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The Very Best of the A&M Years 1977-1988 Original recording remastered

79 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Original recording remastered, April 29, 2003
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 29, 2003)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered
  • Label: A&M Records
  • ASIN: B0000931MU
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,602 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Louie Bourland on June 27, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Southern rockers .38 Special enjoyed huge success from the late '70s through the entire decade of the '80s. Although the big hits have stopped, the band still continues to record and tour. Although there have already been three compilations of .38 Special's hits released prior to this one, "The Very Best of The A&M Years" is probably the most essential. 18 of the band's biggest hits and key album tracks are included here including the classics "Hold On Loosely", "Caught Up In You", "Rockin' Into the Night" and "If I'd Been The One". Also included are the soundtrack hits "Teacher Teacher" from the 1984 film "Teachers" and "Back To Paradise" from the 1987 sequel to "Revenge of The Nerds", "Nerds In Paradise". Although the inclusion of their 1988 hit "Second Chance" seems a bit out of place here, it is great that it's included because it was one of their biggest hits of their A&M years. It's the only track on this compilation that doesn't feature the original line-up but it's still a great song that showcases Max Carl's vocals during his brief time with the band.
"The Very Best of The A&M Years" is .38 Special's ultimate compilation. Everything hit that you've ever heard from the band between 1977 and 1988 is more than likely included on this CD. This classic arena-rock at its finest. Music just doesn't sound quite like this anymore. Check it out and relive some great memories. You'll be smiling in no time. :-)
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By guillermoj on June 21, 2004
Format: Audio CD
This most recent "best of" set is a vast improvement to what was already a good compilation ("Flashback") which was released in 1987. The beauty here is that this release is remastered, sounds GREAT, and it generously expands the song selection by 4, including the must have "Second Chance," which was their last and biggest single period. The CD has great liner notes that are self-effacing rather than the usual self-congratulatory junk that makes you never want to read them again.

I don't need to say too much here because people tend to either really like this group or see it as a watered down version of true "Southern Rock." The Allman Brothers and Lynyrd Skynyrd received much acclaim, while .38 Special continued doing their thing no matter what the critics said. I love this band and some of their best songs (Hold On Loosely, Caught Up In You, Somebody Like You, Like No Other Night, just to name a few) take me to times in my life where they served as the soundtrack for what was happening at the time. I also enjoy the other acts mentioned, and there may be merit to what some of .38 Special detractors have said, but since this is my review to you Amazoners out there (especially those who remember them well), I can assure you that this release easily earns 5 stars on the strength of its killer singles.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Daniel J. Hamlow HALL OF FAME on July 5, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Had Lynyrd Skynyrd not lost its vital members in that 1977 plane crash, there's little doubt 38 Special would've made it to prominence today. Indeed, 38 Special lead singer Donnie van Zandt was the brother of Ronnie van Zandt, who perished aboard that plane. This Southern band from Jacksonville, FL maintained a pure rock sound amid the synths and heavier sounds of the 80's. That classic rock sound was made possible with the double guitars of Don Barnes and Jeff Carlisi, as well as the steady drumming of Steve Brookins and Jack Grondin.

The combination of power chords and catchy hooks without compromising their rocking style is due to songwriter Jim Peterik, to gain better fame in Survivor. He helped them through Wild Eyed Southern Boys and Special Forces, their fourth and fifth albums. Among the songs he helped them with was the "Jean Genie" meets Bad Company's "Can't Get Enough Of Your Love" stomp of "Rockin' Into The Night," which was a sample of what they would turn out over the late 70's and 80's.

Of their early work, nothing beats the tried and true classics "Hold On Loosely," which became their first Top 40 hit, and that familiar rhythm guitar that opens the energetic "Caught Up In You," which scraped the Top Ten, and all due to Peterik's songcrafting and those harmony vocals.

The #38 "You Keep Runnin' Away," from Special Forces, sounds like something Rick Springfield would do, only with more teeth. The idealized fantasy of "Fantasy Girl" has the same Bad Company crunch, about a "vision of true lovin' and how it should be." One of my favourites, as it's something I relate to.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By musicfanatic on December 6, 2007
Format: Audio CD
If you get one disc of .38 Special's hits this is the one to get! It has all you could want of them (well maybe die-hards would want more), but the casual to moderate fan will be very happy with this compilation. All of the great hits and more! Great sound, too. I definitely recommend this to anyone that loves classic rock and/or .38 Special.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "shamanstudios" on June 4, 2003
Format: Audio CD
...and yes, this is yet another 38 Special compilation after Anthology, the Millenium Series, and Flashback.... but this IS definately the best single disc package you can buy.
Like Anthology the sound quality is stunning. Almost every major chart single and FM/in-concert staple is here except for "One Time For Old Times" from the Tour de Force album (1983). Casual fans of 80's music will love tunes like "Hold On Loosely," "Caught Up In You," "If I'd Been The One," "Like No Other Night," and "Second Chance." My favorites include "Fantasy Girl," "You Keep Runnin' Away," "Chain Lightning," and "Someboby Like You."
My only gripes are the same ones I had with Anthology (just now on a smaller scale). Chronological format is always the best route with compilations, yet this disc comes very close to maintaing that format except in 2 spots. WHY?? It just makes no sense. Track # 9 "Stone Cold Believer" should be after song # 1 "Rockin' Into The Night" as they are both from the album of that same title (1979). Also, the last song is actually the oldest coming from their 2nd album Special Delivery (1977) and should be the lead-off song.
I'm not all that happy with the inclusion of "Second Chance," but can understand why it needs to be here as it was their highest charting single (#6) from this time period (1977-1988). However, "Take Me Back" was not a single or an FM staple and is only included here so they could say they covered the entire A&M years. My complaint is that both of these songs sound so out of place with the other great material on this disc. You do not have to be a die-hard fan to recognize this difference. Maybe this is why both songs are placed at the end of the disc?
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Piano sheet music for "Second Chance" by .38 Special?
Did you ever find that sheet? I need it too.
Jul 8, 2009 by Jerms |  See all 2 posts
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The Very Best of the A&M Years 1977-1988
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