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61. Eurythmics - Greatest Hits
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62. Yourself or Someone Like You
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63. A Hard Day's Night (1964 Film)
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64. Peachtree Road
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65. Pet Sounds
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66. Love Songs: A Compilation Old
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67. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
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68. Bedtime With the Beatles (Blue
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69. Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best
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70. The All-Time Greatest Hits of
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71. A Sides Win: Singles 1992-2005
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72. The Grass Roots - All Time Greatest
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73. The Very Best Of Cher
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74. Agaetis Byrjun
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75. Best: 1991-2004
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76. Everybody Loves a Happy Ending
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77. Strange Magic: The Best of Electric
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79. Movin' Out (Based on the Songs
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80. Seals & Crofts - Greatest

61. Eurythmics - Greatest Hits
list price: $18.98
our price: $9.99
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Asin: B000002VI0
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1380
Average Customer Review: 4.38 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

One of the earliest things that we learned about Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart was that the duo had style. In their first few MTV videos, including "Sweet Dreams" and "Love Is a Stranger," they were just as notable for their androgynous suits and rubber utility coverall, as they were for their ice box synthetic dance beats. But as Eurythmics continued to churn out one hit after another, something else became refreshingly apparent: In the midst of all of the impersonal drum machines and frozen electronics, Lennox displayed both rhythm and soul. With a voice powerful enough to hold its own against genre queen Aretha Franklin ("Sisters Are Doing It for Themselves"), Lennox added another dimension to the haunting moodiness of "Who's That Girl" and "Here Comes the Rain Again." Changing personas and musical stylings with every release, Eurythmics blasted out horn-infused rockers ("Would I Lie to You"), country-fied twangers ("Thorn in My Side"), and melodic brilliance ("When Tomorrow Comes"). Greatest Hits captures the band's most inspired moments and justifies all of the original fuss. --Steve Gdula ... Read more

Reviews (55)

5-0 out of 5 stars Sweet Dreams (are made of this)
If I had to name my favorite decade for music, it would have to be the '80s with all the new wave bands like Erasure, Depeche Mode, and the Eurythmics. Annie Lennox is definitely one of the greatest female vocalists I have ever heard. I was definitely offended when shock rocker Marilyn Manson massacred "Sweet Dreams (are made of this)". I absolutely loved Annie's androgynous look she had in her music videos like in "Sweet Dreams (are made of this)". Although I knew quite a few of the songs on this cd, there were quite a few songs that I wasn't really familiar like the guitar-driven "When Tomorrow Comes" which I immediately fell in love with, with both the melodies, guitar riffs, and the optimistic lyrics. "Thorn in My Side" is also another personal favorite track. That is one of those songs where I can't help but sing along to when I listen to the cd. I love the empowering lyrics of "Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves", a timeless classic. Pairing Annie with another legendary singer Aretha Franklin was a brilliant idea. And of course I can't mention other faves such as "Here Comes the Rain Again" and "Missionary Man". There was not one song on this cd I did not skip over. This cd is simply a great collection of songs that made the '80s so great.

4-0 out of 5 stars "Don't Ask Me Why", just get it.
Everytime I listen to "Eurythmics", I'm reminded of why they're one of the better groups of the 80's. They crafted some of the best pop songs, with a soul and style that not many others had. I'm amazed at how well some of these songs are put together. This includes the hits "Here Comes The Rain Again", "Would I Lie To You?", "Missionary Man", and the huge "Sweet Dreams (are made of this)". My favorites on here would have to be "Thorn In My Side", and the excellent "Love Is A Stranger". "There Must Be An Angel (playing with my heart)" is pretty great too. This whole disc is easy to play straight through. By the end of it, you just might find yourself wanting an orange crew-cut.

5-0 out of 5 stars Greatest Hits (1991)
The Eurythmics were one of the best 80s synthesized pop bands ever. Their unique sound and style combined with Annie's soothing vocals were nothing short of amazing. In their short span of time, starting with their first album, In The Garden in 1981, they have proven themselves to be official Icons over our generation and the next. This greatest hits compilation is their way of showing just how amazing they were.

SWEET DREAMS (ARE MADE OF THIS)
From the album Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) (1982). First of all, this is not the album and single version, this is an extended version. The album and single version run to 3 and a half minutes, while this one runs to 4 minutes and 50 seconds. No matter which version they put on this compilation, this will always be one of their best songs. Although, the album is not all that impressive. If you buy Marilyn Manson's 1995 album Smells Like Children, you can hear his rendition of this song and it's unbelievable. I mean, it's not a gothic-heavy metal type song, but his rendition is incredible and it can also be heard in the 1999 remake House On Haunted Hill, starring Geoffrey Rush as Stephen Price, Famke Jansan as Evelyn Price, Ali Larter as Sara Wolfe, Taye Diggs as Eddie Baker, Bridgette Wilson as Melissa Marr, Peter Gallagher as Donald Blackburn, and Chris Kattan as Watson Prichett.

WHEN TOMORROW COMES
From the album Revenge (1986). This is another great song, with a great sound. This song originally came off of the album, Revenge (1986). That album, an amazing album I might add, also includes the 12" remix of this song as the bonus track.

HERE COMES THE RAIN AGAIN
From the album Touch (1983). The album and single version run up to 4 minutes and 50 seconds, while this one runs 13 seconds longer, making it a 5 minute and 3 second song. This is another classic hit. I recently seen the video on VH1 Classic's All Star Jams. It is a very strange video, but yet amazing, just like the song.

WHO'S THAT GIRL?
From the album Touch (1983). No, Madonna did not re-record this song in 1987. Madonna had a completely different song, only with the same title as this. But both are incredible.

WOULD I LIE TO YOU?
From the album Be Yourself Tonight (1985). The album, Be Yourself Tonight (1985), which is Eurythmics' fourth album, did not get as much recognition because of it's R&B sound. But the album did have three major singles and this is one of them, although, I don't really care for this song as much.

SISTERS ARE DOIN' IT FOR THEMSELVES (with Aretha Franklin)
From the album Be Yourself Tonight (1985). Now this is more like it. For years, I never knew who the other vocalist was, until about four years ago. I finally figured that the voice of the dueting vocalist belonged to Aretha Franklin. Although, I do not like Aretha Franklin, I do love this song. Somehow, I only like Aretha Franklin when she duets with other people, like this song, for example, and her duet with George Michael, which would be I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me). This is a classic song. Back in September of 1998, when the Spice Girls (when the lineup was left with Victoria 'Posh Spice Adams-Beckham, Emma 'Baby Spice' Bunton, Melanie B. 'Scary Spice' Brown, & Melanie C. 'Sporty Spice' Chisholm) toured Europe, they performed this song and their live version can be found on their US single, Good-Bye.

THERE MUST BE AN ANGEL (PLAYING WITH MY HEART)
From the album Be Yourself Tonight (1985). A lot better than Would I Lie To You?, but not as good as Sisters Are Doin' It For Themselves.

MISSIONARY MAN
From the album Revenge (1986). The beginning is cut short, but still a great song. The video is creepy, but it's incredible.

DON'T ASK ME WHY
From the album We Too Are One (1989). An okay song.

I NEED A MAN
From the album Savage (1987). The album Savage (1987) is my favorite album from the Eurythmics and this is the only hit that made it onto this collection. There were many other great songs from that album like Beethoven (I Love To Listen To), You Have Placed A Chill In My Heart, Savage, I've Got A Lover (Back In Japan), Do You Want To Break Up?, etc. But this is a great song, with an incredible rock and roll beat.

LOVE IS A STRANGER
From the album Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This) (1982). A good song, but not as good as Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This).

THORN IN MY SIDE
From the album Revenge (1986). Another awesome song from the Revenge (1986) album. That acoustic guitar in the beginning sounds unbelievable.

THE KING & QUEEN OF AMERICA
From the album We Too Are One (1989). This is a great song to begin with and it certainly is much better than Don't Ask Me Why.

ANGEL
From the album We Too Are One (1989). A romantic ballad.

The Eurythmics have shown us that they were one of the best acts of the 80s. They tried to do it again in 1999, by releasing their tenth album, Peace, but it didn't get anywhere. But their older material will always have them remembered.

5-0 out of 5 stars A rare "hits" antholgy that is actually essential
Throughout the eighties, Dave Stewart and Annie Lennox made consistently great songs and often great albums. Their main influence as Eurythmics was to prove that the genre that based itself primarily in electronics was not without a soul. By the time they evolved into the band that was recording their terrific "Be Yourself Tonight" album, they had transcended whatever limits the genre had initially imposed and began blending all sorts of styles.

That kind of stylistic cross cutting made for an amazing batch of singles. Even the breakthrough hit, "Sweet Dreams," holds up today, and there's a lot of soul to "Here Comes The Rain Again." By now, Annie had grown so much as a vocalist that she could hold her own with Aretha as a singer and Stevie Wonder as a musician, and Stewart had hit stride as a musician/composer/arranger. It was also amazing that, when the time came, Eurythmics could also rock as hard as the best of them ("Missionary Man," "Would I Lie To You").

Even the later stuff, like "Angel" and "Thorn In My Side" gave the duo plenty of room to expand their range. "Angel" is an obvious stepping stone to Annie's solo career, and even without the benefit of it actually being a huge "hit," belongs here. So what you finally receive is a hits package that flows evenly, doesn't skimp on the songs, doesn't contain any dregs, "bonus remixes" or annoying demos. An actual five star recommendable album from a band that rarely slouched on their full length recordings, and for that alone, worth getting.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great 80's Duo
The Eurythmics are one of my favorite duos. Ever. They have those fun, catchy pop rhythms that only the 1980's could show ya. I never really heard of this band until I heard Marylin Manson's Sweet Dreams remake, and I liked that song when it was out, so I decided to get the original. They became one of my favorite bands. Get this, if you like 80's pop/rock or new wave. ... Read more


62. Yourself or Someone Like You
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Asin: B000002JWU
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1790
Average Customer Review: 4.07 out of 5 stars
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The sound of Southern rock gets a facelift for the '90s on Yourself or Someone Like You, the record that made Florida's Matchbox 20 a success story.Rob Thomas's charismatic and passionate vocal delivery carries this collection of captivating, personal-story songs, based on honest, heart-felt lyrics rich with cathartic emotion. Anyone who's felt so scarred by love that they can't imagine taking the chance of getting hurt again will relate to a song like "Push" (an exhilarating feminist anthem disguised as just another relationship-on-the-rocks song). A much-needed break from the alternative pack. --Gail Worley ... Read more

Reviews (575)

5-0 out of 5 stars Okay , listen up
To everyone who says this cd is only 'semi' good and Rob Thomas isn't a good artist:

This is their debut album. And it's sold 30 million copies. This means that if you randomly take 300 people anywhere in America atleast 1 of them will own this cd.

Let's take a look at two of the biggest Alternative band's debut albums,

Bush. Their debut album was of such high quality it had 4 singles and sold over 8 million copies. With this they carved their name in the alternative scene forever.

311. Their debut album had enough quality to have 2 singles and sold 3 million copies.

Matchbox 20 on the other hand. Their debut album sold 30 million copies. More than those two combined and doubled. And it had the song quality to release 6 singles. Just because you got the cd and got bored of it because the radio plays them so much doesn't make rob thomas a bad musician.

Perhaps when you sell a 30 million copy 6 #1 single debut cd you can argue that you can judge rob thomas' skills as a muscian?

