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Greatest Hits, Vol. 2

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Schinder
Taylor?s status as a genial icon of ?70s singer-songwriter sensitivity tends to overshadow the fact that he?s a melodically distinctive, emotionally complex songwriter and a subtly eloquent performer who?d probably be a hip left-field cult icon if he hadn?t achieved massive commercial success early in his career. This 16-song collection picks up where 1976?s Greatest Hits left off, i.e., it covers his two-decades-plus association with Columbia Records, beginning with 1977?s J.T.. The collection performs the useful service of compiling some of the artist?s most interesting, and sometimes overlooked, work. The more familiar tunes here include the buoyantly upbeat ?Your ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Scott Schinder
Taylor’s status as a genial icon of ‘70s singer-songwriter sensitivity tends to overshadow the fact that he’s a melodically distinctive, emotionally complex songwriter and a subtly eloquent performer who’d probably be a hip left-field cult icon if he hadn’t achieved massive commercial success early in his career. This 16-song collection picks up where 1976’s Greatest Hits left off, i.e., it covers his two-decades-plus association with Columbia Records, beginning with 1977’s J.T.. The collection performs the useful service of compiling some of the artist’s most interesting, and sometimes overlooked, work. The more familiar tunes here include the buoyantly upbeat “Your Smiling Face,” the evocative, painterly “Copperline,” and the subtle yet profound “Secret o’ Life,” an insightful ode to acceptance that stakes out the artist’s compassionate take on survival and the aging process. The gorgeous “Her Town Too” is one of Taylor’s most moving achievements, with lyrics that poignantly address the aftermath of a divorce while Taylor’s and J. D. Souther’s heartbreaking vocal interplay drives home the point. Taylor’s facility with cover material is represented here by his renditions of Jimmy Jones’s “Handy Man,” Buddy Holly’s “Everyday,” and, especially, his sensitive reading of The Drifters’ “Up on the Roof,” which reworks that R&B classic into an affecting hymn of escape and transcendence.
All Music Guide - William Ruhlmann
James Taylor's first Greatest Hits album, released in 1976 and consisting of his well-known early '70s recordings on Warner Bros. and re-recordings of some of the songs from his 1968 Apple Records debut, is in the rarefied sales category of double-digit millions, so a second volume, taking in his tenure at Columbia Records, was a no-brainer. The only wonder is why it took so long. But the second part of Taylor's recording career has been different from his first, especially when it comes to hits. All of Taylor's Columbia albums have been good sellers, hitting gold or platinum sales. But he has scored only four Top 40 hits on the pop charts: "Handy Man" his only Top Ten single on Columbia, "Your Smiling Face," "Up on the Roof," and "Her Town Too." It's a different story on the adult contemporary charts, where he has been a mainstay. But Greatest Hits, Vol. 2 is not so much a collection of Taylor's chart entries as it is a best-of. There are several tracks, among them "Secret O' Life," "Only a Dream in Rio," and "Song for You Far Away," that were never hits but have become audience favorites, frequently played in Taylor's concerts. And there are chart singles, notably "Only One," which got into the adult contemporary Top Ten, and "Hard Times" and "Honey Don't Leave L.A.," which made the pop charts, that have been omitted. That said, this is a well-balanced compilation that should please most of the singer/songwriter's fans and that serves as a good selection of his work, circa 1977-1997.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/7/2000
  • Label: Sony
  • UPC: 696998522343
  • Catalog Number: 85223

Album Credits

Performance Credits
James Taylor Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Vocals, Background Vocals, Penny Whistle
Jerry Douglas Dobro
Deniece Williams Vocals
Don Grolnick Organ, Synthesizer, Piano, Keyboards, fender rhodes
David Lasley Vocals
Bob Mintzer Tenor Saxophone
David Sanborn Saxophone
Yo-Yo Ma Cello
Valerie Carter Vocals
Leah Kunkel Background Vocals
Jimmy Maelen Percussion
Gene Page Conductor
Airto Moreira Percussion
Peter Asher Tambourine, Cabasa
Dave Bargeron Trombone
Randy Brecker Trumpet, Vocals
Rosemary Butler Vocals
David Campbell Conductor
Dan Dugmore Banjo, Guitar, Pedal Steel Guitar, Electric Guitar
Lani Groves Vocals
Jimmy Johnson Bass
Danny Kortchmar Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Electric Guitar
Russ Kunkel Percussion, Drums
Michael Landau Guitar, Electric Guitar
Tony Levin Bass
Clarence McDonald Keyboards
Bob Mann Guitar
Arif Mardin Conductor
Kate Markowitz Vocals
Rick Marotta Drums
Mark O'Connor Fiddle, Violin
Bill Payne Keyboards
Rick Shlosser Drums
J.D. Souther Vocals
Carlos Vega Percussion, Drums
Stevie Wonder Harmonica
Zbeto Vocals
Arnold McCuller Vocals
Waddy Wachtel Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar
Elaine Eliaf Vocals
Kenia Gould Vocals
J. Taylor Track Performer
Leland Sklar Bass
Clifford Carter Synthesizer, Keyboards
Steve Jordan Drums
Jimmy Johnson Bass
Technical Credits
Edgar Meyer Cello Arrangement
Buddy Holly Composer
James Taylor Composer, Producer
Whistle Contributor
Don Grolnick Producer
Gene Page String Arrangements
Norman Petty Composer
Otis Blackwell Composer
Peter Asher Producer
Greg Calbi Mastering
David Campbell String Arrangements
James Farber Engineer
Frank Filipetti Producer, Engineer, Mastering Consultant
Val Garay Engineer
Ted Jensen Mastering
Jimmy Jones Composer
Danny Kortchmar Producer
Nathaniel Kunkel Engineer
Arif Mardin String Arrangements
George Massenburg Producer
Doug Sax Mastering
Stanley Silverman Cello Arrangement
Michael White Engineer
Gavin Lurssen Mastering
John Godenzi Engineer
Randy Hutson Engineer
Stephanie Mauer Art Direction
Jimmy "Handy Man" Jones Composer
Dan Borris Tray Photo
Charles Merenstein Composer
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    amazing album by an amazing artist

    his collaboration with J.D. Souther makes this album even more pleasing. James has a unique voice, and plays guitar very well. Soothing, melodic music. That's what this album will provide.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Great visual artist.

    I bought this CD for the song 'Her Town Too'. Found the song on Utube. Great collaboration with JD Souther. Anyway, I got clobbered by 'Only a Dream in Rio'. What great lyrics these songs have. The depth to his music is amazing. The simple melodies (which only seem simple) carry you along as he tells a story as complicated as life itself. Even the simple 'Her Town Too' is eloquent and sorrowful and raw. So great.

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews