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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous retrospective from a too-soon-gone artist
Jim Croce is best known for the punchy, almost raw sound of his two biggest hits, "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and "You Don't Mess Around With Jim." However, he was far more versatile than that, and this collection showcases his talents.
The beautiful "Time in a Bottle" is his best ballad, but it is followed closely by "Operator"...
Published on May 6, 2000 by John A. Kuczma

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Liked some of his songs. Some we didn't.
Published 2 months ago by Lori Stocker


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48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marvelous retrospective from a too-soon-gone artist, May 6, 2000
This review is from: Photographs & Memories: His Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
Jim Croce is best known for the punchy, almost raw sound of his two biggest hits, "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and "You Don't Mess Around With Jim." However, he was far more versatile than that, and this collection showcases his talents.
The beautiful "Time in a Bottle" is his best ballad, but it is followed closely by "Operator" and the introspective "I Got a Name." All three of these touching songs are included in this collection.
There are a number of lesser hits here, including the title cut, but the above-mentioned five are the headliners.
Jim Croce had two distinct musical styles, both of which are well represented in this compilation. Photographs and Memories is a must-have for any collection of the great singer-songwriters of our time.
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27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine Inrtoduction To A Too-Short Folk/Rock Career, June 1, 2000
This review is from: Photographs & Memories: His Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
Would've been nice to have the sort-of Christmas song, "It Doesn't Have To Be That Way," on this set. But otherwise, "Photographs and Memories" is a brief, full collection of Jim Croce's early 70s hits. Its capturing of a time and musical era allows it to hold the same esteem as best-ofs from James Taylor, Seals & Crofts, Gordon Lightfoot, and other folk/rock performers.
During his too-brief recording career, Croce avoided the political stridency or overly sensitive navel-gazing of most singer/songwriters. Instead, he relied on imagery (growing up in the same general Philadelphia area Croce did, you saw enough roller derby queens, stock car boys, and mean junkyard dogs to know what he sang about), and even a sense of irony and humor to get his character and gentle love songs over. ("Time In A Bottle" with its haunting guitar intro, is the best of these despite inclusion in the sappy, ironically-titled TV movie "She Lives.")
This is all the Croce casual fans will need; otherwise, seek out original albums like "Life and Times," "I Got A Name," and "You Don't Mess Around With Jim" and even the posthumous LP "The Faces I've Been."
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Great, Late & Marvelous Jim Croce!, July 11, 2003
By 
Barron Laycock "Labradorman" (Temple, New Hampshire United States) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Photographs & Memories: His Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
For those of us who watched the incredible rise of pop folk and country singer Jim Croce, this was the album that encapsulated his all too brief living of the life of his dreams. Sadly, he was cut down just as his career was reaching its pinnacle, and he left us to sing and perform in other, more ethereal venues. I'm sure he has the angels snapping their fingers and tapping their toes. With the songs that are included her Jim sang his way into our living rooms, automobiles, and our hearts. He was a true original, another of the incredible group of singer songwriters who not only performed so brilliantly, but also wrote the lyrics and composed the music as well.

Here we have every thing from "I'll Have To Say I Love You In A Song" to "Photographs and Memories", from "Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown" to "You Don't Mess Around With Jim", from "One Less Set Of Footsteps" to "Operator". This is a wonderful album, one filled with all the thoughts and ideas and emotions he evoked so well in his lyrics and his songs. Those of us who came to appreciate his talent and his art were saddened by his death, but are yet thankful he left behind such wonderful photographs and memories, such priceless and timeless reminders of the good times he gave us. That why I wanted to weigh in with this review; I just had to say I loved him in a song... Enjoy!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent collection of Croce, October 18, 2000
By 
M Trevalin "mike@foogod.com" (Walnut Creek, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Photographs & Memories: His Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
Photographs and memory's is an excellent collection of Jim Croce's hits in the early 70's. The album remembers the artist well and portrays his unique style to the listener. In an era where soft rock dominated the airways Croce was the best of the best.
His unique singing style, voice and guitar paved the way for some classic upbeat, downtown songs like "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and, "You Don't Mess Around with Jim," where Croce always seemed to sing to the underdog. He also created some of the best ballet classics "Photographs and Memories", "Time In A Bottle", and "I Got A Name."
If your only going to buy one Croce CD pick up this one, it's an excellent collection of Croce's hits that portrays his style and versatility very well.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reminds you of what might have been..., January 27, 2000
This review is from: Photographs & Memories: His Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
It is tragic on a universal scale that musical talent of this caliber so often is snuffed out long before the well has run dry. Jim Croce was one of the best songwriters of his time, which is saying a lot. Every one of these songs is a classic. If you arent too firmiliar with Croce's work, and are thinking about checking him out, this is the record to buy. This is so good that you cant help wodering what he could have done, and what we missed out on when he passed away. This is a selfish way to look at it, but this album will make you hungry for more. You will want to get farther into his discography after hearing this record. I promise.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I wouldn't listen to the fact that he was genius, January 28, 2006
This review is from: Photographs & Memories: His Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
I'm probably like most guys who weren't around when Croce made his music. I know a handful of hits and thought the rest of this would be pleasant but bland folkish pop. (The disc is actually my wife's.) Once I found the time to sample this, I was pleasantly surprised for the most part. Croce seems able to both write convincing uptempo pop-rockers as well as melancholy balladry with an eye for the telling detail that marks the best lyricists.

