America – The Complete Greatest Hits

ARTIST: America              220px-America_complete_greatest_hits

TITLE:  The Complete Greatest Hits

YEAR RELEASED: Compilation

CHART ACTION: #152 US

SINGLES: Top 40: A Horse with No Name (#1 US, #3 UK), I Need You (#9 US), Ventura Highway (#8 US, #43 UK), Don’t Cross the River (#35 US), Tin Man (#4 US), Lonely People (#5 US), Sister Golden Hair (#1 US), Daisy Jane (#20 US), Today’s the Day (#23 US), You Can Do Magic (#8 US, #59 UK), The Border (#33 US)

OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: Sandman, Muskrat Love.

LINEUP: Dewey Bunnell, Gerry Beckley, Dan Peek and session players

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Folkie singer songwriters harmonize their way to many hits in the 70’s.

SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: At first, with strong and sweet harmonies and some oblique, interesting lyrics, America was a decent album act. But soon, they moved toward a more MOR / Adult Contemporary sound, and well, it curdled the milk.

It may have started with their cover of “Muskrat Love”, or the natural evolution of where they were making the most bank, but it’s a long way from “A Horse with No Name” to “You Can Do Magic”. I mean, miles.

The majority of these songs are keepers, mainly because you know them (either you grew up with them or heard them in the dentist’s office or grocery store). It’s probably the best collection to have, though the first couple of albums have some mildly interesting deep cuts, though I’m not rushing out to put them in the catalog.

NOTES & MINUTIAE: Dan Peek left in 1977 after he became born again.

IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No

GRADE: B: Exile what you don’t like, which is most likely “Muskrat Love” and a couple of the later songs.

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