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Rocky Mountain High: Legacy Remembers John Denver With New Box Set

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John Denver - All of My MemoriesRandy Sparks was right. ”Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr.” likely wouldn’t have commanded attention on a marquee. “John Denver” would – and did. The beloved troubadour, who perished in 1997 at just 53, took the advice of the New Christy Minstrels’ leader. Choosing a new name from his favorite state, which he would immortalize numerous times in song, Denver went on to a career encompassing seven multi-platinum, thirteen platinum and 20 gold albums. During that sadly-curtailed career, he also penned some of the most beloved and indelible works in the canon of American song: “Leaving on a Jet Plane,” “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” “Rocky Mountain High.” On November 4, RCA Records and Legacy Recordings will celebrate the enduring music of John Denver on a new 4-CD career spanning anthology, All of My Memories: The John Denver Collection.

All of My Memories chronicles the two-time Grammy Award winner’s career from 1964 to 1997 over the course of 90 songs recorded between 1964 and 1997 by Denver solo, as member of The Chad Mitchell Trio, and with duet partners including Emmylou Harris, Olivia Newton-John, Placido Domingo, Sylvie Vartan, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and that inimitable song stylist, Miss Piggy! With his boyish good looks, gentle voice and enthusiasm for music and nature, Denver was one of the preeminent pop voices of the 1970s, incorporating folk and country influences into his popular material. He charted more than 40 Billboard Hot 100, AC and Country songs from 1971 to 1988, and this box set features a number of them alongside key album tracks, live performances, and rarities including promotional-only and privately-pressed tracks. In addition, six songs make their first appearances anywhere on this set:

  • Cover versions of “The Road” and “Far Side Of The Hill,” both demos recorded for Capitol Records in Hollywood, 1964, prior to Denver’s tenure with the Mitchell Trio;
  • “Rhymes And Reasons,” an original composition cut in early ’69 for Reprise Records, re-recorded as the title track of Denver’s RCA debut later that year;
  • “Spirit,” first recorded on 1975’s Windsong LP, as recorded live at the Sydney Opera House in 1977, but not included on the 1999 concert album release;
  • An alternate take of “Eli’s Song” from 1976 with a lyric described by the record label as “prophetic”: “See the airplane fly, see the trees rush by/ Be brave and strong when you hurt yourself/ Don’t you have a worry in the world…”; and
  • An alternate version of the vintage tune “It’s A Sin to Tell a Lie” from 1973. Denver’s mother’s favorite song, he famously performed it on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show one year earlier.

Many of Denver’s own compositions are, naturally, featured alongside tracks composed by Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert (who co-wrote “Take Me Home, Country Roads” and “I Guess He’d Rather Be In Colorado”), Buddy Holly (“Everyday”), John Prine (“Blow Up Your TV (Spanish Pipe Dream)”), Joe Henry, and others.

After the jump, we have more details on this set from the onetime Poet Laureate of Colorado, including the complete track listing and pre-order links!

The box set includes a 32-page booklet with a 2,600-word liner notes essay written by G. Brown, former Denver Post music critic, and now Director at the Colorado Music Hall of Fame. Its first inductee was John Denver, in 2011. All of My Memories arrives in the wake of Legacy’s 2011 release of The Complete RCA Albums Collection box set and last year’s tribute album, The Music is You: A Tribute to John Denver, on the ATO label.

All of My Memories: The John Denver Collection is due in stores on November 4. You can peruse the track listing and pre-order links below!

John Denver, All of My Memories: The John Denver Collection (RCA/Legacy Recordings 88883 72193 2, 2014) (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K.)

