John Denver's Greatest Hits
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Customer Reviews:

  • Great collection of John Denver songs
    This CD has nearly all of his most familiar and greatest songs. Love it!...more info
  • John Denver's Greatest, really is
    This album contains many of John Denvers early hit songs, all of them favorites of mine - "Rocky Mountain High", "Starwood in Aspen", "For Baby, for Bobbie", "Sunshine on my Shoulders", etc. And while there are a number of anthologies of John Denver's hits, all of which are very good, this is the only one that contains the studio version of "Rhymes and Reasons", one of John's most profound songs, a song he wrote at a very early age (25). It is one of my favorites of all his songs, and as far as I am concerned, worth the price of the disc all on it's own.
    John was a masterful performer, but what we miss most, now that he is gone, is the wonderful and touching songs he wrote, the insightful approach to music, people and this planet we call home. To quote one of his later songs, "Here you see what one man can do." ...more info
  • This is an historic John Denver CD. But...
    ...this is a repackaged CD of the original Album/CD with added songs. I have to say I'm not too crazy about that. This was a pinnacle album in John Denver's career when originally released on vinyl back in 1973. In my opinion this updated version is not a true representation of that historical album, and this hybrid CD has now become something other than it originally was and that lessens its impact for me.

    I feel that way despite the fact that they added two great songs! The added song "Daydream" has always been a personal favorite of mine and I'm glad someone has recognized the fact that it is a very fine song. But the drawback to that added track is that on his first Greatest Hits compilation John Denver had originally re-recorded many of the songs back in 1973 because he felt that had grown as a singer and artist since those songs were first recorded. "Daydream" was never re-recorded and that is evident on this CD because the song is representative of his old way of singing, and so despite being a great song it musically seems out of place to the vocal quality of the rest of the songs on the CD. The same could be said of the other two additions, "I Guess He'd Rather Be In Colorado," a great song that became popular once again among his fans as John played it in concert in his later years. The tune "Friends With You," written by Bill Danoff, was just an okay song and now has become the only song on this CD NOT written by John Denver.

    I give it five stars because, despite my ranting, it is John Denver and he was simply the best at what he did. Since the original CD without the added songs is no longer available I'd like to conclude this review by adding my original Amazon review for that version of the CD.

    When the original album was released in 1973, it contained only two songs that had been chart hits for John Denver. The two songs were; "Take Me Home, Country Roads," and "Rocky Mountain High." The rest of the material was considered the best songs off of his first five albums for RCA. This was marketing genius. It became a huge seller and solidified John Denver's status as a musical phenomenon.

    Many songs had been re-recorded for this album reflecting John's growth as a performer. The melancholy ballad "Sunshine On My Shoulders" was culled from this album, having been ignored on the album "Poems, Prayers and Promises." With a string section added to the track it became John Denver's first number one hit.
    Despite the fact that at the time there was only a few bonafide hits on the album, all of the songs have become well-recognized treasures from John Denver's astonishing career. Songs such as "Rhymes and Reasons" and "Starwood in Aspen," "The Eagle and The Hawk" could have been forgotten if they had not had been included on this album. That would have been a shame. I'm grateful that RCA recognized the quality of the material John had produced and showcased it on this album. This truly is an album that personifies the beauty, the profoundness, and depth, of a great musician....more info
  • Great mix of one of the 70's greatest talents in popular music.
    This was the FIRST album that I bought as a teenager in the 70's (then in 8 track). Only now additional tracks have been added, such as "Country Roads" and "Rocky Mountain High" making this an even sweeter deal. This is a must have for a 70's music collector. John Denver is what I consider one of the great American song writers of the early to mid-70's. He was also one of the first artist to make us aware of conservation efforts particularily in the Alaskian wilderness....more info
  • Good Fun
    Most people make fun of John Denver but I find his music fun and easy to listen to. I play this CD when I'm at work and need to get a lot done and have something lite in the background. Also this may tell my age but I grow up listening to him my parent's had this album and many more. Also who could forget him on the Muppet Show when I was a kid....more info
  • Why own this if you own The Country Roads box set?
    It was this repackaging of his early solo career that sent John Denver into the stratosphere.