5-0 out of 5 stars This is my favorite CD in the entire world!
This is truly my fave CD. It dosn't ever(and I mean it) come out of my stereo. Ever since I've owned it, I listen to it all of the time. Whenever my friends ask me: What is your favorite song on the album? I say: All of them! This CD is a totally all around type. You can rock on, or even cry to their music. A lot of their songs aren't exactlly what you'd call "PG", but their lyrics are very meaningful, whether they be "nice" or "bad". As you probably know, thier most fame songs are push and 3am., but the truth is, you'll be surprised when you hear the rest of the songs, they live up to push and 3am. Once, I asked my friend why they only advertise push and 3am? She told me it's because there wasn't enough room to write all of the songs onto the cover. I didn't have the CD at this time and I laughed and said, "yeah right!". A few weeks later I bought the CD, and to my surprise I totally agreed with her. Every song was a hit in my mind. The truth is that they might even be better than push! Wow, hold back, push is pretty tough to be better than. But anyway if you are looking for a CD that is new to you, but you want it to be good, then you can completely count on liking this CD. -K

4-0 out of 5 stars Whether you like it or not, it's MB20 at their most basic
I feel compelled to write a review here to counteract everyone else who seems to have just bought the album within the last year. This is a great rock album, and if you want to know what matchbox twenty is about, this is your album. However, as someone who has followed the progress of this band since '96 when this album came out, I have to say, I enjoy their 2nd and 3rd albums a little more. This is not to imply that it's not worth listening to from time to time, but I feel as if Rob Thomas' songwriting skills don't hit their peak until Mad Season.

But, seeing as none of my friends understand why this is my third favorite band, most likely because the first two are Coldplay and Radiohead, I should probably advocate buying this album.

1. Real World- A great intro to the album. Musically, it gets overrun later on, however.

2. Long Day- Really an interesting song, since it briefly put the band on the map in the thrash rock genre. A lot of soulful lyrics in this one.

3. 3 AM- The most popular song on the album, it's worth a listen to and plays well with people at parties if you're just picking up a guitar, but gets old after a while.

4. Push- Totally underrated, it's one of matchbox twenty's best songs ever. It's controversial because some say that the lyrics imply sexual abuse, but Thomas claims this is not the case. A great tune and if anyone gets their hands on the acoustic version, they will love it even more.

5. Girl Like That- A little obnoxious, but it grows on you.

6. Back 2 Good- Really an awesome song, it lays down the foundations for some of their better depressing ballads. Great considering how it stands out in the middle of the album, keeping a listener's attention with it's sad lyrics.

7. Damn- A confusing song, I'm not sure if it's supposed to be twangy or rock or sad or what.

8. Argue- A good rock song and I wish they'd have pushed it as a single.

9. Kody- No one ever talks about this song, but I love it. Second best song on the album. It's sort of a sad tune about a homeless man (and one can hypothesize that Thomas wrote it about himself, a former homeless person).

10. Busted- Reminds me of a bad version of Feel (on MTYTYA).

11. Shame- Catchy guitar riff, and a good song.

12. Hang- Underrated, and sets the tone well for some of the acoustic songs on the next album (If You're Gone, You Won't Be Mine). A spectacular final track to an album, second only to Street Spirit of "The Bends."

If you adore matchbox twenty already, then you should probably not skip buying this. If, however, you want to get your money's worth in one matchbox twenty album, buy not their latest album or this but Mad Season.

5-0 out of 5 stars AWESOME
This is one of the best CDs I own. I bought it because I loved "Unwell" and "Disease" but when I got it I saw how many other great tracks were on it. "The Difference" has very emotional lyrics that I liked, while "You're So Real" and the hidden track (about 10 seconds after "The Difference) were fun but just as enjoyable. I strongly recommend this CD to everyone. :)

5-0 out of 5 stars excelent example of 90s rock
Great 90s band who is still making music today.

This cd has half a dozen great songs that you could listen to over and over again.

It is hard to catagorize: Easy rock, hard pop but basically it keeps you entertained but does not promt other people around you to turn it down.

The first 5 songs are the best. ... Read more


63. A Hard Day's Night (1964 Film)
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.99
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Asin: B000002UAF
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 931
Average Customer Review: 4.53 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Strummmmm! That dramatic guitar chord that kicks of A Hard Day's Night (album, song, movie) still jumps right out at you, slaps you in the face, and jump-starts your heart. And you know what?Both the music and the film are still as crisp and lively as they were in 1964. Of course, only the first seven songs are actually in the movie (and they are the strongest of the bunch, from the rousing rock & roll of the title track and the hit single "Can't Buy Me Love," to the beautiful ballads "If I Fell" and "And I Love Her"). But nobody's going to complain about having songs like "I'll Cry Instead" and "Things We Said Today" in the second half of the record; they sure don't feel like leftovers. Yet another high-point for John, Paul, George, and Ringo--four fab fellows who hit the highest heights imaginable. --Jim Emerson ... Read more

Reviews (177)

5-0 out of 5 stars Solid for the Beatles, spectacular for anybody else
The album starts out in good, loud style with Lennon's "A Hard Day's Night" and "I Should Have Known Better." I love the latter, although some people find it a bit annoying. However, anybody who knows anything about the Beatles is well aware that the songs after which their albums are named (A Hard Day's Night, Help, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, Magical Mystery Tour, Yellow Submarine) are never the best songs on their respective albums. They just serve to kick off the party for your listening pleasure. Such is the case here, where the real gems are the few McCartney songs later in the album - Can't Buy Me Love, Things We Said Today, and especially And I Love Her. When I say that this album is only solid for the Beatles, I mean that it has "only" about six great songs, which is about three times more than the average album spit out by any other band, past or present, that I can think of. Note that most of the other songs, which I did not mention, are good as well.

4-0 out of 5 stars "The Beatles Covered A Lot Of Style Man"-John Lennon, 1974
To the idiot that said the Beatles "stuck" to a style...have you listened to their work? Unclog your ears and listen to the R&B influences(Got To Get You Into My Life), Rockabilly(What Goes On, I'm A Loser), Psychedelia(Tomorrow Never Knows), Power Pop(Hard Days Night, Ticket To Ride), Heavy Metal(Helter Skelter), Ballads(Yesterday, If I Fell). HOW MUCH MORE STYLE DO YOU WANT?

As far as Hard Days Night goes, it's the first in the Beatles "Power Pop" era. George Harrison practically invented the use of the 12 string Rickenbacker electric in rock, a style later picked up by Pete Townshend, Roger McGuin, and Tom Petty, to name a few. He demonstates his virtuosity on this album(I wish he hadn't given it up so quickly...I loved that sound). In fact, it's George's guitar playing that means the most to me on this very inspiring recording. The melodies, harmonies, and songwriting are all first rate.

Yes, the lyrics are about boy-girl relationships. Who the hell cares? Would you rather sing about death, taxes, and the reality of life?

My preference is for the later Beatles material, from Rubber Soul on, but this is the best of their early period, sans some of the songs on Beatles for Sale.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Hard Day's Night is GREAT to find! Not to be missed!
The strong opening note of the CD album grabs the listener's attention-although it doesn't take much extra effort to KEEP the listener's attention as this CD is one of The Beatles' finest outputs of music. The first seven songs are from the movie (now on DVD) of the same name; the collection of songs and ballads on this album is striking and reflects the youthful excitement and optimistic energy of the early Beatles' work.

A Hard Day's Night is the first song and this is a phrase coined by Ringo as he reflected on a previous all-nighter pulled by the band when they were under great pressure to turn out some hits. He is known to have said that the foursome had worked through "a hard day's night;" and thus the main line of the title song (as well as the title itself) was born!

Of particular note is the moving ballad "If I Fell." The ballad is beautiful and shows a man's (not just a woman's) vulnerability in a romantic relationship.

The sound quality is excellent and the cover pictures are photographic stills from the end of the movie of the same name.

This Beatles CD is indeed full of the "classic songs" another reviewer refers to and I highly recommend it as a must-have for any Beatles fan as well as lovers of this type of music. Moreover, this is an excellent starting point for those of us who are more accustomed to the "traditional" sound of the crooners or other music genres if these listeners want to get a first class introduction to early 1960s rock.

5-0 out of 5 stars So good, it's hard to believe
Although they were gigging, recording singles, writing, *and* filming a movie, the "Fab Four" were able to put out what was undoubtedly their absolute best record yet - "A Hard Day's Night". Their first two LPs left them with quite a track record, but this release takes everything that was good about them and amplifies it ten-fold, while taking anything that was remotely sub-par about them and obliterating it entirely. All the Beatles albums are five-star classics, but this one is the first of five albums that I call the "Platinum Series" of Beatles albums. To qualify for a Platinum Series album, the album has to be a straight-through perfect listen. Not one track can be even ever-so-slightly sub par. Every song not only has to be brilliant, but it has to be just as good as the song before and after it. That is what happens here - the whole record flows like honey and not a solitary note is out of place. A big part of the reason why this album achieves that title is because every song on here is an original. The covers were the only thing dragging "With the Beatles" down, so they just got rid of them. And, remarkably, every track is a masterpiece. Even so, I suppose I could pick "the best" songs. The title track is excellent, as is the impressively sophisticated "If I Fell". "I'll Cry Instead" features some of their best lyrics to date, and "I'll Be Back" is a masterpiece in every possible aspect. From that list, it's clear that this is obviously John's album (unlike the McCartney-driven later works), but Paul lets loose with his own excellent tracks. "And I Love Her" is wonderful (with an incredibly infectious bridge) and "Can't Buy Me Love" features some great and original chord changes. I suppose if I absolutely *had* to gripe about something, it's that Ringo doesn't get to sing anything. But that doesn't stop the album from earning my "Platinum Series" title. Overall, "A Hard Day's Night" is the best Beatles album to date, and one of the best Beatles albums in general.
~ John Ballantyne

3-0 out of 5 stars First all original Beatles album
I'm not as keen on this one as their first two! But then there are many songs I love, like If I fell, And I love Her, I should have known better, Can't buy me love and the title track! I have always loved If I fell, it has such a beautiful melody and harmony. And I love her is a really sweet sort of song. Also a fantastic melody. The same can be said of I should have known better. Can't buy me love and Hard days night are spirited and fun. I personally don't dig the rest, but a must have as The Beatles were moving away from pop and into more unusual territory. ... Read more


64. Peachtree Road
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our price: $11.99
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Asin: B00061X95Q
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 117
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It's relatively easy to launch a comeback. It's far harder to maintain one. The follow-up to 2001's warmly received (by critics, anyway) Songs from the West Coast indicates Elton John is committed to following through on his late career critical renaissance. Entirely self-produced and featuring his trusty band on each song (and have any sidemen been more stalwart than Davey Johnstone and Nigel Olsson?), Peachtree Road's noble ambitions aren't entirely realized. Starting strong with the telling "Weight of the World" ("Happy to play with the weight of the world off my back") and Americana-flavored "Porch Swing in Tupelo," the 12-song set loses momentum as it progresses. Overproduction rears its glitzy head most egregiously in "All That I'm Allowed." Still, the young Elton John who took the singer-songwriter movement to new heights in the early '70s with the likes of Tumbleweed Connection and Honky Chateau is in evidence on Peachtree Road. He's laid the groundwork to totally throw caution to the wind and make a truly great album. Next time, perhaps? --Steven Stolder ... Read more


65. Pet Sounds
list price: $17.98
our price: $13.49
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Asin: B00005ASHM
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 555
Average Customer Review: 4.42 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

