John Denver was a legend of music. He was an unique performer, humanitarian and environmentalist per se, and was crucial in breaking down barriers when he later toured in both the then USSR and China. Before all that, he recorded this live double album. Seen as a highly rated piece, let’s examine this, track by track and see if it sounds any good. It is John Denver with a live orchestra, and features many of his hits.
We begin with The Music Is You which is a lovely introduction to this album. John Denver’s voice shines bright here. John Denver is introduced, and the crowd claps and cheers nicely. Obviously, we are in for a musical treat here.
After the introduction we have Farewell Andromeda (Welcome To My Morning) which begins with beautiful acoustic guitar and bongos to match. It is really fine and beautiful listening, and is a really good example of music from an era long gone. John Denver’s voice is very much original here, sounding very beautiful and nicely matching to the music at hand. There is also flute beautifully played here, along with violin as well. Majestic and lovely sounding. The harmonies here are really top. It ends nicely, and the crowd cheer approvingly. Some chatter goes on from John Denver, and he talks about his experiences travelling. Nice stuff. Quite heartwarming.
Mother Nature’s Son is a fantastic cover of a song originally done by The Beatles. It has beautiful singing, acoustic guitar and banjo. Some violin then enters, and this is a really pretty and unique listening. A lovely and gorgeous listen, this is superb and powerful. Short, sweet and enjoyable, this is great.
Summer is next, and is a top listening experience. Sounding wonderful and expertly delivered, John Denver sings about the change in day and weather, and delivers such a nice song. Although this is a live performance, it stands tall on its own here. Beautiful, majestic and wonderful, this is really top music. Totally underrated, and very touching.
Next up is Today which slowly begins with plucked acoustic guitars and a fine sense of melody. The song lyrically and musically is a powerful statement, and sounds quite unlike anything or anyone else out there. A lovely piece of music, this is really top notch listening. A downtempo, but never dull listen listen, this is a captivating and great piece of music. Lyrics about eating strawberries and tasting sweet wine are here. A life affirming listen, a great song and rendition of it indeed. Excellent. Some chatter afterwards has John Denver introduce his bandmates, which is nice, too.
Following is Saturday Night in Toledo, Ohio which begins with a catchy acoustic melody, and is actually a very humourous listen throughout. It’s hard not to snigger away as John Denver sings about some rather bizarre parts of said city, and is brilliant. Excellent song, and very oddball. Hilarious.
Matthew is next. It begins with nicely plucked acoustic guitar parts and John Denver sings beautifully once again here. A straightforward and lovely piece of music. This is technically Country Music for folks who like more of a Folk Music thing, an unusual sort of concept, but nonetheless, is a workable piece for John Denver. Lovely, it takes you places where nobody else could take you. Excellent music. Gentle and relaxing.
Rocky Mountain Suite (Cold Nights In Canada) begins with lovely acoustic guitar and John Denver singing about said location and sounds simple and awesome. This is really excellent listening, and John Denver delivers a great piece about the lifestyles and people in Canada. A really good listening experience, this is beautiful and wonderful to hear. Towards the end, the whole piece reaches a gorgeous climax. Excellent listening.
Following is Sweet Surrender which has some more excellent acoustic guitar playing, and John Denver sings about his travels. A really fine piece of music, this is incredible and John Denver is a real and true talent. It blows away anything on mainstream radio today, and the backing instrumentation here is really moving. A really beautiful piece, and will make you feel overwhelmed with joy. Not a lot of music can do that, this is really great. Very moving, a great song, hands down.
After that is Grandma’s Feather Bed which begins with uptempo acoustic guitar and banjo. The audience claps along and we have a semi-Country song that sounds really unusual but is excellent regardless. Excellent music that sounds cool, with an undercurrent of good humour throughout. Nice song, and great sentiment. Top.
Annie’s Song begins with an introduction about the song itself. It is about John Denver’s wife, Annie. It is a superbly beautiful and heartfelt devotion to his wife. Nicely delivered, a truly gentle and loving song. Top stuff, this is excellent. A brilliant and beautiful piece of music. Fantastic piece of music, great sentiment too.
