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

4.8 out of 5 stars 114 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)
  • Rmst ed. edition
  • 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 (114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,308 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's .38 Special Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I saw these guys when they were just starting out and was impressed, but I never thought they would become so great. I love many of their later hit songs and liked some of the other ballads they performed on this cd collection.
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