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John Denver

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John Denver - John Denver's Greatest Hits [RCA CPL1-0374] (November 1973)

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John Denver


John Denver's Greatest Hits

Released: November 1973
Label: RCA
Catalog: CPL1-0374
Genre: Folk, Country, Pop

T R A C K L I S T:
01 Take Me Home, Country Roads
02 Follow Me
03 Starwood In Aspen
04 For Baby (For Bobbie)
05 Rhymes And Reasons
06 Leaving, On A Jet Plane
07 The Eagle And The Hawk
08 Sunshine On My Shoulders
09 Goodbye Again
10 Poems, Prayers And Promises
11 Rocky Mountain High
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Album Review

John Denver's Greatest Hits was American singer-songwriter John Denver's first compilation album, released in late 1973 for the holiday shopping season. A version known as The Best of John Denver with the same track listing was released in some countries.

The collection included material from his earlier days as a songwriter (going back to 1965 on ''For Bobbie'') to his later hit ''Rocky Mountain High''. Indeed, many of these tracks were not hits per se, but as Stephen Thomas Erlewine wrote for Allmusic, ''the[se] were [the] songs that defined him.''

Moreover, Greatest Hits is important historically because it contained new, revisionist recordings of several songs. Notable new versions included ''Leaving on a Jet Plane'', ''Starwood in Aspen'', ''Follow Me'', ''Rhymes and Reasons'', ''The Eagle and the Hawk'', ''Sunshine On My Shoulders'' and ''Poems, Prayers, and Promises''.

Denver explained this himself in the liner notes by saying that he had picked the numbers most requested in his concerts, but that ''I felt that some of these songs had grown a bit, that I am singing better than I was four or five years ago, and that I would like to treat some of the songs a little differently than I had in the original recordings.''

After its release these versions were used for airplay despite differing in subtle but important ways from the original versions; generally, they were more polished, featured a more mature-sounding Denver, included strings, and were extended somewhat.

Within a few months of its release, Greatest Hits climbed to the top of the Billboard 200 pop albums chart, went platinum, and was one of the first albums worldwide to sell over 10 million copies. Overall it is easily the best-selling album of his career in the United States, being certified 9-times platinum by the RIAA. []

John Denver's Biography

Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. (December 31, 1943 October 12, 1997), known professionally as John Denver, was an American singer-songwriter, record producer, actor, activist, and humanitarian, whose greatest commercial success was as a solo singer. After traveling and living in numerous locations while growing up in his military family, Denver began his music career with folk music groups during the late 1960s. Starting in the 1970s, he was one of the most popular acoustic artists of the decade and one of its best-selling artists. By 1974, he was firmly established as one of America's best-selling performers, and AllMusic has described Denver as ''among the most beloved entertainers of his era''.

Denver recorded and released approximately 300 songs, about 200 of which he composed, with total sales of over 33 million records worldwide. He recorded and performed primarily with an acoustic guitar and sang about his joy in nature, his disdain for city life, his enthusiasm for music, and his relationship trials. Denver's music appeared on a variety of charts, including country music, the Billboard Hot 100, and adult contemporary, in all earning him twelve gold and four platinum albums with his signature songs ''Take Me Home, Country Roads'', ''Annie's Song'', ''Rocky Mountain High'', ''Calypso'', ''Thank God I'm a Country Boy'', and ''Sunshine on My Shoulders''.

Denver appeared in several films and television specials during the 1970s and 1980s. He continued to record in the 1990s, also focusing on environmental issues by lending vocal support to space exploration and testifying in front of Congress in protest against censorship in music. He lived in Aspen, Colorado, for much of his life and was known for his love of Colorado, which he sang about numerous times. In 1974, Denver was named poet laureate of the state. The Colorado state legislature also adopted ''Rocky Mountain High'' as one of its two state songs in 2007.

Denver was an avid pilot who died aged 53 in a single-fatality crash while flying his experimental Rutan Long-EZ canard aircraft. []
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