The Eagle and the Hawk is next, and is the last song on side one of the double album. It has some really excellent acoustic strumming and majestic strings. It sounds really glorious and awesome, this is a great piece of beauty and wonder. An awesome listen, with a great deal of suspense of this song, this is grand. Excellent music.
Side two begins with My Sweet Lady which has some acoustic arpeggios playing away. The song itself is a sympathetic listen to a lover, likely John Denver’s wife. Still, it is as gorgeous as always and sounds really wonderful and beautiful. This is a great song and is delivered straight from the heart, but is a fine representation of how John Denver can impress and win people over through music. Excellent song, this is really a great listening experience. Really great.
Next is Annie’s Other Song which is very Led Zeppelin esque with the strummed acoustic guitars and bongos, but no, it’s not Led Zeppelin really otherwise. It is a lovely piece of music and sounds terrific and joyous. Upbeat and cheerful, this is wonderful and beautiful simultaneously. The harmonies in the second half are really great. A fantastic listen, and a top performance. Nice tune.
Boy from the Country is a nicely done piece with some acoustic fingerpicking to begin with. A melancholy listen, it is a slower but laidback piece about the story of said character. This music is really excellent, and the performance is very much perfect. The string section here adds a level of sweetness and quality to this song. Hopefully John Denver was aware he made a great live album here, and he deserves credit for doing so. Beautiful and mindblowing.
Rhymes & Reasons begins with some beautiful acoustic guitar playing that sounds terrific. This is top and superb, showcasing a beautiful and excellent piece of music at hand, with strings and flute. It is a simple tale of lovely stories, and is once again, really excellent in every way. A fine and nicely crafted piece of music, this is so lovely to listen to.
Next is Forest Lawn which is a Country sounding piece with fingerpicked acoustic guitar and a rural feel to this song. It seems somewhat humourous and cheerful, and is a really upbeat and, yes, danceable sort of song. It goes into an alternating couple of sections here, singing about Church and similar things related to it. A wonderful journey through music.
Following is Pickin’ the Sun Down begins with frenetic banjo and slide acoustic guitar. This is grade A Country Music folks, and is really quickly played. It is also an instrumental here, which is different. Sounds like something out of a true USA rural backdrop, this is really quirky, yet good. Enjoyable regardless. The banjo here is great.
Thank God I’m A Country Boy which has the audience clapping along throughout, before John Denver singing about life on the farm and does terrifically here doing so. The lyrics here sing about working hard on the land during the day, and playing Country music by night. Some lovely fiddle and banjo join in here, and John Denver sings about appreciating the simple things in life. Great, great stuff. Excellent music, and an essential John Denver piece to listen to.
Take Me Home, Country Roads is next and is more of the great rural songs that John Denver played on this live album. Great and gentle Country style music with banjos and pedal steel, the chorus in particular is really excellent, and is an ode to the nicer side of life in farms and towns, not cities. This sort of thing is not really played anymore these days, and is really a sweet sounding tune. Lovely music.
Up next is Poems, Prayers and Promises which is an acoustic driven piece that sounds really mindblowing and great quality. It is really fine and wonderful sounding, and will take you places beyond this physical life you currently live. Another excellent listen, this is really cool. This is really nice and gentle, and is another of the many highlights of this recording. Gentle and relaxing.
Following is Rocky Mountain High which has some duel acoustic guitars and bongos to boot. This is an excellent piece of music, and sounds glorious and sings about Colorado and other great lyrical adventures. There is pedal steel guitar here again, and this sounds awesome. Excellent music and a fine and great musical piece, this is legendary. Top music, great to hear. Great quality here. The concert ends here?
This Old Guitar is an encore number with John Denver talking about his first guitar and his experiences with it. He then plays the song he wrote with it, which of course, is a nicely delivered piece of music. John Denver sings away in a way that is both heartfelt and inimitable. A wonderful and gorgeous song that is very moving. The acoustic playing and harmonies here are top.
This album is one of the greatest live albums out there that you can buy (or download) today. John Denver shows himself to be a great talent, in every way out there. An underrated and excellent musician, John Denver died tragically when the plane he was piloting crashed in 1997. Still, the music lives on. Fans of John Denver should check out re-releases with extra tracks available for your enjoyment.