At His Best

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Assembled shortly after Peter Allen's death in 1992, this compilation draws from his five albums released on A&M Records between 1974 and 1980: Continental American 1974, Taught by Experts 1975, the live record It Is Time for Peter Allen 1977, I Could Have Been a Sailor 1979, and Bi-Coastal 1980. With a CD-worthy length of 72 minutes, it supersedes the much shorter A&M LP compilation The Best of Peter Allen 1982. Allen released his first U.S. album, Chris & Peter Allen, on Mercury in 1968, when he was part of a duo. As a solo act, he put out two albums on Metromedia, Peter Allen 1971 and Tenterfield Saddler 1972, before signing to A&M. After leaving ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
Assembled shortly after Peter Allen's death in 1992, this compilation draws from his five albums released on A&M Records between 1974 and 1980: Continental American 1974, Taught by Experts 1975, the live record It Is Time for Peter Allen 1977, I Could Have Been a Sailor 1979, and Bi-Coastal 1980. With a CD-worthy length of 72 minutes, it supersedes the much shorter A&M LP compilation The Best of Peter Allen 1982. Allen released his first U.S. album, Chris & Peter Allen, on Mercury in 1968, when he was part of a duo. As a solo act, he put out two albums on Metromedia, Peter Allen 1971 and Tenterfield Saddler 1972, before signing to A&M. After leaving A&M, he released albums on Arista and RCA. So, the A&M years constitute a generous complement of his work, more than that of any other label, though still less than half of his recordings. But they were crucial years for him. The Peter Allen of the Metromedia albums was a confessional singer/songwriter, very much in the James Taylor/Carole King mode, his work typified by the autobiographical family saga "Tenterfield Saddler" the title a reference to his grandfather, which is included here in a live version. By the time he signed to A&M, Allen, an Australia native, had relocated to New York and developed a following in the city's cabarets. He could still write sensitive ballads, such as "I Honestly Love You," recorded for a gold-selling number one hit by Olivia Newton-John and included on Continental American, but he was also capable of camping his way through "Just a Gigolo" and penning the classic pop-style pastiche "Everything Old Is New Again." His subsequent A&M albums traced his development into a flamboyant performer with a taste for disco and light funk whose signature song was the Latinate "I Go to Rio," though, working with lyricist Carole Bayer Sager, he continued to turn out powerful ballads, with I Could Have Been a Sailor bequeathing the hits "Don't Cry Out Loud" to Melissa Manchester and "I'd Rather Leave While I'm in Love" to Rita Coolidge. At His Best contains Allen's versions of all of these songs, along with his tribute to his former mother-in-law, Judy Garland, "Quiet Please, There's a Lady on Stage." It would take cooperation among several labels to better this compilation, and such an effort still wouldn't produce an album that featured more of Allen's best-known songs.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/14/1994
  • Label: A&M
  • UPC: 731454009027
  • Catalog Number: 540090

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Peter Allen Primary Artist
Technical Credits
John Fogerty Composer
Al Kooper Composer
Brooks Arthur Producer
Mike Post Producer
Peter Allen Composer, Producer
David Foster Composer, Producer
Carole Bayer Sager Composer
Marvin Hamlisch Producer
Arnie Acosta Mastering
Jeff Barry Composer
Joel Dorn Producer
Tommy Keane Composer
Ed Thacker Producer
Frank Dycus Composer
Michael Whittaker Liner Notes
Chuck Beeson Art Direction
Dee Anthony Executive Producer
A. B. Strehli Jr. Composer
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Customer Reviews

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2013

    I Also Recommend:

    So many of the beautiful ballads Peter Allen is remembered for a

    So many of the beautiful ballads Peter Allen is remembered for are featured in this collection, most notably "Don't Cry Out Loud"; "Tenterfield Saddler" and "I Honestly Love You". But there are also several uptempo numbers as well, including favorites like "I Go to Rio" along with lesser known treasures like "One Step Over the Borderline". One of the most poignant songs on this album is the very personal "If You Were Wondering". Listening to the selections that were made famous by other artist it is striking how beautiful and endearing Allen's own versions of the songs are.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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