CD 1

  1. The Road (1964, previously unissued Capitol Records demo, mono)
  2. Far Side of the Hill (1964, previously unissued Capitol Records demo, mono)
  3. The Wagoner Lad (c. 1966)
  4. Darcy Farrow (1966, mono)
  5. Babe, I Hate to Go (1966, mono)
  6. For Bobbi (by the Mitchell Trio, 1965)
  7. The ’68 Nixon (This Year’s Model) (by Denver, Boise & Johnson, 1968)
  8. Take Me to Tomorrow (by Denver, Boise & Johnson, 1968)
  9. Rhymes and Reasons (1969, previously unissued Reprise Records recording)
  10. Circus (1969, A)
  11. Catch Another Butterfly (1969, A)
  12. Daydream (1969, A)
  13. Leaving on a Jet Plane (1969, A)
  14. Isabel (1969, B)
  15. Anthem – Revelation (1969, B)
  16. Aspenglow (1969, B)
  17. The Game Is Over (1970, C)
  18. My Sweet Lady (1971, D)
  19. Around And Around featuring Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert (Fat City) (1971, D)
  20. Take Me Home, Country Roads featuring Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert (Fat City) (1971, D)
  21. I Guess He’d Rather Be In Colorado (1971, D)
  22. All of My Memories (1971, E)
  23. Sunshine On My Shoulders (1974, H)
  24. Friends with You (1971, E)
  25. Everyday featuring Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert (Fat City) (1971, E)
  26. Blow Up Your TV (Spanish Pipe Dream) (1971, E)
  27. Grizzly Bear Song (1974, promotional only)

CD 2

  1. Rocky Mountain High (1972, F)
  2. Starwood in Aspen (1971, E)
  3. For Baby (For Bobbie) (1972, F)
  4. Goodbye Again (1972, F)
  5. Prisoners (1972, F)
  6. The Eagle and the Hawk (1974, H)
  7. Rocky Mountain Suite (Cold Nights in Canada) (1973, G)
  8. Berkeley Woman featuring Bill Danoff and Taffy Nivert (Fat City) (1973, G)
  9. I’d Rather Be a Cowboy (Lady’s Chains) (1973, G)
  10. Back Home Again (1974, I)
  11. Thank God I’m a Country Boy (Live) (1975, J)
  12. Grandma’s Feather Bed (Live (1975, J)
  13. Matthew (1974, I)
  14. Annie’s Song (1974, I)
  15. Follow Me (1974, H)
  16. Looking For Space (1976, K)
  17. Sweet Surrender (1974, I)
  18. Windsong (1975, K)
  19. Eclipse (1974, I)
  20. Poems, Prayers and Promises (1974, H)
  21. This Old Guitar (1974, promotional only)

CD 3

  1. Farewell Andromeda (Welcome To My Morning) (1973, G)
  2. Calypso (1975, K)
  3. Spirit (Live) (1977, Sydney Opera House, Australia, previously unissued)
  4. Fly Away featuring Olivia Newton-John (1975, K)
  5. I’m Sorry (1975, K)
  6. Like a Sad Song (1976, M)
  7. Come and Let Me Look in Your Eyes (1976, M)
  8. Baby, You Look Good To Me Tonight (1976, M)
  9. It Makes Me Giggle (1976, M)
  10. Eli’s Song (1976, previously unissued alternate take)
  11. It Amazes Me (1977, N)
  12. I Want To Live (1977, N)
  13. In My Heart (1980, P)
  14. How Can I Leave You Again (1977, N)
  15. It’s A Sin to Tell a Lie (1973, previously unissued version)
  16. Druthers (1977, N)
  17. Bet on the Blues (1977, N)
  18. Downhill Stuff (1979, O)
  19. Sweet Melinda (1979, O)
  20. The Wrangell Mountain Song (1980, P)
  21. Autograph (1980, P)
  22. Durango Mountain Caballero (1982, S)
  23. The Wings That Fly Us Home (1976, M)

