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John Denver's Greatest Hits Original recording remastered, Extra tracks

4.7 out of 5 stars 388 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

His #1-smash "best-of" from 1973 plus three new bonus tracks! Includes his classic hits Take Me Home, Country Roads; Sunshine on My Shoulders , and Rocky Mountain High plus Follow Me; Goodbye Again; Leaving, on a Jet Plane; Sail Away Home; Daydream , and more.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 7, 2005)
  • Rmst ed. edition
  • Original Release Date: June 7, 2005
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Original recording remastered, Extra tracks
  • Label: Sony Legacy
  • Run Time: 48 minutes
  • ASIN: B0009I7O2U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (388 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #32,497 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Top Customer Reviews

By ewomack TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 25, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Long after his untimely death in 1997, John Denver's songs continue to flicker through America's collective unconscious. Everyone, even the hip hop generation, can sing "Take me Home, Country Roads" and "Rocky Mountain High." Time has actually treated the oft-maligned Denver, born Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr., rather well. Stripped of the 1970s music culture that derided him as sappy, corny, hokey, shallow, and the essence of uncool, his songs can finally speak for themselves. The era of "art" and "glam" rock had no patience for a "high on life" grinning ear-to-ear songwriter who, to them, resembled the Marlboro Man's disowned hippy son. He got it from all sides. After climbing up the rock/pop charts, Denver soon began to score on the country charts. He became a crossover phenomenon, which meant, in his case, that neither the rock/pop nor the country music communities accepted him. Like usurped royalty they watched as his albums sold millions.

No album of Denver's outsold "John Denver's Greatest Hits." According to the RIAA, it has sold over nine million copies in the United States and still occupies a spot on their top 100 all-time best selling albums list. But its title remains a slight misnomer. At the time of its release in 1973 only four of the album's eleven songs really qualified as "hits." The others had appeared on his then neglected first three albums, released between 1969 and 1970. Those nonstarters nearly ended his career with a splat. Then, a miracle. The final album of his four album contract, 1971's "Poems, Prayers, and Promises," included the now archetypal "Take Me Home, Country Roads." In a flash Denver became ubiquitous. Another gargantuan hit followed in 1972, "Rocky Mountain High," that solidfied the Cheshire Cat nature boy as a major celebrity. The fuse was lit.
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Format: Audio CD
In the 70's, when Denver was at his creative and commercial peak--because he looked like a dork and made bad movies with George Burns and bad TV shows with the Muppets--it was not hip to like his music. I must admit that as a younger man I succumbed to this reasoning myself. I listened to James Taylor and the Eagles but turned my nose up at Denver, whose one hip credential at the time was writing "Leaving on a Jet Plane" for Peter Paul & Mary. . .But if you listen to some of these songs you will realize, if only in retrospect, that there is some real poetry, and some genuine musical majesty working here--particularly in "Rocky Mountain high" and "Take Me Home Country Roads", two of the best hit records of the decade. "Goodbye Again", "Starwood in Aspen" and "Rhymes and Reasons" are underrated songs that would have gotten a lot more respect if they'd been on a James Taylor or Dan Fogelberg album.
Fair is fair. The guy could write a song.
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Format: Audio CD
In 1974, my fourth grade teacher told us that on the last day of school we could bring a record of our choosing and we would listen to it while we had our end-of-school-celebration. You probably couldn't get away with doing that now because some fourth grader might bring Limp Bizket or Korn to to the party...kids these days...but in '74, there was some pretty innocuous music going on. My friend brought Jim Croce, another friend brought some Stevie Wonder, and this girl that I was absolutely crazy about brought this particular album.

The thing that was so great about John Denver was that he was a very accomplished musician and knew how to elicit some pretty strong emotions with his music. A lot of people think his music was just sweet without much substance, it was sweet but it was always on the border of being just a little bit sad, as well. I guess that is called 'bittersweet'.

For example, Sunshine. What a great song. It's so simple. It's about the sun. Do we even think about the sun? Do we even realize what a blessing it is? Did you know that if the sun was just a little bit closer we'd burn to a crisp or if it was just a little bit farther away, it would be too cold for the earth to sustain life? But this is just a touching little song about the beauty of the sun and how good it feels to be in the sunshine. Simple. Nice. Touching.

And then Poems, Prayers, and Promises. It's just about being with good friends...and, uhhhh "passing the pipe around"...but y'know, it's okay, it's John Denver. I mean, at least he wasn't all tatted out and had a bone through his nose.

And then there's Leaving On A Jet Plane. Now when I was nine, I didn't realize the heaviness of this song.
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Format: Audio CD
John Denver, without a doubt, has to be my main inspiration for guitar. Unlike any other artist, he created such melancholy and images of nature through his songs, complementing them with his soaring, tenor voice and his excellent guitar playing. When I heard he was killed, I sat in my living room and played and sang every Denver song I knew, trying to give them some of the justice they deserved.
Though not all of his best songs are on this compilation, I do believe that this collection captures all parts of Denver. Songs like "Sunshine on My Shoulders" and "Rhymes and Reasons" and "Leaving on a Jet Plane" evoke a melancholy spirit while others like "Eagle and the Hawk" and "Country Roads" makes one long for the beauty of nature that only Denver can capture in song.
Denver will be sorely missed.
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