An Evening with John Denver [CD]

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Shawn M. Haney
For those who know or have heard of John Denver, his life, his songs, and his experiences have been legendary. Bursting onto the scene in the early '70s, Denver used his skill of folk-rock and mastery of composition to bring light and heartfelt spirit to the world of music. This compilation is remarkably engineered and produced. "I've been looking forward to this for a long, long time," said Denver during this live recording for RCA at the California Universal Amphitheater in August/September of 1974. He also tells the audience, most attentive to say the least, that he worked on his songs late into the evening on the beach's lifeguard stands the first time he arrived in ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Shawn M. Haney
For those who know or have heard of John Denver, his life, his songs, and his experiences have been legendary. Bursting onto the scene in the early '70s, Denver used his skill of folk-rock and mastery of composition to bring light and heartfelt spirit to the world of music. This compilation is remarkably engineered and produced. "I've been looking forward to this for a long, long time," said Denver during this live recording for RCA at the California Universal Amphitheater in August/September of 1974. He also tells the audience, most attentive to say the least, that he worked on his songs late into the evening on the beach's lifeguard stands the first time he arrived in California in the late '60s. It was a long journey to the top of singing stardom, just eating in order to play for people in the early days. This is a different record from those of his individual ones. It is here that Denver is backed up by a phenomenal orchestra conducted by Lee Holdridge. Dick Kniss is there to back him up on bass guitar. Steve Weisberg adds the electric guitar, steel pedal, and dobro. Herb Lovelle sits in on drums, Hal Blaine adds the percussion, and John Sommers puts added touches with rhythm guitar, banjo, fiddle, and mandolin. The album begins with Denver's song of encouragement, "Farewell Andromeda." "Welcome to my morning/Welcome to my happiness/It pleases me to have you here for just a little while," sings Denver. Then it's off to the races with the uptempo Beatles cover "Mother Nature's Son," in which Denver received much praise for playing, keeping the spirit of the Fab Four alive. "Summer" takes the listener to their favorite vacation spot in the midst of a memory-filled season. He throws in Randy Sparks' song "Toledo" for laughs. The artist receives from the audience a strong reception for the hilarious tune. A song about Denver's uncle, "Matthew," brings to the listeners a lesson "that joy is the thing you should be raised on/And love is just a way to live and die." Denver gives the audience his version of Jim Connor's "Grandma's Feather Bed," another crowd pleaser. After quite an entertaining ending, he introduces his beautiful song "Annie's Song" in sentimental fashion, a song written and played in love of his wife. As the record seems to show, the list of songs flow with a great emphasis of highs and lows, such like the momentum of a roller coaster. It is after the soothing, sweet ballad for Annie that Denver puts on all the stops, pressing full forward with the intense and passionate tune "The Eagle and the Hawk." This song has the theme of the environment written all over its melody, as does nearly all of the artist's work. Another ballad is played with sheer eloquence and sincerity by Denver, "My Sweet Lady." This is certainly an album filled with the artist's best, and one must wonder how he manages to fit all these tunes into one concert for the listeners' enjoyment. A wonderful version of "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" ignites the audience with another rousing of applause, as do "Take Me Home, Country Roads" and his most well-known hit, "Rocky Mountain High." This is a must even for the casual John Denver listener. Only by fully taking in the music can listeners see his vision of good music and passion for protection of the environment. [The 1992 single-CD edition deleted two tracks from the original double-LP release.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/22/1992
  • Label: Rca
  • UPC: 078635076424
  • Catalog Number: 50764

Album Credits

Performance Credits
John Denver Primary Artist, Guitar, Vocals
Ray Kelley Performing Ensemble
Buddy Collette Performing Ensemble
Steve Weisberg Dobro, Guitar, Steel Guitar
Eric Weissberg Banjo, Steel Guitar
Murray Adler Performing Ensemble
Hal Blaine Percussion, Drums
Samuel Boghossian Performing Ensemble
Mari Tsumura Performing Ensemble
Denyse Buffum Performing Ensemble
Gene Cipriano Performing Ensemble
Assa Drori Performing Ensemble
David Duke Performing Ensemble
Jesse Ehrlich Performing Ensemble
Ronald Folsom Performing Ensemble
Allan Harshman Performing Ensemble
Lee Holdridge Conductor
Jerome Kessler Performing Ensemble
Milton Kestenbaum Performing Ensemble
Richard Kniss Bass
William Kurash Performing Ensemble
Herb Lovelle Drums
Joy Lyle Performing Ensemble
Richard Maximoff Performing Ensemble
Peter Mercurio Performing Ensemble
Wilbert Nuttycombe Performing Ensemble
Jay Rosen Performing Ensemble
Ralph Schaeffer Performing Ensemble
David Schwartz Performing Ensemble
Harry Shlutz Performing Ensemble
John Sommers Banjo, Fiddle, Guitar, Mandolin, Rhythm Guitar, Vocals
Tibor Zelig Performing Ensemble
Vincent DeRosa Performing Ensemble
Dick Kniss Bass
Richard Kaufman Performing Ensemble
David D. Turner Performing Ensemble
Sidney Sharp Performing Ensemble
Technical Credits
John Denver Composer
Jim Connor Composer
Mickey Crofford Engineer
Bill Danoff Composer
Lee Holdridge Orchestral Arrangements
Taffy Nivert Composer
Milton Okun Producer
Mike Taylor Composer
Kris O'Connor Director, Contributor
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