If you need some pointy-headed pundit to sell you on the merits of Pet Sounds, your money might be better spent on an ear specialist. Brian Wilson's gift to 20th-century music elevated this pop album into a beguiling musical and emotional cogency that still operates outside pop culture's fickle space-time continuum--and limited critical lexicon. There's never been another record to compare (Rubber Soul, its inspiration, is close; Sgt. Pepper's, its response, misses the point), and certainly no album has been as dissected, overanalyzed, and predigested for public consumption. In 1997 Capitol Records devoted an entire four-disc box set, The Pet Sounds Sessions, to its thorough deconstruction. The techno-marvel centerpiece of that project--the album's first true stereo mix, painstakingly conjured out of multitape session sources by producer-engineer Mark Linett (under Wilson's supervision)--was at once heresy and revelation. Now the label has gratifyingly seen fit to offer both mixes on a single disc (along with alternate versions of "Hang On to Your Ego," the original title of "I Know There's An Answer"), an idea that should please the orthodox and heretics alike. And while the album has always clearly been The Brian Wilson Show featuring the Beach Boys, David Leaf's concise new notes attempt to be more inclusive of a wider band perspective. The result (three of the five band members claim credit for the album title) sometimes resembles Rashomon. If Pet Sounds forever crystallized the band's various creative (in)differences, it also became Wilson's grand karmic joke on his band mates; its burgeoning reputation (Mojo magazine's panel of pop experts once elected it greatest album of all time) guaranteed they would sing its songs--and praises--until the end. And if putting two different versions of the same album on one disc seems like overkill, look at the bright side: it's a perfect excuse to listen to the glorious Pet Sounds twice. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (178)

3-0 out of 5 stars A Fun and Carefree Record, But, At Times, Artificial.
After seeing The Beach Boy's Pet Sounds recurrently ranking in the top five on the "Best 100 Albums of All Time" lists, I finally decided to check it out. I've heard their hits, and--unimpressed with their mindless California style--was a little reluctant in listening to this album. Once I listened to it, though, it was better than I expected, but at the same time, exactly what I expected. I anticipated an album mainly superficial and stale, but I really was quite entertained by Pet Sounds as a whole--it's a good record for background music for a crazy summer activity--like going to the beach! The Beach Boys' sound is a little over-the-top in its jollity, but it was revolutionary back in the formative years of rock and roll, so I won't hold that against them. Though the lyrics ARE loaded at times--filled with avowals of romance and true love--they aren't nauseatingly unoriginal and false, but are childish--in a pretty good way--and nice and dreamy ["Wouldn't It Be Nice" and "Sloop John B"]. There are a couple songs, however, like "I Know There's An Answer" and "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times," where the Beach Boy's abandon their happy-go-lucky lyrics and try for something a little more "socially pointed"--something, you know, "deeper:" Here's a nice excerpt for you: "I know so many people who think they can do it alone. They isolate their heads and stay in their safety zones...What can you say that won't make them defensive? ...How can I come out and tell them the way that they live could be better?" It's funny--I don't hate them when they sing about beach girls and sunny love, but I really do begin to detest them when they try to be intelligent--like teachers or something. Sorry, Brian Wilson, but you're good at writing attractive pop TUNES, not awesome and profound LYRICS. I know of my blasphemy--I am, of course, saying this about The Second Best Album Ever Recorded. But trust me, folks: Pet Sounds is probably not even one of the twenty best records ever made. It's fun, it's breezy, it's light, and it's enjoyable, but--to use a once popular but now archaic term--Pet Sounds doesn't "pack any punch." It doesn't hold any innovative social views that can stand the test of time, the songs sound the same sometimes, and the Beach Boys even admit to worshiping the Beatles. Why not, then, listen to the Beatles? This record is nice, I say, but unnecessary.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pet Sounds
Well, Pet Sounds may not be the best album of all time, but the best isn't the Beatles' Revolver either. There just aren't enough good songs on Revolver to stand up to Wouldn't It Be Nice, Don't Talk, God Only Knows, Caroline No, and the great harmonies of Sloop John B. At the other end of the spectrum, Pet Sounds has nothing near as bad as Yellow Submarine. So, the argument just doesn't add up. Oh, and, neither does it work for Sgt. Pepper (gag) or Rubber Soul (yawn).

4-0 out of 5 stars Why "Pet Sounds" isn't the greatest album of all time
First of all, I would like to preface that I am a big fan of this record, and to this day am absolutely blown away by Brian Wilson's innovative production and profound songwriting. The music is wonderful, no band ever did harmonies better than the Beach Boys. The gulf between their early "fun in the sun" recordings and this masterpiece is a wide, deep chasm.
I will not dwell on the technical merits of this album, although there are many, and will only pinpoint a few songs. "Wouldn't It Be Nice" is a powerful, instantly addictive album opener, "Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)" is a dreamy piece with exceptionally moving and beautiful lyrics. And "God Only Knows" is, well...enough said - the subtle instrumental layers behind the chorus tantalize the listener until the harmonies kick in at the end in a marvelous climax.

What is disturbing to me is this strange glorification of "Pet Sounds" as the BEST album of all time. It all apparently stems from this major competition between the Beatles and the Beach Boys in the mid-60s. Still, I find it absurd and close to infuriating when the Amazon reviewer dares to characterize "Sgt. Pepper" as "missing the mark." Since when do bands make records to please music pundits' dogmatic characterizations? Should we judge every album based on how close it comes to the "perfection" of "Pet Sounds"? Of course not.

The main reason why I think "Pet Sounds" can never be the greatest album of all time is that both Brian Wilson and the staunch defenders of the album continue to reference the Beatles. Always, even six or seven times in the liner notes, it's all about how they are better than or inspired by the Beatles, even a lengthy quote by Paul McCartney extolling the virtues of "Pet Sounds." The reason is simply a deep insecurity about the title of "greatest album of all time." Greatest albums stand on their own, and do not justify their greatness by constantly comparing it to albums of a rival band. It is strange and a bit silly.

And since I know I will get many votes by offended Beach Boys fans and reactionary anti-Beatles, might I take this chance to offer my choice for the best album of all time, the one that escaped the loop of competition between Wilson and McCartney. The story goes like this: "Rubber Soul" inspires Wilson to do "Pet Sounds," which in turn inspires McCartney to suggest "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band." In the meantime, outside of all this madness, the Beatles made THE recording of history, "Revolver," which in terms of musicianship, variety, experimentation, lyrics, and especially production beats any album from any generation and any popular music style.

As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, I love "Pet Sounds," but I simply find the intense determination by its loyal devotees to have it crowned a subjective and irrelevant title to be slightly paranoid and certainly very much overdone.

5-0 out of 5 stars One Of The Greatest Achievements In Music History
After reaping huge success , both commercial and critical, with "The Beach Boys Today", leader and producer Brian Wilson set out to make an album even better than that. What he came up with has been called the greatest album of all time.

1966's "Pet Sounds" was the least successful Beach Boys album up to that time, barely hitting the top 10 (it peaked at 10) and not going gold. So it's no small irony that it remains their best and popular album of all time. Under Wilson's guidance, the group became more experimental, moving out of their signature "surf rock" realm and writing songs that dealed with real - life issues such as maturity ("Wouldn't It Be Nice"), love ("Don't Talk (Put Your Head On My Shoulder)", "You Still Believe In Me"), rejection ("Here Today", "I Just Wasn't Made For These Times", "Caroline No"), even death (the ethereal "God Only Knows", with Carl Wilson's angel - like vocal and Brian's stunning production). The only song that seems even remotely like their earlier work is "Sloop John B". But while this one has to do with the ocean they loved so much, it is more of a distress call than an ode to summer fun. The two instrumentals, "Let's Go Away For Awhile" and the title track are great. The former is carried on by the gentle, slightly mysterious vibraphones and great strings, while the latter is a sidewinding instrumental workout. "I Know There's An Answer" is a crackerjack keyboard workout with a fierce chorus and scorching lyrics. The bonus track, another version of the song entitled "Hang On To Your Ego" is just the same song with just the title line changed.

"Pet Sounds" now comes with a beautiful booklet filled with pictures and track information. Brian Wilson provides a wonderful inroduction, and the essay is beautifully written. verall, this is what I conisder the greatest album of all time. For me, to be a great album, the album has to really speak to you, and "Pet Sounds" speaks to me because, as I mentioned earlier, it talks about the issues in our lives. If you want an album, look no further than "Pet Sounds".

5-0 out of 5 stars One of my all-time favorites
I say that but I hate how fanboy-ish Pet Sounds lovers are. I'll try to avoid excessive use of superlatives when describing this album, however.
Where to start? I love the almost "wall of sound" on this album. Anywhere and everywhere there is an instrument being played or a sweet harmony being sung. I read the liner notes for this and was impressed at how ahead-of-the-times the recording of this record was. I'm not going to discuss the influence of this record, though, just how flawless nearly ever song here is.
Everybody knows "Wouldn't it Be Nice". I love the harmonies on this song, and the accordion during the verses. There's the piano-melody on "You Still Believe in Me" and the great beat on "That's Not Me". I know Brian Wilson collaborated with someone (whose name escapes me at the moment) on the lyrics, so I'll just say the lyrics are great. They're very simple and express simple things but the way Brian sings-it's just amazing. That's why a song like "That's Not Me" works, it's a very simple "I'm leaving my past behind for a girl" song but it's just sung greatly. "Don't Talk (Put Your Head on my Shoulder)" is one of the sweetest songs I have ever heard. It has no percussion-it's like a dream, a hazy dream, you can picture it in the background during some lazy afternoon get-together with your girlfriend/boyfriend whatever. And what about that bass? It's great. I love "I'm Waiting for the Day", again a very simple song that's just brought to life with the singing. I love listening to this album on headphones (the stereo version is amazing, I must say, it seems superfluous at first but it's worth it). I like but don't love both instrumentals.
And I hate people who say "Sloop John B" is the best song here. It was not recorded for Pet Sounds and it's probably the worst song on the album. It's great pop but it's simplistic in musical structure and the lyrics are from an old traditional song about sailing. Who doesn't know the lyrics to "God Only Knows"? It's more about expressing love rather than capturing the feeling of it (like "Don't Talk" does). The lyrics to "I Know There's an Answer" are probably my favorite on the whole album. And the chorus is amazing.
"Here Today" is great; again, great lyrics. Every teenager who has this album has probably memorized the lyrics to "I Just Wasn't Made for these Times". My favorite line on this record is "they say I got brains but they ain't doing me no good". In the liner notes Brian says his voice on "Caroline No" is his favorite vocal performance ever. It's awfully good and I love the song.
There's been so much written about Pet Sounds. It's a musical tour-de-force (argh, I hate that word but still). I love the drums on "Here Today" and the harmonies are great all around. This is just pop perfected. I don't find the songs soulless at all, I find them the complete opposite. It's lighthearted but serious at times, happy and in love at times but alienated and remorseful at others. I don't care if the lyrics aren't as "important" as the Beatles or if technically the album really isn't "rock and roll" at all. This isn't Brian Wilson moping, it's him making the album he wanted to make for himself. Probably not "best. album. ever." but it's close. ... Read more


66. Love Songs: A Compilation Old & New
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Asin: B000255LNE
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 599
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67. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
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Asin: B000001DQI
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1003
Average Customer Review: 4.81 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

Rarely mentioned as one of the great double albums, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road had to settle for ending up in a few million record collections. So sprawling that it doesn't quite measure up to the earlier, more laid-back Honky Chateau or the later, pushy Rock of the Westies, this still holds claim to a lot of brilliant, very pop-savvy music: the winking rebellion of "Bennie and the Jets" and "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting," the ready-made nostalgia of "The Ballad of Danny Bailey," the downbeat melodicism of "Harmony." --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (124)

4-0 out of 5 stars Solid Effort!
Okay, I'm aware that I'm overrating this one a bit. But after writing several negative Amazon reviews for Elton's first three U.S. studio albums, I'm ready to praise this pop effort. Honky Chateau, Don't Shoot Me, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road, Captain Fantastic, and Rock of the Westies (no, I didn't forget Caribou...I'm just not all that crazy about it) mark Elton's best period. And one has to admire Elton's effort to release a double-record of pure pop. Bennie and the Jets still remains one of my all-time favorite pop songs. Nevertheless, I feel that this would have made a perfect single album. Elton John is a genius, no doubt about it, but he's a frustratingly inconsistent genius. He's an influential and talented songwriter who, sadly, never recorded a truly great album. Oh, he's made some very good records (Honky Chateau), but never a classic. If he'd trimmed some of the fat off of this record, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road would qualify as one of pop music's most important recordings.