    But that is not the reason to own it if you also own the 4-disc box set. The reason is that the box set wisely features the original recordings of Denver's songs, and for this 'Greatest Hits' collection he re-recorded several songs.

    That reason, of course, applies in the other direction. If you own this CD and like it, you need to purchase the box set to hear the original recordings of some of Denver's best known and loved early songs.

    Denver's two big hits, 'Take Me Home, Country Roads' and 'Rocky Mountain High,' obviously could not be re-recorded as that could offend fans. But the then casual fans who knew Denver only by those hits would not know the original recordings of earlier songs.

    I don't think any of the re-recorded versions are superior to the originals, but as I was first introduced to those songs (save 'Leaving on a Jet Plane') on Greatest Hits, I like having both versions.

    My big gripe with this new issue is not that 3 new songs were added to the 11 song collection but the choices. All three are on the Country Roads box set. It would have been better, for sales and exposure of Denver's material, to have added songs that are, regrettably, omitted from that collection. The 5 part 'Rocky Mountain Suite' that closes the Rocky Mountain High album would have been a great choice, a perfect thematic closer for Denver's expanded first Greatest Hits album. ...more info
  • John Denver's Greatest Hits
    Love this CD. There are a few add ons to the original album, but the album itself was just the best of his early work. "Follow Me" is not found anywhere else that I could find, and it's a beautiful song....more info
  • great stuff
    John Denver, much like Peter, Paul and Mary and Gordon Lightfoot, really captures the "at home" friendly atmosphere and extremely pleasant vocal melodies. Honestly, this stuff reminds me of pine trees, maple trees, mountains, rivers, and lakes. I guess that's the point!

    Anyway, John Denver had a lot more hits than what's listed here, but I can't complain about the quality of the songwriting. Whether you like his style of songwriting or not is totally up to your mind to decide. Me, I think it's pretty good, but nothing to really WOW me or anything.

    I have this album on vinyl, and I actually think side 2 contains stronger material. While not totally in love with this kind of music, I love quite a few songs. "Rocky Mountain High", "Take Me Home, Country Roads", and "The Eagle and the Hawk" come to mind immediately as favorites. Good stuff.

    I still remember that horrible morning I woke up for high school and on the news heard the sad news of John Denver's death. Still a bit shocking to this day, because the guy had such a great appreciation for life and a passion for music and caring about quality. I will remember his music, and hopefully most people will too.

    Maybe it's a coincidence, but the first snowfall of the season is happening as I type this review, and snow is one thing that always reminded me of John Denver's music. Tonight I chose to listen to this album without knowing anything about snow sticking to the ground. ...more info
  • Time Machine
    Who says you can't go "Back Home" again? What a delightful flashback to a simpler place in time. In the immortal words of John Denver "Far Out Man!"...more info
  • John Denver's soaring hymns to nature and humanity
    Whenever I head west and drive through the mountains, this is the CD I want to listen to. It might seem an obvious link, John Denver's music and the Rocky Mountains, but it is nonetheless appropriate. For some reason "Rocky Mountain High," "Starwood in Aspen," and "The Eagle and the Hawk" sound better at higher altitudes. These eleven songs are those Denver said were most requested in his concerts, but also "Rhymes and Reasons," which he considered having his best lyrics and which is my favorite on the album. Denver had been recording his own songs for only a short time, not really long enough of a period to justify a greatest hits collection, but these were the songs that defined John Denver and his music to the world.

    This greatest hits album is somewhat unusual because Denver rerecorded many of the songs, explaining that he felt he was signing better and that he wanted to do something a little different with some of these songs than he had in the original versions. The improvements are noticeable, as is Denver's growth as a songwriter from his earliest hits, "Leaving on a Jet Plane" and "Take Me Home, Country Roads" (where, to be fair, he was the third of three writers) to his later works such as "Poems, Prayers and Promises." Recording their most popular songs would not make sense for a lot of artists, but it is hard to argue with the results in this particular instance.

