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The Best of James Taylor [CD]

James TaylorAudio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)

Price: $11.76 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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James Taylor speaks about "Mon Beau Sapin” from "James Taylor At Christmas"


Over the course of his career, James Taylor has sold more than 40 million albums, and won more than 40 gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards as well as five GRAMMY® Awards. Taylor’s first Greatest Hits album earned him the RIAA’s elite Diamond Award, given for sales in excess of 10 million units in the United States. In 2000, Taylor was inducted into both the Rock and Roll ... Read more in Amazon's James Taylor Store

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 8, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: Rhino
  • Run Time: 61 minutes
  • ASIN: B00007IT8S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (179 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,901 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Something In The Way She Moves - James Taylor
2. Sweet Baby James - James Taylor
3. Fire And Rain - James Taylor
4. Country Road
5. You've Got A Friend
6. You Can Close Your Eyes
7. Long Ago And Far Away
8. Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight
9. Walking Man
10. How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)
11. Mexico
12. Shower The People
13. Golden Moments
14. Steamroller (Live)
15. Caroline In My Mind - James Taylor
16. Handy Man - James Taylor
17. Your Smiling Face - James Taylor
18. Up On The Roof - James Taylor
19. Only A Dream In Rio - James Taylor
20. Bittersweet - James Taylor

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

JT's work for Apple, Warner Bros. and Columbia/Sony in one place! Includes Fire and Rain; You've Got a Friend; How Sweet It Is (to Be Loved by You); Handy Man; Shower the People; Your Smiling Face; Carolina in My Mind; Sweet Baby James; Long Ago and Far Away; Country Road; Something in the Way She Moves; Mexico; Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight; Steamroller; Rainy Day Man; You Can Close Your Eyes; Walking Man; Golden Moments; Up on the Roof , and Only a Dream in Rio .

Any good singer can interpret a song, but it takes a stylist to make it his own. James Taylor is a stylist. This 20-track anthology obviously can't chronicle much more than the hits and high points of Taylor's career, but it nonetheless captures the artistic essence of a performer who's become a virtual synonym for "singer-songwriter" since his emergence in the late '60s. A lot of ink has been spilled ruminating about Taylor's role in soothing a '60s-burned generation, but given his own well-known demons (depression, addiction) his gentle voice often sounds like the physician wisely healing himself. His muse seems fully formed from the opening "Something in the Way She Moves," a track cut for the Beatles' Apple label in late ‘68 (and one that seems to share some symbiotic relationship with George Harrison's own classic "Something" from the period), its tone at once familiar and inviting--if ripe for a few decades of parody--as it wends its way from his seminal early '70s hits through a slate of later originals, R&B ("How Sweet It Is," "Handy Man") and pop ("Up On the Roof") covers. Tellingly, he delivers those chestnuts with an offhand confidence and illumination that makes them his own, a sense that informs even his jazz and Brazilian ("Only a Dream a Rio") flirtations. The set's newly recorded bonus cut, John Sheldon's "Bittersweet," is a pleasant pop confection that showcases Taylor's knack for being laconic and upbeat in the same breath. --Jerry McCulley