5-0 out of 5 stars Elton's Best Album Of The 70's- A Pop Landmark
The 1973 classic, Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is Elton John's masterpiece. It is a monumental, two-disc opus (now a remastered disc), which has a wide-array of styles from classical to rock. On this album, Elton experiments with the ARP synthesizer and keyboards. His band, guitarist Davey Johnstone, bassist Dee Murray, and drummer Nigel Olsson are energetic as even. Bernie Tapuin wrote great lyrics and themes on here. So, what's the problem? The whole album itself, is a little uneven. It should've been cut into a single album. Ok, let's get to some of the songs. "Funeral for a Friend/ Love Lies Bleeding" is a ll-minute prog-rock classic. I think it's an ode to Elton's music. "Candle in the Wind" is one of Elton's best-known classics. It's really sad because it's dedicated to Marilyn Monroe. Davey Johnstones's guitar work is great and Nigel's drumming is powerful."Bennie & the Jets" is a Bowie-like, glam rock classic. It actually sounds like a R&B flavored track. It's one of my favorite songs by Elton. The next song, "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" is a ballad that is still EJ's best ballads. The next 3 songs, "Jamaica Jerk-Off", "I've Seen That Movie Too", and "This Song Has No Title" are entertaining, but they are somewhat throwaways. "Sweet Painted Lady" is a gentle song with Elton singing about a seaside hooker. It's one of my personal favorites on this album. Another hit, "All The Girls Love Alice" is about a girl who is a lesbian that dies. It's probably the most self-indulgent song on here. "Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting" is one of Elton's well-known tracks. It is a hard-rock tune that has Davey playing his best guitar hooks. The ending, "Harmony" is a great, but depressing ballad. Elton John's Goodbye Yellow Brick Road is a milestone in pop music. Though, it excessively has filler, it still stands as his masterpiece. All of Elton's best work is here. It is a worthy addition to your collection. A-

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Classic
This is a great classic CD. Every Elton fan should have this one!
He is one of America's best ever pop stars. He is strongest when he teams with Bernie Taupin. Some of his best songs of all time are on this record made 30-some years ago.

4-0 out of 5 stars A real treat ...
It can be argued that the early 70's were Elton John's best era. If you were to listen to "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road" you will see why so many people say this. Elton's voice was so young and beautiful, and compositions with Taupin had a pure magic to them.

The opening track "Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding" pulls you in leaving you spellbound. The album is most famous for the countless hit singles lifted from the album including "Benny & the Jets", "Candle in the Wind" and the title track.

These are excellent tracks, but the real surprises to me were the album tracks which hold up well against the chosen singles. My favourite track on the album is "This Song Has No Title", simply so beautiful. Never tire of hearing this. It is followed by "Grey Seal", another favourite of mine.

Like most albums, there are the odd fillers here and there, but they still represent well crafted pieces of work.

This is an album that deserves a place in your CD collection.

5-0 out of 5 stars I keep purchasing this CD.
-not much of a music expert, here. However, I know what I like. And, keep coming back to this recording from time to time and it still amazes me (the talent of diversity). Must have owned at least a dozen copies from LP to cassette to CD. This may sound cliche..., but great pop music keeps sounding good year after year. First heard it when I was a mere 9 years old & still enjoy it, today. This CD is definately worth your time & money. It's pretty much got something for everyone. ... Read more


68. Bedtime With the Beatles (Blue Cover)
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Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1692
Average Customer Review: 4.92 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (26)

5-0 out of 5 stars Accept no bedtime substitutes -- this is it!
Chalk one up for all reviewers -- I bought this CD a week before the birth of my first child primarily because of the high marks given by my peers below.

They were right. Falkner is an excellent musician who serves his audience's needs exquisitely; Bedtime With the Beatles is a masterpiece on all counts.

Despite the heavy potential for awfulness in the premise -- string-heavy instrumental covers of Beatles songs in lullaby format -- Bedtime With the Beatles is not at all cheesy or muzak-y. Rather, Falkner produces a lush blanket of synths, guitar, bass and strings that is sweet and peaceful without a hint of cloyingness. The transition from one song to another (which if too abrupt, like on some CDs, can wake the baby) is quite peaceful, yet the songs manage to be diverse enough to keep both of us interested in the entire album after several dozen listens. The overall effect is of a finely crafted CD experience, slow but not plodding, full in range and tone, and familiar without reducing the original fine songs to something less than stellar. The baby has already learned that the first few notes of "Blackbird" mean naptime, and, thanks to the enclosed lyrics, I have finally learned the verses to "Mother Nature's Son" so I can sing along as she settles in.

Both Willow Myla (4 weeks old) and I (a 29-year-old first-time parent) thank all of you out there who convinced us to buy this. If you're expecting and starting in-utero listening, or just had a baby and want to know which one CD to pick as "the" bedtime CD for the first few months, do yourself a favor and believe the hype!

5-0 out of 5 stars Delivers on its title!
Huge Beatles fan here. You cannot desecrate their songs in my abode. I really enjoy this CD. Indeed, I listen to it going to sleep on nights that I had a stressful day and I do get comfort and relaxation from listening to it. I most likely would not listen to it loud and while I'm, say, driving my car as the liner notes suggest; however, it is lovely to listen to while laying down, relaxing and the tunes are familiar and the musicianship is top-notch in my estimation!

5-0 out of 5 stars Nice CD, also get GENIE's ANGELS ALL AROUND
This is a nice CD, the Beatles songs are always worth having around and maybe your kid will grow up to be the next Paul McCartney or John Lennon.

I'd also get Genie's quiet CD's, like ANGELS ALL AROUND.I think Genie has a 4 CD set you can pick up on here for pretty good deal.

5-0 out of 5 stars Blue Cover and Pink Cover IS THE SAME CD!...
Great stuff!
Just remember they are the same CD with different color cover (surely to make a politically correct "sex" present...), I foolishly thougt it was Vol I and Vol II and ordered Both!.
You've been advised.
A must have (only one) lullabies CD.

5-0 out of 5 stars a must have... not only for children!
Don't hesitate a moment longer and get this CD! The compilations are perfection and this will make a great addition to your audio library, even if your child is already asleep and you just want to put something on to relax. You will not be disappointed. Beautiful! ... Read more


69. Ladies & Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael
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Asin: B00000DHRX
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Sales Rank: 936
Average Customer Review: 4.68 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

Bathroom escapades aside, there's no denying that George Michael has been responsible for some of the biggest party jams of the '80s and '90s. Have you ever noticed what happens to a room when "Faith" erupts from the speakers? Aside from the funk-fueled "Fastlove," the material from his most recent album, Older, is well and truly overshadowed here by the megahits from days gone by. The first disc starts off slow, with "Careless Whisper" and his remake of "I Can't Make You Love Me" the only real high points among otherwise bland ballads. It's disc 2 that exudes the essence of Michael, with "Fastlove," "Too Funky," and "Freedom 90" providing a nonstop dance-athon, and "I Want Your Sex" and "Faith" picking up the slack. The package also includes his rather unexciting (but hugely popular) duets with Queen and Elton John, his perfect pop pairing with Aretha Franklin, and two new tracks. Set aside some serious time for this one, folks. The hits don't stop. --Rebecca Wallwork ... Read more

Reviews (194)

5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome 2 CD Collection of Hits and New Songs
'Ladies and Gentlemen: The Best of George Michael' is an awesome 2 CD collection of hits and new songs. The 1st CD - FOR THE HEART - is dedicated to his late mother Lesley. George Michael reveals his soul with honest lyrics of love, relationships, hope and despair. Among the tracks are a new song, 'A Moment With You' and the lush 'Desafinado' with Astrud Gilberto, taken from the aids awareness charity CD 'RED HOT AND RIO.' The 2nd CD - FOR THE FEET - is a collection of up tempo and dance tracks. (Gotta Get Up to Get Down!) Unfortunately, only the international version features the fantastic cover of the Stevie Wonder song 'As' with Mary J. Blige. (I purchased the import.) Each CD has it's own lyric and photo book filled with 26 wonderful photographs spanning George Michael's career. Like his influences, Elton John, Stevie Wonder and Queen, Michael truly has the gift of writing lyrics and delivering vocals that evoke incredible emotion from the listener. This compilation is a must-have for George Michael fans and lovers of music alike.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stunning collection showcases an amazing talent
Recipe for a must-have CD: Start off with classic pop hits like "Careless Whisper," "Faith," "Father Figure," and "Freedom 90." Add a handful of great material that SHOULD have been hits, like "Hard Day," "Heal the Pain," "Waiting for That Day" and "Spinning the Wheel." Add a couple of tasty remixes for "Monkey" and "Star People." Sprinkle a dash of rarely-heard treats like "Desafinado" with Astrud Gilberto and a fine rendition of the otherwise overdone "I Can't Make You Love Me." Toss in a flawless pair of new tunes in the form of the sultry ballad "A Moment With You" and the disco-happy "Outside." Throw it all together with gorgeous pictures, give it a pricetag under $20, and Presto! The perfect Christmas gift for fans of soulful pop, not to mention the perfect impulse buy for yourself. Pop either entertaining disc into your CD player and listen to it cook for over an hour. It confirms that George Michael is one of the most talented and endearing pop performers of our times. WARNING: Discs will inspire multiple listenings.

2-0 out of 5 stars OK CD
Sorry after the first 4 songs the album is a waste of money. All the rest are just boring copies of each other.

5-0 out of 5 stars Pure Genius
If you are a fan...you must have this collection. He is a true talent on just about any genre his vocals touch.

4-0 out of 5 stars His best, and then some.
When it comes to pop, "George Michael" is one of my favorites, and even though these 2 discs are great, I think 1 disc would have been excellent. I mean, up to this point, he did have only 3 albums out. It could have been a flawless 18 track disc. Anyway, more is better right. Disc 1 has the ballads like "Jesus To A Child", "Careless Whisper", "Father Figure", and "Praying For Time". Disc 2 has the upbeat tracks "Too Funky", "Freedom 90", "Monkey", and "Outside". Plus there's numerous covers and duets, and all pretty good. My only complaints, there's no "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go", and the version of "I Want Your Sex" isn't the single version. Otherwise, this should be all the "George" the casual fan could want. ... Read more


70. The All-Time Greatest Hits of Roy Orbison
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Asin: B0000026T0
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 941
Average Customer Review: 4.89 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

It's a measure of Roy Orbison's classics that even some of the uptempo songs that break up the dominant balladic mood of this 20-song collection are themselves fairly melancholic. Rarely does Orbison allow himself the outright celebration of something like "Mean Woman Blues," more often going for the shades of gray that slip into "Blue Angel" and "Leah." Few could do what he achieves on these singles, and not just because few are gifted with such a voice. The biggest achievement of all may be Orbison's ability to make a devastated cry like "Only the Lonely" sound somehow peaceful. --Rickey Wright ... Read more

Reviews (35)

5-0 out of 5 stars A piercing, amazing voice
Roy Orbison is still curiously underrarted and under-appreciated. I was ecstatic when he went through a revival in the late 80's, but it was tragically cut short when Roy died, then his reputation again fell by the wayside. His voice remains the purest instrument in popular music in the last fifty years. Listening to these remastered recordings is an absolute joy because I'm accustomed to listening to these treasures on vinyl, with the typical pops, buzzes and surface scratches. All of that has been eliminated on this disc. The sound quality is exceptional throughout.