    This 1974 collection sold over ten million copies worldwide, and remained on the Billboard charts for over two years making it all the way to the top for a while. Technically only a couple of these songs are legitimate hits, with "Sunshine On My Shoulders" making it to #1 and "Rocky Mountain High" to #9, but that is besides to the point ("John Denver's Greatest Hits, Volume 2" has more "hits," but this is the better collection). Listen again to these lyrics and you will get the sense of how these are songs are hymns about the glories of nature and the depths of human relationships. There is not a bad song on this album and listening to it will always make you feel better....more info
  • John Denver Rules!!!
    Excellent job with the remastering of John Denver's Greatest Hits. Hopefully RCA will reissue and remaster his Greatest Hits: Volume 2 and Windsong cd's real soon!!!...more info
  • I grew up listening to this album.
    I really missed it after my turntable broke down. Now I have the CD and I just love listening to it. Eagle and Hawk was always my favorite, but loved the others as well....more info
  • JD
    I love this product, it is impossible to find in stores but only took about two minutes on Amazon, then was at my house in a few days. Much less time than if I had searched in stores....more info
  • It's A Long Way From LA to Denver
    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 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. Brother, this is a sad, sad song and yet in typical Denver style, there's a few glimmers of hope going on in there and maybe that was the beauty of Denver's writing, he knew that every situation could be turned around, every cloud had its silver lining.

    When I heard of Denver's death, I really got sad. He just seemed like a friend. In the back of my mind I knew he wasn't long for this world, most people who wear their soul on their sleeve aren't, but at the same time when they do go, the world just seems like a less brighter place.

    I play this record on a regular basis, missing my "friend", and knowing that while he was here, he gave us some pretty incredible gifts.

    Peace & Blessings

    ...more info
  • bought cd ,,have records for years
    Have been a fan for many years ...have all records ..but needed Cd's ..all are great ..old friends ...more info
  • More than just a compliation...
    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. "Sunshine On My Shoulder" soared to number one in 1974, outdoing both "Country Roads" and "Rocky Mountain High," following the release of this "Greatest Hits" compilation. Self-fulfilling prophecy, indeed. The remaining qualifying "hit", "Leaving On a Jet Plane," wasn't even a John Denver hit. Though he wrote the song, it was Peter, Paul and Mary that launched it up the charts in 1967. He recorded it for his first solo album, 1969's "Rhymes & Reasons," but the album went nowhere. Paradoxically, regardless of the fact that this "Greatest Hits" album only contains a few actual "hits," the album nonetheless remains Denver's biggest hit album.

    Not only that, Denver actually re-recorded many of the older songs specifically for this collection. As he says in the apologetic liner notes: "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." This very unorthodox, and unprecedented, approach to a greatest hits collecton gives the album a very consistent sound. Instead of a creating a collage of styles and production values, Denver essentially constructed an entirely new album. This allowed the once neglected songs to take on a new life. He made them sound like hits.

    The songs on this album capture the sound and feel of their era. Just listen. A mere nanosecond of "Country Roads" has enough potency to evoke now whispy images of dark paneled walls with moving waterfall beer signs, oversaturated technicolor landscapes, three-channel television playing documentaries on Sasquatch and Nessie, ubiquitous ashtrays, wide aisled department store dreams, and analog living standards. "Rocky Mountain High" contains enough Americana one can almost imagine Woody Guthrie singing it. Almost. The 1970s would not have sounded the same without John Denver, which, though some may have preferred, detractors cannot deny.

    John Denver remains one of the most adored and satirized singer songwriters in recent memory. He had the "honor" of being strangled on a Monty Python Record (resulting in a defamation lawsuit that he won), as well as being honored with numerous awards and tributes following his accidental death. He even embraced conservation long before it went mainstream. "Greatest Hits" captures his career on the early upswing, but not quite at its peak. He continued to dominate the radio and television airwaves throughout the 1970s. "Greatest Hits Volume II" continues the story....more info