HIGHLIGHTS:
"Bad,Bad Leroy Brown" was a man 'meaner than a junkyard dog' who meets his comeuppance when he dallies with the wrong man's wife. "Operator" is told stream of consciousness style..Croce trying to call and make amends with the woman who ran off with his best friend and faltering again and again ("Operator/oh could you help me place this call/'cause i can't read the number that you just gave me/There's something in my eyes/You know it happens every time/I think about the love that I thought would save me..") "Rapid Roy" combines Croce's musical attempt at an acoustic rendering of the classic Chuck Berry riff with a character study of an ex moonshine runner turned racer. Croce's wit is apparent here. ("He got a tattoo on his arm that says "Baby"/He got another one that just say "Hey") "Time in a Bottle" is a transcendent expression of love that deserves every bit of the airplay it gets. Anyone who argues this is "sappy" is devoid of heart. "Workin' at the Car Wash Blues" is rapid fire wordplay with a fantastic opening line. ("Well, i had just got out from the county prison/Doin' 90 days for non-support..") It's a shaggy dog tale of a man trying to pick up the pieces at a thankless job. "I Got a Name" is a classic plea for recoginition of self-worth amid the sea of people that is our world. "You Don't Mess Around with Jim" is another catchy tale of a tough guy being done in. Despite repeating the theme of "Leroy Brown" more or less, it's still a keeper. "Lover's Cross" is Croce's refusal to become a martyr for the sake of a woman.

LOWS:
"These Dreams" is a great lyric about breaking up ("Once we were lovers/But that was long ago/We lived together then/And now we do not even say hello..") but the melody comes off like an attempt to re-write "Time in a Bottle". "Roller Derby Queen" suffers from the same fate, sounding like a carbon copy of "You Don't Mess Around with Jim" musically. The lyric's also not terribly memorable.

BOTTOM LINE:
I've underestimated Croce. "Rapid Roy" and "Lover's Cross" are likely to become favourites of mine with more play, and I already knew I loved the "radio stuff" (Operator,You Don't Mess Around with Jim,Bad Bad Leroy Brown, Time in a Bottle) A nice collection from an underrated singer-songwriter.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Scrapbook of emotions, September 10, 1998
By 
Jill Rivers "christie_lee" (Fontana, CA United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Photographs & Memories: His Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
Jim Croce's "Photographs and Memories" is a collection of work worth whatever investment it may be. You'll stroll down the street of heartache, identity crisis, and painful memories. All of the songs are well written and vintage Croce material. You have the interesting melodies of "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" and "You Don't Mess Around with Jim" juxtaposed with "Time in A Bottle" and "Operator." You will sympathize with Jim's predicaments and remember your own situations. "Lover's Cross" is one of the best on the album. 5 stars and worth the reminiscing.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gem Worth Owning, January 21, 2003
By 
Marty McCarthy (North Chili, New York) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Photographs & Memories: His Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
In the 21st Century, the figure of Jim Croce is certainly a strange one. It is almost sure that he would not have "fit in." Oh it is more than his folksy music. It is his looks too. I find it impossible to believe Jim Croce would have had any chance whatsoever in today's music industry.
However in his all-too-brief music career in the 1970's, he had the golden touch. "Photographs and Memories" captures the best of Croce's career.
In "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" we have an excellent portal to the rest of the album. Leroy Brown is a fun song from the moment it begins with its playful piano opening.
Croce turns on a dime from the momentum of "Leroy Brown" in the next song "Operator." In "Operator" Jim Croce reveals a certain tenderness in singing about a loss love and a broken heart and does so to a telephone operator. Croce's voice in "Operator" and the other "ballads" is never obtrusive - rather it seems to be part of the music as an instrument of its own.
At almost all points (except "Lover's Cross"), Croce's music is accessible. We understand and can easily identify the characters in the songs. We understand and have many times felt the emotions Croce captures so well. This is a worthy album to have and a gem to cherish.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Satisfying, August 24, 2002
This review is from: Photographs & Memories: His Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
"Bad, bad Leroy Brown--baddest man in the whole..." You know the rest. But do you know how many great songs Croce had?

"Photographs & Memories" is hidden from many people not realizing it is a greatest hits collection.

"Operator" is a sad confession of a man looking for a lover he's lost, and cries his tale for a dime. Yet, with "Leroy Brown" he's got a rock, almost country-folk quick pace. This ability to change tempos and styles is part of what vaults Croce to the top of music.

"I Got a Name" is a declaration of love, but also of independence. He doesn't want her following him around, but wants them to discover each other having the same passions and goals.

This is a diverse collection of favorites. While Croce doesn't have the quantity of worthy tunes to fill a double CD, you'll find "Photographs & Memories" to be a satisfying listem.

Anthony Trendl
[...]
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Afgter 30 years, music still holds upand the, March 5, 2003
This review is from: Photographs & Memories: His Greatest Hits (Audio CD)
The words touch your soul and the simple but effective music is wonderful. Croce can be sweet, he can be extremely funny (roller derby queen), ironic (working at the car music) and romantic. (Had to say I love you in a song.) There is no such thing as a bad Jim Croce song and I am surprised more artists have not recorded his albums.
This has most of what you need to understand why Croce was a master.
Don McNay...
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Photographs & Memories: His Greatest Hits
Photographs & Memories: His Greatest Hits by Jim Croce (Audio CD - 1995)
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