Included are all of Orbison's signature hits, from the classic "Pretty Woman" to the haunting "Crying" with the poignant tenor cry at the conclusion. My personal favorite Orbison song has always been "Running Scared," a sort of mini-opera, replete with the soaring, rather syrupy arrangements his songs are noted for. I admit many of these arrangements sound dated, but the voice is the primary instrument anyway, and the only one you'll care about. If Elvis was blessed with a gorgeous set of pipes, Roy was in another league entirely and his gift never diminished. If you are an old Orbison die-hard fan, or a newbie to this incredible man, this collection will do you nicely.

5-0 out of 5 stars The greatest hits of rock and rolls greatest tenor: Mercy!
You have to get through 19 other Roy Orbison songs before you get to the unforgettable opening guitar riff of "Oh, Pretty Woman," but the songs along the way are worth the journey. Of all the singers who got their start in Sam Phillips' Memphis based Sun Records in the mid 1950s, the only one who tops Orbison is, of course, Elvis Presley. But Elvis had that deep rich voice and Orbison offered the world that sweet high tenor. We begin with "Only the Lonely," which certainly has to meet with Bruce Springsteen's approval (see "Thunder Road"), and eventually get around to "In Dreams," "Dream Baby," and "Blue Bayou." My other two favorites come back-to-back early on, "It's Over," with its wailing climax, and "Crying," which might be the Orbison song most covered by other artists. That is because few would have the nerve to touch "Oh, Pretty Woman." If you have never checked out the live version Orbison and Friends did in 1989, then make a point of tracking that down. You would swear the man's voice never changed a whit over the course of his legendary career. I know he was one of the few male singers who was working in a vocal range where my woefully inadequate voice always wanted to go, so I have probably been singing along to Roy Orbison songs longer than anybody other than the Beatles. If Elvis was the King, then Roy Orbison must have been the top ranked Duke.

5-0 out of 5 stars Go Ahead! You Already Know the Words!
There are few surprises here: This 20 track, 2 volume in one CD is a first rate compilation of Roy's golden years with Monument records in the early to mid 1960s. Naming favorite tracks is highly subjective, for each of us has our pet choices. Roy had so many hits and most were done his unique triple octave voice that led up to climactic fadeouts or endings. (This reviewer does not actually know what a "triple octave" voice is but I have heard it used often in referring to Roy). The best goldies from this viewpoint are "It's Over" and the ultimate climax song "In Dreams". Who else could hit that high note? Who else would dare attempt it? This reviewer also liked "Blue Bayou" and "I'm Hurtin". And yes, "Pretty Woman" is here too. Some amazon friends have complained that none of Roy's selections from his later years are included but those are beyond the scope of this CD. It is vital to note that amazon has an extensive (!) selection of Roy CDs. I don't know of any that match the value of this particular one. Why keep scrolling down? Why wait? Hit the "add to shopping cart" button. It's difficult to end a positive review on a negative note but the skimpy and thinly written informational jacket insert is truly pathetic! Surely Roy derves more respect!

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Collection
As a kid, I went on vacation every summer with my aunt, uncle and cousins to a little town called Boulder Creek. Boulder Creek is a small resort town in the redwood forests a few miles inland from Santa Cruz on the California coast. Many hours were spent basking in the sun (or seeking shade) at the local swimming pool. The setting was idyllic, and one particular summer a popular tune on the juke box was "Only The Lonely".

I've never been a huge Roy Orbison fan (the orchestrated ballads that he often recorded aren't really my style), but he had some great hits, of which "Only The Lonely" has long been a personal favorite. It probably has something to do with those hot afternoons spent at the pool in those beautiful green mountains. This CD has "Only The Lonely", as well as Orbison's other big hits, along with some other good tunes that you may not have heard if you're not a fan. If you've got a favorite Orbison song, or if you're just interested in seminal pop/rock music, this is a CD you want to own. Roy Orbison was a great singer and a major pop/rock artist. This is a great collection of songs. You might find youself listening to it more than you expected. I recommend it highly.

5-0 out of 5 stars A Cut Above The Rest
It tells you something about the artist in question when, in over 30 reviews, just two award this volume less than the 5-star maximum. Obviously, when it comes to Roy Orbison it takes a real nit-picker to find fault with any of the volumes covering his fabulous career.

This involved 32 Billboard Top 100 singles from 1956 to 1992 (two of them posthumous and 3 of them double-sided hits), 10 Adult Contemporary crossovers, and over a half dozen on each of the R&B and Country charts. Not to mention the millions in EP/LP sales.

If I was to engage in nit-picking I would point out that tracks 13 and 14 were not, themselves, hits in the true sense of the word, Love Hurts being the B-side of Running Scared, and Shahadaroba the flip of In Dreams. This being his best while at Monument, perhaps these could have been replaced by the 1965 hits Goodnight [# 21] and (Say) You're My Girl [# 39]. Also, the liner notes by Boudleaux Bryant are rather skimpy for such an important artist.

Even so, those shortcomings are not enough for even this noted nit-picker to assign less than 5 stars. ... Read more


71. A Sides Win: Singles 1992-2005 [Bonus DVD]
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Asin: B00080Z624
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 4159
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Sloan is God's gift to rock and roll. There. It's been said--for the one-millionth time. While fans uttered the phrases "critics' darlings," "underappreciated," and "underrated," the band spent their time circling the globe and racking up a string of singles. They've been rightfully compared to the who's who of four-piece rock/pop bands (no need to go into that here).* But it is, on the occasion of this 2005-released A-side retrospective, worth pointing out a few of the reasons for such comparisons. First and foremost is their catalog of recordings. Each album is dosed with tracks that run from horn-throwing monsters to easy-breezy rock-alongs. Each successive release one-upped the previous, either in terms of ability, maturity, or daring--never once alienating fans or looking back for past glory. All four voices fly in and out throughout; drum fills are pulled straight from the cocktail kit masters; tube-amp tones and guitar phrases could be the chapters in a How to be in a Killer Band for Dummies book. On stage, the band is the equivalent of a Yukon fire drill with members swapping instruments, vocals, and rock moves song-for-song with furious skill and fierce cool. They're everything we've been trained to love about rock all rolled up in a tour van.

Highlights from this collection range from the ambitious undergrad stabs of "Underwhelmed" and the holy trinity of power-pop from 1997's One Chord to Another ("The Good in Everyone," "Everything You've Done Wrong," "The Lines You Amend"), to the grown-up Sloan of "The Other Man" ("If I'm the other man, nature will abhor me") and "The Rest of My Life" ("Am I gonna be someone who has to take the rest of my life to settle down?/What kind of fool doesn't think about it?/You have to be a fool not to think about it.") The one thing you'll find yourself wishing for is a speedy arrival of the B-sides and rarities.

The bonus DVD version contains videos for all the songs and is the good value here. The videos accurately document the Sloan legacy and the song-by-song video commentary is fun for the superfans. --Peter Hilgendorf

* The Beatles, the Kinks, the Who, Led Zeppelin, Big Star, Kiss, Cheap Trick, the Clash, the Replacements, the Young Fresh Fellows, and the Beach Boys (when Mike Love was out at the dry cleaner's).

Recommended Sloan Discography

Smeared

Twice Removed

One Chord to Another

Between the Bridges

Pretty Together

Action Pact

... Read more

Reviews (4)

5-0 out of 5 stars Greatness
After the last couple albums (Pretty Together and Action Pact, neither of which did much good for anyone), it was easy to forget how frickin' awesome Sloan was on albums 1 through 5. This comp does a very fine job of doing that.

But one point: There are two versions of the DVD, one for Canadian release and one for Americans. Because of licensing issues, the Canadian version has a ton more stuff on it -- live performances, TV appearances, etc. So if you really want the full Sloan experience, go buy it at Amazon.ca or some other fine Canadian online music vendor.

5-0 out of 5 stars GET THE VERSION WITH THE DVD!
For casual fans or people just getting into Sloan, this is a nice place to start, but if you've been a fan for a fair amount of their thirteen years, treat the CD like the bonus disc and get it for the DVD.All the videos are here, some in multiple forms, and you get a quasi-Behind the Music where the band goes over all of the videos.It's nice to hear Patrick speak as he often plays the George Harrison part in the overemphasized Beatles comparisons (i.e. He's quiet.)Chris seems kind of mad in the video whereas Jay and Andrew seem to be their normal selves.Really can't say too much in terms of gushing.This won't break any new ground, I don't think, and a lot of longtime fans are wondering if this is it for the lads.I hope not, and neither should you.If you enjoy power pop, you could do worse but no better than to pick this CD/DVD up.

Signed,
epsteinsmutha

5-0 out of 5 stars perfect pop
Since their split from DGC many moons ago, these Canadian boys' music has been next to impossible to get here. At long last, Koch has been able to bring their music back to our hungry ears. It's about time too!

It's hard to know what to say about Sloan, they're one of those bands that just makes me want to scream "What do you mean why are they so great? I don't know, they just are!!! You need to buy all their records NOW!" I just love their perfect pop so much. Equal parts crunchy guitars, Beach Boys like harmonies, impossibly catchy hooks, stumblingly chaotic drumming, perfect jangle and strum guitars. And then there's the fact that each member of Sloan takes turn singing, playing guitar, and playing bass. How many bands can you say that about?! And the thing is, they all completely kick [...] at all three. And as you get familiar with the band you start identifying songs as a 'Jay song' or an 'Andrew song'. That's sort of the appeal, they are crack songsmiths, and most definitely rock stars (certainly in Canada) but at the same time they are so self effacing, dorky and lovable.

Their music is totally earnest and over the top bombastic at the same time. Sometimes it shuffles along all moody and downcast, sometimes it's a blast of high energy RAWK, sometimes they'll whip out some full on Chicago horns. And it all sounds great, fitting perfectly into Sloan's perfect pop puzzle.

The second half of this greatest hits packed less of that Sloan pop wallop I so hold dear and more of an arena rock flair (which is sort of the direction their records have been taking, but heck, I'd rather Sloan be rocking the stadium than Janet Jackson!).

If you somehow missed Sloan the first time around (or if you just plain miss them!), this singles compilation serves quite well as shorthand summary of their many albums. This is essential pop, power or otherwise. PLUS while supplies last you get a whole DVD of all of their videos, which are all totally fun and funny and wildly entertaining. And it's a blast to watch the band go through an impossible number of hairstyles over the years!

Anyone who loves the Posies, Weezer, Jellyfish, Big Star, Silver Sun, the Fastbacks, Superchunk, the Stereo, Zumpano, the New Pornographers, Fallout Boy, the Get Up Kids or any of that stuff, who doesn't already have a big chunk of Sloan in their collection has a lot of catching up to do. This is as good a place as any to start!

5-0 out of 5 stars Alternative pop perfection
I've been lucky to have lived in Detroit (well nobody is truly lucky to live in Detroit) where alternative radio is based in Canada and therefore is required to play a certain percentage of canadian acts.As a result I've been exposed to the best that Canada has to offer with bands such as The Tragically Hip, Blue Rodeo, Cowboy Junkies, Doughboys, The Grapes Of Wrath, 24 Gone, Sarah McLachlan and the almighty Sloan.

If you haven't had the pleasure of hearing Sloan you're missing out on one of the truly great alternative pop bands of the past 20 years.And while Sloan are huge in Canada, sadly America hasn't had the honor of being properly exposed.

Hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Sloan first burst on the scene with Geffen Records' 1993 release "Smeared".The power pop grunge like "Underwhelmed" received a fair amount of airplay on Alternative radio but it was not followed up with any significant airplay on a 2nd single.By the time "Twice Removed" hit a couple years later, those in the loop knew that Sloan were a special band.The album failed to produce a huge single and attain commercial success, but it did achieve critical acclaim and was loaded with great songs in "Penpals", "Coax Me", "I Hate My Generation", "People Of The Sky" & "Snowsuit Sound".

