American Pie [Bonus Tracks]

( 5 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Don McLean's second album, American Pie, which was his first to gain recognition after the negligible initial sales of 1970's Tapestry, is necessarily dominated by its title track, a lengthy, allegorical history of rock & roll, because it became an unlikely hit, topping the singles chart and putting the LP at Number One as well. It has been 31-plus years between the release of the original ten-track album, and this 12-track edition containing two bonus recordings from the same sessions. "American Pie" has remained as much a cultural touchstone as a song, sung by everyone from Garth Brooks to Madonna, its title borrowed for a pair of smutty teen comedies, while the ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Don McLean's second album, American Pie, which was his first to gain recognition after the negligible initial sales of 1970's Tapestry, is necessarily dominated by its title track, a lengthy, allegorical history of rock & roll, because it became an unlikely hit, topping the singles chart and putting the LP at Number One as well. It has been 31-plus years between the release of the original ten-track album, and this 12-track edition containing two bonus recordings from the same sessions. "American Pie" has remained as much a cultural touchstone as a song, sung by everyone from Garth Brooks to Madonna, its title borrowed for a pair of smutty teen comedies, while the record itself has earned a registered three million plays on U.S. radio stations. There may not be much more to note about it, then, except, perhaps, that even without a crib sheet to identify who's who, the song can still be enjoyed for its engaging melody and singable chorus, which may have more to do with its success than anything else. Of course, the album also included "Vincent," McLean's paean to Van Gogh, which has been played two million times. Nothing else on the album is as effective as the hits, but the other eight original songs range from sensitive fare like "Till Tomorrow," to the sarcastic, up-tempo "Everybody Loves Me, Baby." American Pie -- the album -- is very much a record of its time; it is imbued with the vague depression of the early '70s that infected the population and found expression in the works of singer/songwriters. "American Pie" -- the song -- is really a criticism of what happened in popular music in the '60s, and "Vincent" sympathizes with Van Gogh's suicide as a sane comment on an insane world. "Crossroads" and "Empty Chairs" are personal reflections full of regret and despondency, with the love song "Winterwood" providing the only respite. In the album's second half, the songs get more portentous, tracing society's ills into war and spiritual troubles in "The Grave" and "Sister Fatima." "Aftermath," the first of the bonus tracks, continues that theme, while the melodic "Mother Nature" is more hopeful, and might have become another hit if included on the initial album. The songs are made all the more poignant by the stately folk-pop arrangements and McLean's clear, direct tenor. It was that voice, equally effective on remakes of pop oldies, that was his salvation when he proved unable to match the songwriting standard set on Tapestry and this collection. But then, the album has an overall elegiac quality that makes it sound like a final statement. After all, if the music has died, what else is there to say?
Rolling Stone - Parke Puterbaugh
["American Pie"] remains an American classic.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/24/2003
  • Label: Capitol
  • UPC: 724358427929
  • Catalog Number: 84279
  • Sales rank: 684

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 American Pie (8:33)
  2. 2 Till Tomorrow (2:14)
  3. 3 Vincent (3:59)
  4. 4 Crossroads (3:38)
  5. 5 Winterwood (3:10)
  6. 6 Empty Chairs (3:25)
  7. 7 Everybody Loves Me, Baby (3:34)
  8. 8 Sister Fatima (2:33)
  9. 9 The Grave (3:12)
  10. 10 Babylon (1:42)
  11. 11 Mother Nature (5:10)
  12. 12 Aftermath (4:03)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Don McLean Primary Artist, Banjo, Guitar, Vocals
Warren Bernhardt Piano
Ray Colcord Electric Piano
Tom Flye Drums
Paul Griffin Piano
Mike Mainieri Marimbas, Vibes
Roy Markowitz Percussion, Drums
Gene Orloff Concert Master
Rob Rothstein Bass
David Spinozza Electric Guitar
Technical Credits
Don McLean Arranger, Composer, Liner Notes, Quotes Researched & Compiled
Tom Flye Engineer
Ed Freeman Producer, String Arrangements
Lee Hays Arranger
Doug Schwartz Remastering
Paul Grein Liner Notes, Annotation
Michelle Azzopardi Art Direction
Mitch Steele Reissue Producer
George Whiteman Cover Photo, Original Design Concept
Mark Copeland Reissue Producer
Bryan Kelley Producer
Traditional Composer
Shannon Ward Producer
Lance Whitaker Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 5 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The lost record is found!

    For years, searching first in cassette, then in CD, I've been disappointed in the versions of this album released during this time. I'm one of those who likes the songs that didn't hit the Top 10-20, and in this case, my favorite, "Sister Fatima," was never included in the rereleases I've seen. Until now. At last, the original AMERICAN PIE album, with ALL the tracks, was available for purchase. I am so happy, both with the album content and its wonderful sound. I grieve no more.

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  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    An album that marks two Rock eras

    Not only is the song American Pie a remembrance of Buddy Holly and the effect of his early death on the future of Rock and Roll, but it also marks the end of the radical sixties and indicates the self reflection that would come about in the early seventies. The song is a classic of symbolism and ought to be a part of every collection. The album is much more than this one song, the hit "Vincent" is here as well as the funny "Everybody loves Me, Baby" and the beloved "Babylon" chant. This is one you ought to have.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 9, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews