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Tuesday, August 02, 2011

America -- History: America's Greatest Hits

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8/10

I have no idea why certain people's voices sound so great together, but the three original guys from 70's folk band, America, sounded really great together. They didn't really push the envelope or anything, and their lyrics didn't extend too far past simple love songs and hippie claptrap, like "Horse With No Name." Also, "Horse With No Name" is a really awesome song.

Despite not making any sense, the imagery of deserts and oceans and cities is vividly great, and the melodies and harmonies are timeless. It's a wonderful song, and as this is a compendium of America's best early work, History is full of wonderful songs. However, Greatest Hits albums as a whole are often hit and miss. This one, despite a few cheeseball ballads, is pretty much all hit. This is mainly due to the production work of George Martin. Yes, THAT George Martin. While Martin originally only produced the last five tracks (and their respective albums), he went back and did new production work on the first seven. This results in a remarkably cohesive feeling most greatest hits collections are missing. An awesome, feelgood song like "Ventura Highway"

sounds perfectly at home between its neighbors--all the tracks do. This makes for quite an enjoyable listening experience, and this is coming from a drum-smashing, distortion-craving metal-head who says the word "awesome" a whole lot.

1975 Warner Bros.
1. A Horse With No Name 4:07
2. I Need You 3:05
3. Sandman 4:08
4. Ventura Highway 3:22
5. Don't Cross the River 2:31
6. Only in Your Heart 3:12
7. Muskrat Love 3:05
8. Tin Man 3:28
9. Lonely People 2:28
10. Sister Golden Hair 3:20
11. Daisy Jane 3:08
12. Woman Tonight 2:22

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