Still flying slightly under the radar, record #3 "One Chord To Another" was another artistic achievement the boasted the lead single "The Good In Everyone".And while OCTA was another great Sloan record it possibly wore its influences (Beatles) a bit too close to the sleeve.

Well 4 studio records later Sloan is still making great music and still haven't made it in America.Their fanbase has reached almost cult status and those that love the band are really into them.If you're a fan of guitar based alternative pop with great melodies then you can do no wrong by picking this record up and discovering one of the truly greatest pop bands of the past 20 years. ... Read more


72. The Grass Roots - All Time Greatest Hits
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Catlog: Music
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As a band the Grass Roots were always a shadowy bunch, a front for studio musicians and professional songwriters looking to get their songs on the radio. They scored 14 top 40 hits during their reign in the late '60s/early '70s and their hits were among the catchiest and most enjoyable of the AM radio era."Let's Live for Today," "Midnight Confessions," "Bella Linda," "Two Divided by Love," and a slew of others are shameless pop made brilliant by multilayered harmonies and arrangements that liberally borrowed from folk-rock and R&B. The Grass Roots may have been product, but what great product. --Rob O'Connor ... Read more


73. The Very Best Of Cher
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Asin: B000083E79
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 631
Average Customer Review: 4.44 out of 5 stars
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Given a five-decade career that's been one long series of critical write-offs and subsequent comeback triumphs, it's tempting to argue that the natural elements are actually earth, wind, fire, water--and Cher. Anchored by her 1998 international mega-success "Believe" (the song that made Cher the oldest woman to score a chart topper) and its equally club-savvy contemporary collaborations with producers Mark Taylor and Brian Rawlings, "Song for the Lonely" and "A Different Kind of Love Song," this 21-track anthology is indeed the first to contain all her No. 1 hits, stretching back to her epochal 1965 duet with Sonny Bono on the faux-Dylan "I Got You Babe." And if it shortchanges her Phil Spector-rooted origins and a true perspective on her '60s and '70s career (though kitsch classic chart toppers "Dark Lady," "Half-Breed," and "Gypsies, Tramps and Thieves" are all here) to focus on her string of '80s and '90s pop successes in service of writers like Diane Warren ("If I Could Turn Back Time") and Desmond Child ("Just Like Jesse James"), it's good to remember that, according to the pop soothsayers, none of them were even supposed to happen, let alone make her an icon for a whole new generation. It's a tribute to sheer, fashion-defying willpower--and as unlikely an argument for the notion of "the singer, not the song" as one is likely to find. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (147)

4-0 out of 5 stars Cher and Cher Alike.
I realize that confessing a love for Cher is credibility suicide in many circles, but I couldn't resist reviewing her latest greatest hits CD, which has been selling rather well. Whether you like Cher or not, you have to admit that her ability to endure five decades is hardly a result of mere blind luck. As we all know, the media and public can be ruthless to divas who are past their sell-by date, but Cher has been able to outlive them all. You can credit that to tenacity, a strong will, and the ability to market yourself as shrewdly as Madonna. On "The Very Best of Cher," we witness the singer formerly known as Ms. LaPierre embrace the good, the bad, and the tacky in pop music. There are the predictable songs from her days with Sonny Bono ("I Got You, Babe"), her remarkably solid solo work from the 1970s ("Half Breed" and "Gypsies, Tramps, and Thieves"), her affair with adult contemporary pop rock schlock ("If I Could Turn Back Time," "I Found Someone"), and glittery neo disco ("Believe," her biggest single to date). At 21 tracks, the collection captures all eras of her career impressively, but it does have flaws. It omits "We All Sleep Alone," and Rodney Jerkins' remix of "Different Kind of Love Song" is inferior to the original album version. But "The Very Best of Cher" gets bonus points from me for including the fantastic discocentric "All Or Nothing," an underrated and overlooked flop single that's just as good as "Believe." Cher is hardly a critics darling, and many will turn their nose and laugh contemptuously. Who cares? "The Very Best of Cher" makes for a qualified guilty pleasure from one of the most resilient female entertainers around.

4-0 out of 5 stars Cher's Most Accurate Overview...as of 2003
Cher has had quite a winding career over the past 40 years, as her songs have touched various genres like folk, girl group, soft rock, disco, arena rock, adult contemporary, and house. She has also had the fortune of producing hits in each of these genres, so a career like hers should result in a rich, sprawling greatest hits compilation. Unfortunately, over that same period of time, she has worked with three different major labels, and thus her collections have generally resulted as incomplete introspectives.

And, all things considered, the 2003 issue THE VERY BEST OF CHER follows that trend, but it's actually Cher's most complete collection to date. The reason for that it contains more of her big hits than any prior collection from the infamous "I Got You Babe" with Sonny Bono in 1965 to the insistent "Believe" in 1999, while taking in other essential tracks like "All I Really Want to Do"; "The Beat Goes On"; "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)"; "Gypsys, Tramps, and Thieves"; "Half-Breed"; "Dark Lady"; "Take Me Home"; "I Found Someone"; "After All"; "If I Could Turn Back Time"; and "The Shoop Shoop Song."

But the biggest problems with this collection do not really consider that some big songs are still missing. First off, there are too many tracks from BELIEVE and LIVING PROOF; "Believe" was the only top 40 hit Cher had in those two albums, and the rest of the material was pretty generic. The sequencing of this collection also does not work very well (even if it does roughly work from the present to the beginning) largely because those particular tracks from the last two albums, plus the new mix of "A Different Kind of Love Song," slow down the collection's pace considerably. It is because of these flaws that the collection only emphasizes what's missing: "You Better Sit Down Kids"; "Where Do You Go"; "Alfie"; "Living in a House Divided"; "The Way of Love"; "All I Ever Need Is You"; "A Cowboy's Work Is Never Done"; "Train of Thought"; "We All Sleep Alone"; and "Love and Understanding" could have been possible candidates.

But yet, if you're trying to look for that one definitive Cher collection, THE VERY BEST OF CHER is the closest record to that title. And even if the overall listen is a little tiring because of the unnecessary tracks, it is still nice to have a concise collection that gives consideration to all of the styles Cher has achieved fame with over the years.

1-0 out of 5 stars despise it
please get rid of this cd and this old woman who should call it a day.it is a shame to call this package of 21 terrible songs as best of collection as to me it sounds more like lousy hits.trash this immediately.avoid.

1-0 out of 5 stars really awful
i would request that this is one album which you should avoid at all costs.this awful cd is bad beyond description and i really wonder when this old woman will call it a day and stop harrasing us.she only became famous because of her short lived association with the great greg allman.avoid.rating 1/2 out of 10.get rust in peace from megadeth instead.

5-0 out of 5 stars This album would convert anyone...
1. Believe: awesome dance song 5 stars
2. If I could turn back time: ditto
3. Heart of Stone: nice, 4 stars
4. Just like jesse james: the best rock song of all time 5 stars
5. Save up all your tears, catchy, 4 stars
6. After All: ok one of the greatest love songs/duets of all time, instantly likeable, will make you cry, 5 stars
7. I found someone: i actually love the verses more than the chorus, 5 stars
8. one by one, um i don't know about this one, not modern ear friendly, 3 stars
9. stong enough, great dance song again, 5 stars
10. all or nothing, ditto
11. song for the lonely, ditto
12. take me home, not my fav, 2 stars
13. it's in his kiss: classic 4 stars
14. all i really want to do, not my fav again, 1 star
15. bang bang, much better live, 1 star
16. Half-breed: so original, tribal but pop sound at same time, 5 stars
17. gypsies, tramps and thieves - i love this one, 5 stars
18. dark lady - i like these creepy mystical songs, we need more of them, very catchy, 5 stars
19 and 20, classics
21. a different kind of love song - this remix is great for this song, 4 stars ... Read more


74. Agaetis Byrjun
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Asin: B00005IC2H
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1206
Average Customer Review: 4.48 out of 5 stars
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Reykjavík-based noise quartet Sigur Rós are the biggest band in their native Iceland, which should say much, much more about the collective insanity of that earthquake-ridden, blizzard-beaten crag of an island than anything to do with Sigur Rós's sound. But in their music, Sigur Rós reflect all the breathtaking glory of the Icelandic wastes--a fairy-tale explosion of unhinged elemental majesty that's finally crystallized here, their debut European release. Poised somewhere between the haunting soundscapes of Labradford and the lilting Celtic falsetto of Enya, Agaetis Byrjun is a truly breathtaking listen. Frontman Jon Por Birgisson sings in a language that Sigur Rós dub "Hopelandic"--an otherworldly mutation of Icelandic, sung in the falsetto cadence of angels; similarly, he plays his guitar with a violin bow, opening the floodgates for brilliant waves of feedback. And while it's the opening "Svefn-G-Englar" that's Sigur Rós' moment to date, there's far more that they have to offer; listen to the pomp and flourish of a full orchestra on "Flugufrelsarinn," or the awe-inspiring near-religious mantra of "Ny Batteri." --Amazon.co.uk ... Read more

Reviews (233)

5-0 out of 5 stars Surprised when I found out they were human beings...
After introducing many listeners to their distinct sound by way of the "Vanilla Sky" sountrack album, Icelandic quartet Sigur Rós (pronouned "Seer Rose" with the R's rolled) has built a following interested in expanding their tastes in music and virtually elimintaing insomnia. Agaetis Byrjun (pronounced "Ow-gate-is Beeryune"), the band's third overall album to date, is their masterpiece. It is the ultimate realization of the spectrum of human emotion, and, when accompanied by candles and a good pair of headphones, proves as an adequate cure for sleep deprevation. The band's instrumentation is relatively simple: vocals, guitar, bass, drums, and keyboards/synthesizers. The miracle of this is the otherworldly sound channeled through these instruments and into the ears, heart, and soul of the listener.
The album begins with an intro, roughly a minute long, which resembles an underwater choir singing an irresistable refrain, chopped and repeated by the loopwork of keyboardist Kjartan Sveinsson. It slowly travels into the now-famous "Svefn-G-Englar"(Sleepwalkers) by way of the repeating ping of a sonar detector and the rumbling of an underwater submarine. The two songs together serve as an exposition to a much grander scheme, but it is here that we are introduced to Sigur Rós' distinctive blend of angelic vocals, channeling bass work, etherreal percussion, and quite possibly the most beautiful guitar feedback ever recorded, by way of guitarist/vocalist Jonsi running a cello bow along the strings. From this, the listener is transported into the stellar "Staralfur" by way of a rapidly drumming heartbeat. From first listen, one is compelled to make a nighttime trip to an open field to gaze at a star-painted sky, revelling in the sheer beauty of life.
Next is the hypnotic "Flugufrelsarinn", brought in by a combination of wind and guitar screeching. The song borderlines erotica, and is as irresistable as it is trance-inducing. Brass hummings bring in "Ny Batteri", a song that is altogether more melancholy in its scope as compared with the rest of the album. It's as if the band is lost in its own emotional maelstrom, struggling to find any signs of light. A peephole is found in the jazz-like "Hjartad Hamast", which sounds like Miles Davis as interpreted by a Martian. The peephole then tears, to become the rejuvenation that is "Vidrar Vel Til Loftarasa". The longest song on the album, it is arguably the most beautiful, shifting through 4 main phrases all in one swift, breathtaking motion.
Now that the rejuvenation has been found, it is time for the youthful abandon that is "Olsen Olsen". The timely, enchanting bass riff guides the listener through a dark forest leading to a meadow, filled with a grand choir encircling a lone flutist. Immediately following is the smile-inducing title track, "Agaetis Byrjun". The guitar intro fades in from nothing, and the divine instrumentation makes the listener think of the same. A flying kite comes to mind in this song. As for "Avalon", the closer, nothing will be disclosed. It serves as a final farewell to the listener, tucking them in goodnight, and letting them rest assured that life is indeed filled with beauty, if they would only allow their ears to hear it.
Simply put, this is one of the most beautiful albums ever made. Sigur Rós is a band not easily dismissed. Agaetis Byrjun is an experience not easily forgotten. Your ears, mind, heart, soul, and eyelids will love you forever.

