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on December 21, 2010

I spent hours upon hours record copying (learning by ear)America's early albums. Every Nuance, every detail I could absorb .... singing and playing acoustic guitar.

I like what John Denver did with his "greatest hits" album (CD). It reflected his growth as an artist, song writer and vocalist.

I bought the America greatest hits CD. It was great.

However, 30 years together brought them alive again. Personal. Gifted. Brilliant song writers, instrumentalist, and vocalist. And of course ....... the lyrics and book made the music so real. Like the way you stunned us with the "Home Coming" album with the triple cover. I do so miss the artwork of the album era. (Like YES).

When I turned 18 I joined the US Army and that was the end of listening to music. All these years later I am rediscovering America again. So many years of great music. So much to catch up on!

Cool. I'm retired. Got an old Epiphone 6 string acoustic. I can't hit the high vocal notes anymore, but you watch ......... Some day I am going to Jam with these guys........
John Raymond

One more thing:
-God does not call the equipped person
-God equips the person He calls
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on January 3, 2005
As a fan since the very beginning, I am delighted to finally have this collection in my possession. Many of their early recordings have been put to CD in one offering, which through the first 5 LPs (America, Homecoming, Hat Trick, Holiday, Hearts) was both their creative and commercial zenith.

Such album cuts as 'three roses', 'here', 'hat trick', 'rainbow song', 'another try', as well as several others, show off the classic harmonies and melodic signature of America.

Also included is a fairly comprehensive booklet which offers insights from all 3 members as well as George Martin about the various stages and recordings of the band.

I may be a bit stingy with just 4 stars, but given that the Hearts LP has just the 3 singles included in this compilation ('sister golden hair', 'daisy jane' and 'woman tonight') I find it quite mystifying, since both 'story of a teenager' and 'company' are fine works, with the latter being played by the band in several of their concerts which I attended. Also, they did not include 'head and heart' from Homecoming, which is a much stronger song than some of the later offerings that are included in disc 3. One other note: both their 'Silent Letter' and 'Alibi' LPs are left in the lurch as well. I guess a fan cannot truly be happy until he is given full control to make his own historical compilation.

In all, a small quibble to make. If you fancy yourself an America fan, than this 3 CD set is easily the most comprehensive offering available today.
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on February 16, 2014
AMERICA is one of those groups that everyone enjoyed and can relate to. People just loved them and will always remember them.
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on June 21, 2006
America's career has spanned over 4 decades with a plethora of top ten singles, and top-charting albums as well. Yet, most rock critics have either ignored America or dismissed them as a "light-weight" rock group. I probably have a better chance of hitting the Florida lottery than America has being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. To give an example of the "so-called" critics, Stephen Thomas Erlewine [...], gives "Highway" a 4 and a half star review. However, after praising the 3 box CD, he states, "Make no mistake-America is decidedly uncool". Well, I say to you, Mr. Erlewine and others, I really don't give a damn what you think!
I have seen America live almost a dozen times since 1972, and they always present an enjoyable, tight set. Their longevity, single/album sales, and their talent for making lovely music belie the critics' musings.

Out of 64 selections, there are some misses here, but even an unfamiliar listener can appreciate the melodic songs as well as America's unique harmonies. As one reviewer stated previously, there are a few omissions, such as the gorgeous, "I Don't Believe in Miracles",from the "Alibi" LP. But...look at all the hit singles as well as album tracks here: The requisite: "Horse with No Name", "Ventura Highway" (one of my favorites), "Muskrat Love" (which The Captain and Tenille bastardized!), "I Need You", and their last major hit, "You Can Do Magic". Album surprises include: "Old Man Took", "She's Gonna Let You Down", the infectious "Woman Tonight", "Special Girl". The George Martin-influenced, Disc #2 really stands out in this collection, surpassing Disc #1, which provides an early America history, and Disc #3, which has some new stuff and some unreleased remixes. I could go on and on, but it's almost all good.

