Customer Reviews: Greatest Hits
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on January 26, 2000
As a 14 year old boy, i am expected to listen to Lymp Bizcuit and the terrible music produced today. What a refreshing type of music James Taylor has created; like no other type around, JT's music provides a soothing sound everytime I listen to it. When I'm down it cheers me up. When im too excited it calms me down. It is the greatest CD ever created. With great hits such as "You've Got A Friend", "How Sweet It Is(To Be Loved By You)", "Carolina On My Mind", and "Fire and Rain", James Taylor's Greatest Hits is a must for anyone.
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James Taylor Greatest Hits is a good retrospective even though at twelve songs I think it's a bit too short. They should have added a song or two; but what we do get is excellent material. The quality of the sound is excellent and the artwork is tastefully done.

"Something In The Way She Moves" has a very pretty melody and the guitar and James' singing carry the bulk of the melody. This song is a sweet one that has traces of folk music in it; and the string instruments are very well placed into the musical arrangement. "Carolina In My Mind" features James Taylor front and center--and that's OK with me! The melody is very solid and James sings this with all his heart and soul. Excellent! James' voice is very rich and full of masculine warmth; his uncanny sense of timing enhances his performance even further.

"Fire And Rain" tugs at my heartstrings whenever I hear this torch song; it's all very beautiful and James sings this passionately. James carries this tune well and the piano works well for this love ballad. "Country Road" again places James right in the spotlight--and he doesn't waste a minuet! James delivers "Country Road" with panache and this impresses me greatly. The slight twist of folk and country music elements enhances the natural beauty of "Country Road."

"You've Got A Friend" is probably my very favorite song on this CD; James delivers this flawlessly and the emotion again tugs at my heartstrings because James sings of unconditional and undying love and friendship. The guitar carries the melody well but the other instruments help out, too. James also handles tempo changes effortlessly--although we know that it really wasn't so easy; James could make it seem easy because he is so talented.

"How Sweet It Is (To be Loved By You)" has a pop music flavor to it; and I can never tire of hearing James Taylor singing this fine tune! The melody stuns me with its beauty and there's no wonder why this was a huge hit for James. Great! "How Sweet It Is (To be Loved By You)" is clearly a major highlight of this album. In addition, James Taylor does a great job on "Shower The People;" this touching love song stresses the importance of showing your special people just how much you really love them.

The CD also ends very strong with James Taylor performing "Steamroller." "Steamroller" is a live track that James carries perfectly and his adoring audience loves every minute of it!

James Taylor fans will want this CD if they don't already have these songs in their collections. Because this album is so short it may be best suited for the casual fan who doesn't care to delve too deep into James Taylor's work. I have to take off one and ½ stars to make this a three and ½ star review because the CD is just too short to be called a "greatest hits" collection.
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VINE VOICEon April 18, 2010
When James Taylor wrapped up his years with Warner Brothers records in 1976, that label promptly issued a greatest hits CD that remains one of the label's biggest sellers. Issued one of the RIAA's earliest "Diamond" certifications, this album has sold over ten million copies and remains available to this day. It's a time-capsule of Taylor's early work, spotlighting the years of sensitive singer-songwriters and his calm, soothing voice.

Staring with re-recorded versions of his Apple Records songs "Carolina In My Mind" and "Something In The Way She Moves" and a previously unreleased live version of "Steamroller Blues," this was Taylor before he became a staple on the summer festival circuit and a cover-er of oldies (although his version of "How Sweet It Is" is included here). There's a lot to be said for the simple pleasures of this collection, be it the warm reading of Carole King's "You've Got a Friend" (with Joni Mitchell on back-up vocals, it won Taylor his first Grammy) or the confessional "Fire and Rain."