4-0 out of 5 stars A new favourite of mine
I stumbled into Sigur Ros after someone on a messageboard I frequent was expressing excitement about their then-upcoming third album ( ), which I bought the day it was released stateside. I was duly impressed, but it was after I bought Agaetis Byrjun that the band really sunk it's claws into me.

For an album who's songs stretch up into the the ten minute range, this is a very accessable record. The instrumentals are soothing yet intense, often at the same time (think Kid A-era Radiohead), as this is very much mood music. Pianos interweave with bowed electric guitars, fingerpicked acoustics, moderate percussion, keyboard melodies, etcetera. One song (Olsen Olsen, I believe) even has a somewhat dischordant orchestral bombast.

As far as the vocals, Jonsi has a beautiful falsetto (no one I play this for believes that's a guy at first), and even though I don't understand the lyrics (they are Icelandic after all), I like the tonal quality of them.

To a point, Vanilla Sky did for Sigur Ros what Benny & Joon did for the Proclaimers: gave an unknown band stateside a few minutes in the spotlight. Given, Sven-g-Englar (which loosely translates to Sleepwalkers I think), the song on the VS soundtrack, is one you hear people going on about a lot. The standout, in my opinion however, is the title track, Agaetis Byrjun (A Good Beginning). Both are fantastic songs, though, and the rest of the album isn't much behind.

So yes. If you're in the mood for a three minute pop hook, obviously you would do well to look elsewhere. If you're willing to invest a little patience, however, Agaetis Byrjun is a top cut. Let it wash over you and see where it takes you.

5-0 out of 5 stars I'VE FOUND NEAR PERFECTION
Anyone who appreciates beautiful music would love this album. It's not something you listen to when you're drunk in the club, or jamming in your car down the boardwalk on the beach, but its something to listen to and enjoy by yourself. These songs make you think of life, of past relationships, of God, and of the world. The only problem with this is, if you are mainly for lyrics, and you don't speak the language of this band, you will not understand a word, let alone spell a song's name. Do not listen to this album to find meaning in the words. Let the singer's voice and sounds be part of the music instead of focusing on what he is saying. I believe this is an album where you will either REALLY love it or it just won't be for you. If you are strictly into American pop music, hiphop/R&B, metal or hard rock, or close-minded to a certain hardcore sound, this album might not be for you. If you are open-minded to music that isn't just screaming and hardcore riffs, and isn't filled with hot beats with someone yappin about ridin on dubs and 24's, this might catch your ear. This is what music is supposed to be. I'm not saying this is what all music should be. I am saying that all music, whatever genre, should be on this level. If that were possible, the world would be a much more enjoyable place. If you have time to listen to this album, I strongly strongly strongly recommend it.

5-0 out of 5 stars Superb
This is my number one desert island CD. Orgasmic and haunting are the best ways I can describe this album. If Iceland has it's own equivalent of the Smithsonian, than a copy of Agaetis Byrjun deserves to be placed in it immediately.

5-0 out of 5 stars Mind bending, influencial recordings
I can only describe this album in few words, since there is so much to describe it with, it's amazing. Absolutely stunning. The violin bow added to the guitar playing is just great. Beautiful, melodic music. A good buy, and a classic to keep in your collection ... Read more


75. Best: 1991-2004
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Sales Rank: 966
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It's fair to assume that if you're a Seal fan, you prefer your pop shot through with substance. Using that as a guiding principle, you'll want to glide right into Best: 1991-2004 where you will encounter, throughout two discs and 27 songs, scarcely a second of musical fluff. All the expected goosebump-raisers come on disc one--"Don't Cry" follows "Prayer for the Dying" follows "Kiss from a Rose" follows "Crazy"--and they're interspersed with deeper cuts from Seal IV such as "Get It Together" and "Loves Divine" as well as a couple of covers that, in a lesser vocalist's hands, might have been catastrophic. Seal plays it subtle and sweet and Burt Bacharach's "Walk on By," sidestepping any instinct to belt, and the help he gets from Mikey Dread on Echo & the Bunnymen's "Lips Like Sugar" settles the song into a snazzified reggae-pop celebration. (Also included is Seal's soaring cover of Steve Miller's "Fly Like an Eagle," which proved his prowess as a cover artist with its chart success). Though "best" collections aren't normally upheld for their surprise elements--nobody likes a package that challenges with armloads of new stuff--disc two pulls off a neat stunt. It's a complete acoustic album, again encompassing the major radio hits but stretching to include tracks like the impossibly tender "Touch" and the meltingly gorgeous "Colour." Their unplugged presentation, with the artist on guitar, sets an up-close-and-personal tone that suits Seal. More to the point, it suits his fans, who'll take all the intimacy with the singer-slash-heartthrob they can get. --Tammy La Gorce ... Read more


76. Everybody Loves a Happy Ending
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Asin: B0002M5T34
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 684
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Among the benefits of picking up the new Tears for Fears album--the band's first since 1989--maybe the least obvious is looking cool in front of friends. Flick it on over cocktails, say, and brows will furrow: Few would think to match the heaving, synth-heavy boys who lit up the '80s with "Head Over Heels" to this new material. Which is mostly a good thing. The vocals of lead singer Roland Orzabal, powered by some all-cylinders thing, still squash all traces of irony in their path, and there's a moodiness to the music, minus a lot of the old broodiness, that borders on the masterly. Yet the sound has changed completely. Old-school overproduction has fallen away in favor of real guitars, pounding pianos, and a melody-driven, Beatle-y sensibility. It's there on the title track and first single "Call Me Mellow," and only slightly eclipsed by something pleasantly Bacharach-ish on "Secret World." Everybody who loves a happy ending will find one here: Tears for Fears skirts the has-been trap impressively, translating years of experience into play-it-again, sophisticated modern pop worth paying attention to. --Tammy La Gorce ... Read more


77. Strange Magic: The Best of Electric Light Orchestra
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Asin: B000002A2V
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1315
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Reviews (32)

4-0 out of 5 stars Great for a beginner
If you love E.L.O. or classic rock music but on a budget, then the Strange Magic collection is the best way to start your music collection, it contains 29 tracks from 1972-86 with classic hits like 'Can't Get it Out of My Head', 'Evil Woman', 'Strange Magic', 'Livin Thing', 'Telephone Line', 'Turn to Stone' and 'Don't Bring Me Down'.

And we also have some of the lesser known tunes like 'Ma Ma Ma Belle', 'Showdown', 'Boy Blue', 'Do Ya' and more and while the 1st CD gets 5 stars, the 2nd CD only gets 3 stars cause the second half of the CD is when E.L.O. was losing its steam and while some of the songs from the 80's are good, it pales in comparsion from the 70's stuff and my only complaint is that this CD doesn't have some great songs like Fire On High, Tightrope, Standing in the Rain, Birmingham Blues, Loser Gone Wild and Bluebird but it's really no big deal, this CD is recommended for a new fan of E.L.O. rather than a hardcore fan who owns a bunch of E.L.O. albums.

4-0 out of 5 stars A fine collection of ELO's hits, but...
...where's the three Top 20 hits from Xanadu(I'm Alive, All Over The World, Xanadu)? I guess because that soundtrack was on a different label they couldn't use those songs here. So I suggest that you get STRANGE MAGIC & XANADU(side two is all ELO songs), and that should be fine for most fans. Oh, and you may want to pick up the remaster of ELDORADO as well. I think that if you're not a huge fan like me, these discs will suit you just fine. Stay away from the ELO single-disc hits collections--they don't do the band justice.

Note: For an even better overview of ELO's career, including all the UK hits, get the "Light Years" 2-cd set. ELO had several Top 10 hits in the UK that don't even show up on "Strange Magic"!

2-0 out of 5 stars Great music, terrible audio
By 1995, most vintage, a.k.a "dinosaur", rock, began receiving much needed remaster makeovers. So, in 1995, ELO didn't make the cut, until 2001 when Legacy by way of Epic by way of Sony decided to remaster and re-release ELO's classic albums and compile a single CD retrospective entitled "The Essential ELO", which really isn't all that essential. Without the necessary makeover/remaster, "Strange Magic" resonates mostly tape hiss and two-dimensional phonics; therefore, this is not the CD master any casual or any dedicated fan should be seeking.

If you enjoy much of ELO's popular singles and wish to try a more aesthetic studio outing, then begin with the beautiful and wistful "Eldorado" (1974). Although lacking in sonic perfection yet harnessing great material, "Strange Magic" is more intended for those listening to CDs on a budget-priced boombox.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Greatest Of ELO!
This is your chance to get the full measure of the Electric Light Orchestra. This was one of the most enchanting bands in the last twenty years.During this time they spun out hit after hit.This CD captures the magic that was Electric Light Orchestra.
You have hit songs"Evil Woman","Strange Magic","Do Ya","Blue Sky"
and the many other smash hits that made this band one of the biggest groups of the 1970's and 1980's.This is a very good coverage of their career. If you are a fan of this group you
should definitely get this CD.

5-0 out of 5 stars Stange Magic!
ELO will be best remembered (along with The Moody Blues) to combine rock and classical music together thrown in with the music of the day (like "Shine A Little Love" from 1979 has some disco flavor in it). Jeff Lynne wrote/produced virtually all their hits. The great thing about this anthology is it's ideal for the ELO fan and the casual fan. The ELO fan will bring this collection along when traveling 70 miles/hour on the interstate and turn up the volume! The causal fan will only need this to get a better completion of hits than on other hit collections (like "ELO Classics" is NOT a complete hit nor portrait of ELO). Plus, the booklet is very informative as to how ELO started and has a detailed discography. ... Read more


78. Tupelo Honey
list price: $9.98
our price: $9.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000002GNK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1282
Average Customer Review: 4.34 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com essential recording

Van Morrison's "Caledonia soul"--his unique blend of Irish mysticism and spiritual questing, literary allusion and blue-eyed R&B--can be as beautiful and deeply emotional as any music ever made. That's certainly the case on 1971's Tupelo Honey, one of the finest albums of Morrison's long career. Kicking off with the classic "Wild Night," Tupelo Honey is as completely joyous as the normally bitter Van gets, particularly on the title track and the unabashedly grateful, slow-building "You're My Woman," both among the most moving love songs he's recorded. --David Cantwell ... Read more

Reviews (32)

5-0 out of 5 stars Van's Best Album as a whole
Something about Van Morrison's voice strikes me deep in my soul whether he is singing blues, rock, country, or ballads. What makes Tupelo Honey special to me is that it offers all of the above. Don't get me wrong - I love "Moondance" and "His Band and Street Choir" (which were both recorded only 1 year prior), but those albums have some dull moments. This is the only one that I listen to stright through smiling the whole time. Perhaps it's because all of these songs have a happy feel to them. From the familiar opening of "Wild Night" to the fun-filled finale of "Moonshine Whiskey", this album is a necessity to all Van fans. Don't waste time buying his Greatest Hits compilation. It doesn't do him justice. Buy this, the above mentioned albums, and "TB Sheets" and that will get you started on a journey with one of the most important musicians of our century.

4-0 out of 5 stars Tupelo Shows Van's Extraordinary Range and Styles
Purchased on a friend's recommendation, I was somewhat skeptical on how this album can be different from other Van Morrison albums, but I have to say I am pleasantly surprised. Not only am I shocked that the song Tupelo Honey has not found its way onto any "greatest hits" compilation albums, it perhaps ranks up there with "Into the Mystic" in terms of a classic soul and song. This album has a country flavor to it, but not overbearing. Songs such as When That Evening Sun Goes Down and I Wanna Roo You have the country bent to it. You're My Woman is a great love song that ranks up there with Crazy Love off of "Moondance."