CD 4

  1. Some Days Are Diamonds (Some Days Are Stone) (1981, Q)
  2. Dreamland Express (1985, V)
  3. Love Again (with Sylvie Vartan) (1984, U)
  4. Opposite Tables (1982, R)
  5. Flying for Me (1986, W)
  6. Perhaps Love – Placido Domingo and John Denver (1981, U)
  7. Shanghai Breezes (1982, R)
  8. The Flower That Shattered The Stone (1990, Z)
  9. Let Us Begin (What Are We Making Weapons For) (1986, W)
  10. Love is the Master (1986, W)
  11. Wild Montana Skies (with Emmylou Harris) (1983, T)
  12. Boy from the Country (Live) (1985, DD)
  13. Whispering Jesse (1988, X)
  14. Eagles and Horses (Live) (1995, BB)
  15. And So It Goes (with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band) (1989, Y)
  16. The Foxfire Suite: Spring is Alive/You Are/Whisper the Wind/Spring Is Alive (Reprise) (Live) (1995, EE)
  17. Tenderly Calling (1991, AA)
  18. On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe (1997, CC)
  19. Medley: Tumbling Tumbleweeds/Happy Trails (with Miss Piggy) (1982, S)

Albums index:

  1. Rhymes and Reasons (RCA, 1969)
  2. Take Me To Tomorrow (RCA, 1970)
  3. Whose Garden Was This (RCA, 1970)
  4. Poems, Prayers and Promises (RCA, 1971)
  5. Aerie (RCA, 1971)
  6. Rocky Mountain High (RCA, 1972)
  7. Farewell Andromeda (RCA, 1973)
  8. John Denver’s Greatest Hits (RCA, 1973)
  9. Back Home Again (RCA, 1974)
  10. An Evening with John Denver (RCA, 1975) 2 CDs
  11. Windsong (RCA, 1975)
  12. Rocky Mountain Christmas (RCA, 1975)
  13. Spirit (RCA, 1976)
  14. I Want to Live (RCA, 1977)
  15. John Denver (RCA, 1979)
  16. Autograph (RCA, 1980)
  17. Some Days Are Diamonds (RCA, 1981)
  18. Seasons Of the Heart (RCA, 1982)
  19. Rocky Mountain Holiday with the Muppets (RCA, 1982)
  20. It’s About Time (RCA, 1983)
  21. John Denver’s Greatest Hits Vol. 3 (RCA, 1984)
  22. Dreamland Express (RCA, 1985)
  23. One World (RCA, 1986)
  24. Higher Ground (Windstar, 1988)
  25. Will the Circle Be Unbroken Volume Two (MCA, 1989)
  26. The Flower That Shattered The Stone (Windstar, 1990)
  27. Different Directions (Windstar, 1991)
  28. The Wildlife Concert (Legacy, 1995)
  29. All Aboard! (Sony Wonder, 1997)
  30. Unplugged In The U.S.S.R. (AAO Music, 2007)
  31. John Denver In Concert (Windstar, 2007)

Written by Joe Marchese

September 15, 2014 at 10:15

4 Responses

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  1. This box sounds exciting and nearly complete. Sadly, the possible duo of John Denver and John Stewart is not represented here, though the two did cut demos of “Daydream Believer’ and “Leavin’ On a Jet Plane.” Oh how we would love to hear those! Fortunately, we can hear (especially with headphones) Denver’s Background vocal contribution to Stewart’s “Survivors” from JS’s Wingless Angels album on RCA. That would have been a duo for the folk ages, had they gone forward with it!

    Sean Anglum

    September 16, 2014 at 12:33

    • John Denver and John Stewart also cut a demo of a Stewart song “Do You Have a Place That I Can Hide?” and, possibly, another JS song called “Charlie Fletcher.” This was right after Stewart had left the Kingston Trio and was thinking he wasn’t ready for a solo thing yet. So he and Denver rehearsed to do a duo, cutting these demos.This info is all from an interview with JS in the Omaha Rainbow, a Stewart fanzine of the 70s and 80s.

      Sean Anglum

      September 16, 2014 at 12:44

  2. Now John Stewart is an artist that deserves a large (very large) boxset.


    September 17, 2014 at 20:41

    • I totally agree, Kevin!

      Sean Anglum

      September 18, 2014 at 13:16

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