I was going to post this in the "What are you listening to?" thread, but decided it needed it's own thread. Every now and then you hear something that makes you go...wow! This album fits the bill. I am generally not a fan of compilation albums, but this one is worth mentioning.
James Taylor - The Best of James Taylor
Warner Bros. R2 73837
I'm not sure where or when I purchased this CD, but it has been in the rack for quite a while. I have several of JT's albums on vinyl including the James Taylor - Greatest Hits album from 1976, which is considered to be a very good compilation...but nothing on CD.
I decided to open this one up and give it a listen tonight. I took off the shrink wrap and sealing tape...popped it in the CDP and sat down to listen. It started playing and I immediately looked up to see if the green SACD light was lit up. It wasn't. The first track was "Something in the Way She Moves" and it sounded awesome! "Sweet Baby James" was next and more of the same sweet sound. I listened to all 20 tracks...(all of them very recognizable since they are truly some of his biggest hits) and was not disappointed in any of them. Whenever you get a "best of" album it may be a bit of hit or miss. Often they are merely a group of tracks quickly put together with little or no care as to the flow or mastering. Not the case here! There has been some excellent re-mastering of these tracks. Balance, soundstage, clarity, position of the voices vs instruments, etc were spot on. Afterwards I put the Greatest Hits LP on for a spin and this CD sounds better IMO.
The live version of Steamroller Blues alone is worth the price of admission.
Here are the tracks:
1 - Something in the Way She Moves
2 - Sweet Baby James
3 - Fire and Rain
4 - Country Road [Single Version]
5 - You've Got a Friend
6 - You Can Close Your Eyes
7 - Long Ago and Far Away
8 - Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight
9 - Walking Man
10 - How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved by You)
11 - Mexico
12 - Shower the People
13 - Golden Moments
14 - Steamroller Blues [live]
15 - Carolina in My Mind [1976 Version]
16 - Handy Man
17 - Your Smiling Face
18 - Up on the Roof
19 - Only a Dream in Rio
20 - Bittersweet
All in all this CD has most of James Taylor's best known "hits" and excellent SQ. If you are interested in picking up a James Taylor "best of" that won't disappoint...this is one to consider.