4-0 out of 5 stars A Charmer
I didn't fall in love with Tupelo Honey as immediately and fully as I did with Van's masterpiece, Moondance, but it's impossible to not be charmed and seduced by the kindhearted sweetness of the record. That title track alone is one of the most tender songs he's ever recorded, an imagistically evocative love song that never feels slight or unearned. The record around it may not have a revelation quite to that level, but it does have a steady stream of songs that coax smiles from all directions - from the hopeful fun of "Wild Night" to the "mmm bubbles" conclusion in "Moonshine Whiskey."

5-0 out of 5 stars summer music at its best
all i can say about this album by Van Morrison is pure bliss. When i listen to songs on this album i instantly get the urge to put this in the cd player and just drive around at night with the windows down. wow, what an uplifting album for someone to just start there life over again. one track that stands out to me is the title track "tupelo honey." you know that part in a great movie where the couple first meets and is starting to fall in love, any good music supervisor of a film has songs like this permantly in thier mind. I put this album right up there with Springsteen's "Born to Run" or Dylan's "blonde on blonde." definitly a worthy album for your cd player.

5-0 out of 5 stars Come on out and dance.
"All the girls go by dressed up for each other and the boys do the boogie-woogie on the corner of the street. The passers-by stare in wide-eyed wonder as the inside juke box roars out just like thunder".
This fine example of Early Van is worth the asking price for the above lyrics alone - taken from "Wild Night". ... Read more


79. Movin' Out (Based on the Songs and Music of Billy Joel) (2002 Original Broadway Cast)
list price: $18.98
our price: $13.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00006LWQK
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 760
Average Customer Review: 4.17 out of 5 stars
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Amazon.com

A criticism that has long dogged Billy Joel's career involves his songs' direct, heart-on-the-sleeve emotional sentiments and a musical approach that often revels in pop music's past glories instead of reacting against them. Ironically, those are the very strengths of Twyla Tharp's dialog-free pop ballet based on Joel's infectious canon of music, including his recent forays into the classical realm. This live cast recording is fueled by the piano and vocals of Michael Cavanaugh, who, backed by an ensemble handpicked by the songwriter, gooses every last drop of drama from Joel's already theatrical songs with a verve worthy of the legend himself. But divorced from Tharp's always kinetic choreography, and despite angular reworkings of "We Didn't Start the Fire" and other Joel standards, it's a collection that sometimes sounds akin to Joelmania: not really Billy, but an incredible simulation. --Jerry McCulley ... Read more

Reviews (35)

5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent
When I first heard of the whole concept of "Movin' Out" - a ballet using the songs of Billy Joel played and sung by someone who is not Billy Joel- I thought it was a pretty stupid idea. I thought it was a cheap way to make money off of a great songwriter, performer, and his masterpieces. However, I listened to the CD, and while it does not take the place of Billy Joel (as nothing ever could), it is excellent in its own right. The songs are all wonderful, and are performed with energy and exceptional musicianship. The songs are so loyal to Billy's own versions (he did orchestrate them) but the performers give a little bit of their own character to the music. (My only complaint is this arrangement of "We Didn't Start the Fire"). Michael Cavanaugh, the pianist/lead singer, is amazing. His voice is incredible and soulful; he puts all of his heart into the music. His pianistic skills are flawless - listen to "Prelude" and you'll know what I mean. The other musicians are fabulous as well, and were handpicked by Billy Joel himself. I saw this musical on Broadway and was very pleased. I think it's better than London's "We Will Rock You" (based on the songs of Queen)and Broadway's "Mamma Mia" (based on the songs of Abba) in that the whole cast does not sing and the arrangements are not for a stage chorus. Rather, the one guy and his piano backed up by the band is as close to Billy Joel as anyone will get.

4-0 out of 5 stars Still rock and roll to me
Having seen the show, "Movin Out", twice last summer in Chicago I was very anxious to get my hands on this CD. I was not disappointed...well, ok..maybe a little bit. Compared to the three song promo CD I'd acquired earlier, the sound on this CD seems a little tinny...not as rich as the studio recording I already had. This CD was recorded in Chicago in August- not sure if it was done on stage or not- but it does have a live quality to it that lacks the round richness of the usual studio recording. As I was mainly interested in the show because of the drummer, Chuck Burgi, I was a bit disappointed that the drums don't sound as clear and sharp as what I had before.

That said, Michael Cavanaugh is fantastic...I wouldn't call him a Billy Joel sound alike as some reviews have...he has a younger voice, perhaps not carrying the miles of Joel, but in keeping with the themes of the dance show- youth, hope, possibilities. His piano playing is quite proficient.

The band is brilliant! Tommy Byrnes is Joel's regular lead guitarist and Burgi and Greg Smith have very impressive resumes(Rainbow,Meatloaf,Brand X,Hall & Oates,BOC, Alice Cooper). I think Smith and Byrnes sing backup. Wade Preston is on the keyboards, the arrangements for which were done by Joel's own keyboard guy, David Rosenthal. Dennis DelGaudio is the other guitarist- he's been a part of the Long Island band scene for years. These guys have been friends for a long, long time. An awesome four man horn section makes up the rest of this amazing band.

It is unfortunate that the CD was rushed through and doesn't reflect the exact lineup of the tunes in the show, the worst case being that the finale band-only number of "NY state of mind" is left off the CD entirely. When I saw the show, this number led to standing ovations both times. Leaving it off was a mistake.

Anyone who sees "Movin Out" will want this CD. Heck, I wanted it just for the Burgi drumming. But if you forgive the choppy edits and instrumental dance bits thrown in for no reason, you can enjoy [this] band. When I saw the show, the dancing was fine but it was the band that brought the audiences to their feet every night. Billy Joel could do worse than to take these guys on the road with him next time.

3-0 out of 5 stars Better than Joel
I've never been a big Billy Joel fan, but I enjoy this CD, partly because Michael Cavanaugh's lead vocals are much better than Billy Joel's! Cavanaugh brings a fresh and much-needed energy to songs you've heard over and over again for years. The reworking of "We Didn't Start the Fire" flatters the song and bring the life of the show to the CD. A good purchase if you enjoy Billy Joel and would like to hear a new spin on the classics.

4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty Good
I have tickets to see the show and already like Billy Joel's songs. I wanted to see if the songs would be any different from what I already knew. Pretty much this is a collection of Billy Joel songs sung by a guy with a really good voice. Unfortunately some of the songs are arranged a bit differently (i.e. "We Didn't Start The Fire"). I still rate it highly overall because they're really great songs and the singer is really good. Even though this is less of a musical than I thought...then again you might as well purchase a Billy Joel CD if you don't care about the show...

5-0 out of 5 stars A Classic!
I saw the Broadway show, and it was fantastic! I had to buy the CD, becasue I just couldn't get the songs out of my head! This is a MUST BUY! ... Read more


80. Seals & Crofts - Greatest Hits
list price: $11.98
our price: $7.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000002KHQ
Catlog: Music
Sales Rank: 1267
Average Customer Review: 4 out of 5 stars
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Although the prime exponents of the '70s California soft rock style were album artists such as America, Bread, and Poco, Seals and Crofts--essentially an AM singles band--have aged even better. The key is in their tight songwriting. "Summer Breeze," "Diamond Girl," and the rest of the hits display an odd, but apt, sense of arrangement and instrumentation--and enough of a rock & roll sensibility to keep their sound from slumping into period piece laid-backism. Case in point: The duo's first band was the Champs, noted for the fake-Latin crudhopper "Tequila." Even so, it's not grit, but ace songcraft that captures the prize here. All of the ace songs are included. --Gavin McNett ... Read more

Reviews (39)

4-0 out of 5 stars Torn Between 4 and 5 Stars
This CD is a reissue of the original 1975 vinyl album. Therein lies the problem. Seals and Crofts crafted excellent lyrics and music in superb style that showed in song after song. Their catalog of "best of" or "greatest" is larger than the 10 songs from the 1975 collection, including at least 3 top 40 songs released after this compilation. Even thought there are numerous 70s artists that have various definitive collections, Jim Seals and Dash Crofts seem to have been overlooked.

The songs on this collection are a good representation of Seals and Crofts up to 1975, though there are several other good songs from this era that could be included on a new collection. Until a nearly full CD collection appears with closer to 80 minutes of music, this 40 minute collection is the closest you can achieve to an overview of Seals and Crofts. For artists underrepresented by their compilations I usually recommend the individual CDs. Unfortunately most of Seals and Crofts' albums are not readily available.

Seals and Crofts were a very good team, and crafted well-written, beautiful music. The music on this collection gets 5 stars. Given we are in the CD era, the lack of a more comprehensive collection gets 2 stars, but I'll keep the rating for the CD at 4 stars because Seals and Crofts should not be penalized for the inadequacy of the only available Seals and Crofts collection.

4-0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, but frustrating
Seals and Crofts have, for no conceivable reason, missed out on the CD reissue program given to practically every other 70s artist, including a good many a damn sight less successful - artisically or commercially.

Other than this bare-bones collection only "Summer Breeze" (A good album, but far from their best) is available on CD, so if you're looking to get some S&C this is about your only choice (Although you should get SB as well, if only for "The Euphrates", one of their best songs ever).

What's here is, for the most part highly enjoyable - never liked "I'll Play For You" much (Although it comes from one of their best albums), but "Diamond Girl", "Hummingbird", "King Of Nothing" and "We May Never Pass This Way (Again)" are all flawless pop gems. The musicanship (including several future TOTO members) is outstanding, and the harmonies are fantastic. The lyrics are also noteworthy, containing a strong spiritual element that never becomes preachy, but instead adds an extra layer to the material.

This is recommended listening, but, if you have the patience, wait until somebody FINALLY releases a comprehensive collection -not to mention the rest of their albums.

4-0 out of 5 stars When will this be remastered?
Of the five albums the tracks on this disc were taken from, only one, "Summer Breeze" is still in print. That's too bad because even though this album is very worthy of its title, it's only a small sample of what this duo have accomplished as singer/songwriters. Of course their two most recognizeable hits "Summer Breeze" and "Diamond Girl" are here along with the Top 40 hits "Hummingbird", "We May Never Pass This Way (Again)" and "I'll Play For You"."Castles In The Sand" was also a minor hit. The track "Ruby Jean and Billie Lee" was written for their respective wives. They also had a controversial hit called "Unborn Child" which isn't here but "King Of Nothing" from the same album is. The other tracks "When I Meet Them" and "East Of Ginger Trees" are album cuts. "Get Closer" was a hit after this collection.

I've had the cassette of this album for over ten years and just recently purchased the CD version but I can only imagine how much better this would sound if Warner Bros. or Rhino would step in and remaster this along with the rest of their catalog. It's been done with other artists already and for this duo it's high time.

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Treasure!!
"We May Never Pass This Way Again" and "Summer Breeze"
are the best tracks. This whole CD is pure gold!

Too bad their songs are not still popular, perhaps they are not because of their religious politics, i.e. joining the Bahai Faith. Would love to see more recordings from this great duo hit the big time again.

2-0 out of 5 stars Should have been more inside!
Now don't get me wrong, Seals & Crofts are great song writers and musician but the record company fell asleep on this one. There are so many tunes not on here that truely should be, this is what happenes when record companies get greedy and some cat in a suit who does not know the music makes the decision to put out a greatest hits Cd. Jim and Dash are great guys and I know first hand, I grew up jamming with them at San Fernando park in the San Fernando Valley. A certain song is truely missing here "Cause You Love", no I wont tell you what album its from you need to look it up and buy that album or Cd. Too bad that some record companies do this kind of thing? ... Read more


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