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Best of Don McLean

83 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 12, 1989
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$8.19
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Editorial Reviews

Did a song ever dominate a year like American Pie did 1971? Anyway, that song's here, along with the other highlights of this singer/songwriter/poet's career: Vincent; Castles in the Air; Dreidel; Crying, and more.


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
  1. American Pie 8:35$1.29  Buy MP3 
  2. Vincent 4:01$1.29  Buy MP3 
  3. And I Love You So 4:18$1.29  Buy MP3 
  4. Crying 3:42$1.29  Buy MP3 
  5. Castles In The Air 3:42$1.29  Buy MP3 
  6. Dreidel 3:47$1.29  Buy MP3 
  7. Winterwood 3:11$1.29  Buy MP3 
  8. Everyday 2:26$1.29  Buy MP3 
  9. Mountains O'Mourne 4:29$1.29  Buy MP3 
10. Prime Time 4:59$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 12, 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Capitol
  • ASIN: B000002UUF
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,407 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Gary Selikow on February 4, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Don McLean is the subject of Roberta Flack's heartfelt tribute in the 1973 hit 'Killing Me Softly With His Song'.
McLean is certainly one of the greatest balladeers, coming out with some really superior music, soothing, thoughtful and with poetic lyrics.
This album begins with McLean's most famous hit 'American Pie' (1971) which was inspired by the tragic death of one of McLean's earliest role models and musical influences, Buddy Holly, in 1959.
Later commentators have tried to put other significance to the song, such as claiming it was an anti- Vietnam War protest song, but there is no evidence for such claims, as McLean refuses to comment on such spurious analysis.
At any rate , American Pie is one of my less favourite McLean songs so I don't know why it is his most famous.
It is followed by the sad tribute to Vincent Van Gogh, Vincent (1971).
But these two well known songs where certainly far from the sum total of Don Mc Lean's talent. 'And I Love You So (1970) is McLean's beautiful version of this poignant love song, also done by various other artists.
He also does a great version of Crying (1978), originally the hit of Roy Orbison in 1961.
Castles In The Air (1970) is in my opinion, perhaps McLean's greatest piece, an exquisite song of longing for the beauty and simplicity of the country life away from the shallow 'cocktail generation': "Words cannot express the feel of sunlight in the morning , in the hills away from city strife.I need a country woman for my wife , I'm city born but I love the country life" . The words are poetic and set to fantastic music. I can relate to the song perfectly.
Read more ›
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24 of 24 people found the following review helpful By FujiSaki93 on June 3, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Every song is truly great. American Pie is the standard, but the others are really gems. McLean is one of most underrated singer/song-writers of all time. I still can't understand why Prime Time isn't a major classic. This is truly a great song. Vincent, Castles in the Air, and Winterwood are beautiful songs. And I Love You So was my parents wedding song. Absolutely go out and buy this CD.
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin M. Hauser on June 7, 2006
Format: Audio CD
"The Best of Don McLean" follows true to the tradition of the many ten-track compilations in McLean's catalogue by taking his five most well-known songs--American Pie, Vincent, And I Love You So, Crying, and Castles in the Air--and then picking five more songs out of a hat to fill the space. These five aforementioned tracks are generally considered his best, and I have to agree, but there are some gems to be found among the lesser known fillers. The underrated Driedel is an insight into the consequences of your life's choices. Winterwood is a fine guitar-picking love song that doesn't get too mushy on you (like And I Love You So.) Every Day is a rather entertaining cover if a bit of a throwaway. His cover of Mountains O'Mourne is an excellently done ballad, and that leaves Prime Time as the only real throwaway of the bunch.

The real problem with just about every compilation album of McLean's is that they blatantly ignore what really is his best work. To me, the best possible Don McLean song (aside, of course, from American Pie) is a simplistic acoustic tune with McLean's endearing tenor singing deep lyrics (such as Vincent.) McLean's live performance album "Solo" makes for a far better "Best of" album than most of his compilations, in my mind. The compilation producers and myself are just clearly not seeing eye-to-eye, it seems.

"The Best of Don McLean" has a handful of great songs, but it is not a good enough retrospective of McLean's abilities. If you must get some compilation, and my are there many, then "The Legendary songs of Don McLean" would probably be a better choice, since it has twice as many tracks. But even that album ignores McLean's lesser known brilliance.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Thomas Lapins on March 24, 2001
Format: Audio CD
"American Pie" is a wild ride through McLean's rock'n roll hall of fame and recollection. It's an anthem to the 50's rock scene and how it affected his life, through its driving beat and tragic, premature finale. "American Pie" deserves its high place in rock'n roll history. It's intellectual, insightful and really, really well written. His muse was truly inspired. The next song, however, is for me his greatest triumph. "Vincent" is as good as anything Dylan, Lennon or McCartney ever wrote. I rank "Vincent's" melody and lyrics in the top ten of rock's cream of the cream. His message stretches way past Vincent Van Gogh. It's a personal, direct message to all of us. No muse was ever more poetic than was McLean's during the time he wrote "Vincent". Another equally powerful version is by "Jane Oliver" (she uses strings [both orchestral and her Piaf vocals] to elevate her poignant interpretation into a truly moving and masterful musical experience). The third song "And I Love You So" is almost as tender as "Vincent". I first heard this song by Perry Como (a great middle of the road version). The song told my story too clearly. McLean's superb vocals are equally matched for the harmonic and demanding timbre of this poetic and masterful song. "Crying" is McLean's absolute best, vocalwise. I can't imagine he has any voice left after performing "Crying".The only other song that matches the intensity and vocals of "Crying" is Harry Nilsson's "Without You" (McLean and Nilsson have two of rock's golden voices, reaching notes most artists couldn't even dream about). "Castles In The Air" is the muse at work again. The imagery is clear and lovely.Read more ›
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