After this, Taylor would be come more the studious professional that intimate singer-songwriter, continuing to make solid, if predictable soft-rock albums for CBS. There are two best of's since this one, a Columbia round-up on James Taylor's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 and a full on retrospective on The Best of James Taylor (both labels represented, but heavy on the Warners years). The biggest gripe is that this CD has yet to receive a proper remastering, but for the money, it's James Taylor at his best.
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on April 2, 2001
I really haven't much to add to the reviews already written about this wonderful album. I guess what I really love the most about JT's Greatest Hits is that it's one album my Dad and I both really enjoyed. Even though he and I both loved music, there were very few artists we agreed on, and James Taylor was one of them. At the one JT concert I was fortunate enough to attend, there were people from all walks of life just lost in the music. He opened with "Something in the Way She Moves" (as this album does) unaccompanied on acoustic guitar, an excellent rendition of my personal favorite Taylor song. The songlist was essentially: songs from 'Hourglass'; three songs from the album "JT" (Handy Man, Secret of Life, and Your Smiling Face, for anyone interested), and all twelve songs from this recording. All together, the best concert I've ever attended.
There was one review I read which asserted that anyone who had the "James Taylor Live" double CD did not need to purchase this album because every song on 'Hits' was on 'Live' as well. While the latter statement is true, Greatest Hits is still very essential. At least for me, the original studio version of "Fire and Rain" is much more stirring than the 90's live version. I think that's because the studio version was recorded much closer to the event which was the impetus for the song. Also, the version of 'Steamroller' on Hits is THE definitive version of that song. Now that JT has gotten older, his voice has actually gotten better in my opinion. But that notwithstanding, he's never, EVER going to do a better live version of Steamroller than the one on 'Greatest Hits'.
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on February 28, 2002
There has always something very soothing and pleasant about the soft rock god James Taylor. He's not a great guitar player, nor a great singer, yet his down home personality and poetic whimsy of his songs can bring you on a train to heaven after you've been through heck.
Greatest Hits Volume One gather together some of the greatest songs from James Taylor's creative peak. Within these 12 tracks are tales of love won, love lost, lost friends, wandering a Country Road, dreams of "women and glasses of beer, and a glorious trip to Mexico. All centered around a simple accoustic guitar and a simple voice that just might be you or me. There's something very beautiful about that. (Oh yeah! If you think this man is "sensitive" you have yet to hear this classic live version of Steamroller)
So if you want to hear some relaxing (but never boring) folk-rock/singer-songwriter music then I suggest you look towards one of the best. One of the most personal, most melodic, most modest, simply one of the greatest songwriters around turn to James Taylor. And if you want to start with the best, start here!
P.S. Get Greatest Hits Volume 2 after that.
P.S.S. What are you waiting for. Get it NOW!
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on November 20, 2000
I love this CD.James Taylor has a style and voice like no other musican.Carloe Kings,"You've got a friend," was a huge hit for the singer,and James Taylor's only number 1 record."Fire and Rain," is another fantastic song about losing your friend,and maybe yourself to drugs."How Sweet it is," with Carly Simon singing backup,is such a good time,fun record.That's what I loved about the 70's.You could hear Carly on James albums and JT on Carly's.The last song,"Steamroller," will never be played on the radio,unless they edit it.It's Brilliant,and James lets it all out.I almost reck my car when I'm playing this number.I'm so glad JT has a greatest hits CD,part 2.I just bought it today,and can't wait to start playing it,like I've played this CD for years.
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on June 1, 2000
James Taylor's Greatest Hits is one of the best CD's I own. I love listening to the CD and I keep it in my CD at all times. I recommend listening to "Something in the Way She Moves" and memorizing the words. Most ladies seem to like the song and you usually don't lose brownie points for serenading them (unless your voice sounds like nails on a chalkboard). The only problem with this CD is James Taylor has too many hits and this is only a one disk set.
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on September 16, 2000
I wish I could give this more than 5 stars. Anyone who was alive and over the age of one during the 70s will remember these songs, and have all kinds of terrific associations with them. It's interesting -- the memories are probably so terrific just because these songs were playing somewhere in the background, they just make people happy and warm. You can't help it, not that (one would hope) you'd want to. For anyone who came of age in later decades, and was unfortunate enough not to have a cousin, aunt, etc to introduce you to James Taylor, PLEASE check this album out. You will never regret it. When I think of words like mellow, or friendly, or beatiful, at least as such words apply to music, thoughts of this album are in the back of my mind. Just buy it, you fool, what are you waiting for?
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on July 30, 2000
This is a great CD. Makes me mellow and makes me remember the past. Sometimes best of albums are the best buy. Get this one. And I do not personally know cydneyday but I kinda like her reviews. I read her profile after that nasty comment from some reviewer. He must not get it. I like her personal touches not just saying whats on the cd or in the book. She seems okay to me. Stay mellow and buy James Taylor today.
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on August 14, 2000
When this song came out in cd version back in 1988 (back when I was not a bit older then four, and my sister eight) my parents bought this cd to play to us on a road trip, our little lullabye. Well as soon as the road trip was over, the two of us still had to listen to this song at night. My sisters room was on the opposite side of the hall as mine, and everynight we'd put a cd player in the hallway between our rooms to put us to sleep. However throughout the years that nightly ritual died away. Two years ago when my sister went off to college... I bought her a present, this cd, and she tells me to this day she still listens to it when she can't sleep, and so do I.
This cd may not have as much sentimental value to you as it does to me, but that doesn't take away from what a truly amazing album it is. From "Sweet Baby James", to "You've got a Friend" this is my favorite cd ever. James Taylor as gone through many tough things throughout the years... but he remains one of the most talented preformers of his time. The 70's would not have been the same without him... (how would I know, right? I'm just 16!)
This cd is not for a fun rockin' listen... unless you replay the awesome "Steamroller" (track number 12) over, and over. This cd is full of beautiful ballads that will mellow you out, and make you happy. My life wouldn't be the same without this cd... and as soon as you buy it, neither will yours!
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