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
98 of 103 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One for the JT Newbies April 8, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Couple of notes: the version of "Something In The Way She Moves" is the Apple Records version from 1969, but "Carolina In My Mind" is the 1976 re-recording. Also "Steamroller Blues" is the live 1975 cut. Among the odd surprises on this Collection are "You Can Close Your Eyes" a great album track from Mud Slide Slim, and "Golden Moments" a forgotten track from 1976's In The Pocket. This CD swallows the whole of the first Gr. Hits album, save for "Something" which is remade on the first (but not this) Hits CD. Because this is a WB Records release, 15 of the 20 songs are from JT's WB days. The Columbia years are sorely lacking. Where's "Her Town Too" or "Copperline" or "Secret O'Life" to name three. So, if you're a beginner to JT's catalog and you like what you hear on this CD then seek out his Greatest Hits Vol. 2 on Columbia Records. The one new song, "Bittersweet" is a good uptempo song that wasn't written by Taylor. There are no liner notes, except for a quick paragraph from JT. If you're a JT newbie this is for you. The rest can do with the other 2 Greatest Hits albums.
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
Format:Audio CD
This is by far the best compilation of JT's work that's out there. Not only are the 20 tracks here truly representative of the best that JT's ever done, the sound quality is brilliant as the tracks have also been very well remastered. For those of you who are sticklers for detail and order, the tracks are arranged in chronological order as well and yet the album does not sound as disjointed as you might expect. The liner notes albeit short have been written by JT himself too. JT is that special individual who has managed to carve out his own unique sound and his works are able to evoke great emotion out of his listeners with the ability to transport them to other worlds. Great remastered sound, great value for money and great songwriting make this a must have in any music-lover's collection. Very highly recommended.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good collection but... January 20, 2006
By Rick
Format:Audio CD
..."Something In The Way She Moves" and "Country Road" are not the same versions as on the original JT's Greatest Hits from '76, which I prefer. If I were to do a one-disc comp, I would have included "Never Die Young" and "Copperline" (they could have dispensed with the live "Steamroller Blues" for one of those tracks.) And, the closing, newly-recorded "Bittersweet" is okay, but sounds like a leftover track that he decided to stick on this collection because it didn't really fit anywhere else. But, those complaints aside, this is still a good overall compilation with really nice sound quality.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Go Wrong with 20 of James Taylor's Greatest July 29, 2003
Format:Audio CD
Nobody would dispute that James Taylor is one of the most pre-eminent singer-songwriters of our day. You only need to see him perform live to realize the depth of this man's talent. Forget all the pre-fab, manufactured pop "icons" mass marketed by record companies today - James Taylor is nothing of the sort. When James gained his fame back in the late 60's and 70's, it was based on nothing less than exceptional musical talent.
James Taylor writes moving songs, and he can pick a guitar with the best of them. His tenor voice is unmistakable, one of the smoothest crooners in popular music. It takes an extraordinary musician to remain in the limelight over the course of four decades, as James has done - he deserves all the accolades and recognition he's received over the years.
This greatest hits album is a wonderful collection of some of James Taylor's best tunes. It's marvelous to be able to hear songs like "Sweet Baby James," "You've Got a Friend," or "Carolina In My Mind" played under the technological gift of digitally remastered recording - these tunes have NEVER sounded better!
I don't blame you for holding onto your old James Taylor recordings - whether they're 8-track, vinyl, or cassette. You've probably got lots of memories tied up in those recordings! But I urge you to take advantage of the digital sound offered in this new release. This quality digital recording finally does justice to twenty timeless tunes from one of the best singer-songwriters ever.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great remastering, just a few flaws... April 8, 2003
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
Ok, so if you're like me, you've been waiting for a newly packaged remastered edition of JT's earlier work. All in all, this cd sounds great.. much better than the classic "James Taylor's Greatest Hits" (white cover) that's been on the shelves for such a long time. My only glitch though is that "Something In The Way She Moves" is the original version from his '68 debut, and not the recut (and better) version on the old greatest hits. The version for "Country Road" is also different, and not nearly as good. However, they did manage to include the old greatest hits version for "Carolina In My Mind" (thank God). Songs like "Up On The Roof" and "Only A Dream In Rio" are good, but not needed since they're already covered on the James Taylor Greatest Hits 2 (Columbia) release. It would have been nice to have other older tunes. The cd is great though.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Almost perfect January 10, 2005
By William
Format:Audio CD
Let's face it, "best of" compilations don't necessarily mean hit singles. This "best of" misses a few of Taylor's great hits to leave room for new or less familiar songs (the disappointing "Bittersweet" comes to mind). Missing gems include "Everyday" and "Her Town Too" - how could they leave these off?

The CD begins with Taylor's original 1968 recording of "Something in the way she moves". This is a rare version, as most people will be more familiar with his 1976 re-recording of it. One listen of the original will show you why he re-recorded it (the original is just plain awful). Why did they put it on here?

Most of the main hits are included from "Fire and Rain" to "Up on the Roof". Also included is the original 1976 'single version' of "Country Road" which I had not heard before. After a few listens I have to say this is a much better version that the album version so many of us know. In my opinion, this is reason enough to buy the compilation. It's that good.

The other good thing about this compilation is the digital remastering which makes all the songs sound even better. Even if you own his previous compilations "Greatest Hits 1 & 2", "Classic Songs" or "Taylor Made", this CD is worth getting for its superior sound and once again, the 'single version' of "Country Road".

Go for it.
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