Make no mistake, America: Dewey Bunnell and Gerry Beckley, deserve their place in Rock history. This compilation provides evidence why.
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on October 7, 2012
i listened to many of these songs when i was a yong man. the memories alone were worth the purchase price. if you are an america fan, this is a must have item!
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on March 15, 2013
Item came in right away and it was exactly as described. Great product and I would definitely buy it again.
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on January 20, 2017
Three CDs of music, I have not read the material yet.
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on November 16, 2000
Three decades, seventeen chart hits, and at least nineteen albums after they hit it big with "A Horse With No Name", America finally has a well-deserved box set to add to their accomplishments. Perhaps the only complaint about the set is that it could have used a fourth disc just to fit the rest of their classic hits and album tracks.
For those who remember America as the group that did "Ventura Highway" or "Sister Golden Hair", this box set will be a true revelation. Hidden classics like "Survival", "Amber Cascades", and "Can't Fall Asleep To A Lullaby" get dusted off, while all of America's better known hits have been remastered and sound better than ever.
The first two discs give a generous helping of America's seventies material, especially the first three pre-George Martin albums. The third disc attempts, with less success, to cram the most recent 21 years and a handful of demo tracks into a single CD. In the process, the group's charming 1982 hit "Right Before Your Eyes" was left off, as were all songs from the critically-acclaimed 1998 release, Human Nature. But then this is just another reason why anyone who appreciates America's music will probably not want to stop after only buying Highway.
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on July 19, 2000
I've been listening to America since my pre-teen years in the 70s and have long since worn out my vinyl copies of their albums through the early 80s. I bought several of the One Way re-issues of their post Warner Bros albums and was tempted by the ... Japanese imports of the "H" albums. When this collection was announced I was excited that I'd finally get to hear remasters of the songs on "History" (all are included here) as well as more album tracks and lesser known singles.
So I was terribly disappointed to hear that the tracks from the first album sound like they were mastered from casette tape. "Rainy Day" wows, flutters and distorts all over the place. The guitars, lead and background vocals on "Here" and "Three Roses" are also distorted. This is more than a minor annoyance: if this were vinyl I'd be checking for fuzz on the needle. "Sandman" has a dropout on the left speaker 4 seconds in and the levels are all over the place. I can only assume that the master tapes Rhino got ahold of had been baking in the sun for the past 30 years.
Happily, the sound quality improves tremendously from "Everyone I Meet Is From California" on, and I only caught a few more glitches on the first two discs. "Only In Your Heart" has a dropout in the right speaker at 1:51 but otherwise sounds very good. "God of the Sun" has a dropout at 2:01. Disc three starts off with more sonic problems ("California Dreaming", "Only Game In Town" and "1960" warble a bit) but then gets back on track.
Overall this is a solid collection with all the hits for the casual fan and enough singles, alternate mixes and demos to please the hardcore fan. The songs are mostly culled from the Dan Peek years (1970-77), although Hearts is only represented by three songs (the same three that made it onto History) and misses some of Dewey Bunnell's best work, while Hideaway inexplicably donates seven tracks. The post Peek (and post peak) albums are under-represented, but these albums have been re-issued on CD so the avid fan can fill in the blanks.
The packaging is excellent, resembling a hard-bound book with the CDs stored inside the front and back covers (ala the Cheap Trick boxed set). The writing nicely mixes historical perspective with personal recollections and moves along well.
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VINE VOICEon July 18, 2000
While I consider America's music a guilty pleasure (what self-respecting rock fan could admit to liking "Muskrat Love"?), it's a great pleasure nonetheless. Their 1975 Greatest Hits collection called "History" was an excellent compilation, but they really get the full treatment on the new "30 Years" box set. All the familiar songs I've loved are present - "Only In Your Heart" with its fun fake ending and reprise (which drove DJs crazy back in the days before CDs), "Horse With No Name," "Tin Man," et al. While the band's best work was from their Warner days (well represented here), this set also picks up songs from their later stints with other labels. What makes the box even better, though, is a generous helping of rarities and unreleased material. The five demo recordings are interesting to hear, particularly a raw but lively version of "Ventura Highway" (probably my all-time favorite America tune). All in all, "30 Years" is a thorough and entertaining career summation of a band pigeonholed as CSNY imitators at the start, a tag this set shows was unfair and inadequate to describe their marvelously melodic brand of folk-rock.
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