Back Home Again [Bonus Tracks]

by: John Denver

It is here you find the gift and talent of John Denver in one of the brighter and more spirited moments of his career. The record Back Home Again features a whole plethora of uplifting, merry, and lyrically witty songs written and arranged by Denver and played with the most charming and delightful of backup bands. Highlights include the humor of "Grandma's Feather Bed," the poignancy of "Matthew," and the spirit and delight of "Thank God I'm a Country Boy." A well-orchestrated recording under his label, RCA, Denver makes clear to his fans and listeners of new and old that the "music is in you." Opening up the second side of this 1974 recording is the ever so romantic tearjerker, a song for his wife, "Annie's Song," certainly one of Denver's finest achievements. The highlight of the record finds him playing six-string guitar, with Steve Weisberg on lead guitar, Dick Kniss on bass, John Sommers on mandolin, and Jim Gordon on percussion, with the creativity of Lee Holdridge and his orchestral arrangement. Two more songs come along during this 12-song set with the hearty "Sweet Surrender," and the heartfelt "This Old Guitar." Lazy days, and summer days, and windy days, and rainy days may encourage the listener to find him- or herself listening to this recording under a shady tree, as the joyful tune "Cool an' Green an' Shady" illustrates. John Denver pulls out all the stops to create, and experience himself, one of his finer recordings of the '70s. [Back Home Again was reissued in 2005 in a remastered and expanded edition that included extensive liner notes, photos and bonus alternate versions of "Matthew" and "This Old Guitar"] ~ Shawn M. Haney

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