubtedly one of the finest albums ever to be made, American Pie is a classic in every sense of the word. While the title track dominates, the other tracks are equally impressive and form a cohesive whole. Don McLean's singing is simple and pure and the instrumentation is perfect throughout.
I have had this album in several incarnations: original vinyl, the tracks of which are long worn out, the disappointing vinyl re-issue of some ten years later (Sister Fatima is not, by the way, a CD "bonus track"....it was on the original album, then was inexplicably deleted from the reissue. It is a wonderful song and I never understood the reason for its omission).
A very pleasant surprise is "Everybody Loves Me Baby," a song about "inflated ego" which has never received the attention it deserved. It is, quite simply, a lot of fun. The remaining tracks are excellent, rooted in the fine traditions of folk rock. This is one of those albums that, if the songs had been written over many years, would have been considered a greatest hits LP. As it was, Mr. McLean poured almost everything into one marvelous album.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Groovin' guy VINE VOICE on May 24, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Don McLean's great use of rhythm and verse make this album a true treasure.

His songs remain unforgettable. His style completely distinct and seperated from his contemporaries.

Lastly, the emotion, his own emotions are captured so precisely and sweetly poetic.

It would be a shame if today's youth were not exposed to this collection of his songs.
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