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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly A Collection Of Taylor's Very Best Work !
I was lucky enough to first see James Taylor live in a small outdoor venue called Avaloch in rural Lenox, Massachusetts in the summer of 1970, after this first album recorded by the Beatles in London had been released and just before the release of the fabulously successful "Sweet Baby James" album by Warner Brothers. He appeared alone on-stage with a full head...
Published on Dec 12 2003 by Barron Laycock

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Album should be called Bittersweet
I am a true James Taylor fan and own all or parts of all the work he has done since 1970, but this album disappointed me. I did not care for the opening version of Something in the Way She Moves, despite its historical value. I much prefer the version on his Greatest Hits album. It just sounded too raw, too green and I certainly wouldn't have opened the album with it. The...
Published on July 17 2003


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly A Collection Of Taylor's Very Best Work !, Dec 12 2003
By 
Barron Laycock "Labradorman" (Temple, New Hampshire United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Best of James Taylor (Audio CD)
I was lucky enough to first see James Taylor live in a small outdoor venue called Avaloch in rural Lenox, Massachusetts in the summer of 1970, after this first album recorded by the Beatles in London had been released and just before the release of the fabulously successful "Sweet Baby James" album by Warner Brothers. He appeared alone on-stage with a full head of long, long hair in a simple denim shirt and cut-up jeans with his four or five acoustic guitars, and for two and a half hours proceeded to absolutely enchant the sprawling lawn-full of hundreds of audience members with a spellbinding performance of all of the work from both of those albums. Although virtually unknown at the time, word of mouth had spread so quickly in the Berkshires area (who still considers him one of their own) that many of us went out to get this album to play before he appeared. The rest, as they say, is history.
This is a fantastic collection of his greatest hits garnered from both of his greatest hits collections, and so represents some twenty gems on an incredible collection of wonderful selections, and is therefore a terrific summary of that work. Many of my favorites are here, including "Something In The Way She Moves", "Carolina In My Mind", and "You Can Close Your Eyes". Of course, so is "Fire And Rain", "You've Got A Friend", "Steamroller Blues", and "Country Road", all now Taylor standards. My all time favorite song from this album is "Sweet Baby James", which is sung about the Berkshire Hills of western Massachusetts where I grew up, so I have always considered this a special song, with its evocation of a snow-driven drive along the turnpike just as winter's first snow hits the Berkshires. His performance on it is a brilliant early indication of just how incredibly talented an interpretive artist Taylor really is. He always pleases with songs like "Don't Let Me Be Lonely Tonight", "Mexico", and "Walking Man", and this album is sure to please even the most cautious music fan. It is certainly a terrific showcase for how well Taylor can deliver on a variety of original works and covers of traditional folk songs. Enjoy!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Album should be called Bittersweet, July 17 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Best of James Taylor (Audio CD)
I am a true James Taylor fan and own all or parts of all the work he has done since 1970, but this album disappointed me. I did not care for the opening version of Something in the Way She Moves, despite its historical value. I much prefer the version on his Greatest Hits album. It just sounded too raw, too green and I certainly wouldn't have opened the album with it. The predictable hits, and certainly ones I like, are represented, but I also didn't care for the truly weird version of Country Roads. Overproduced--too many strings, a choir even--just was too much. I was pleased to see one of my favorites, You Can Close Your Eyes, on the album, but Long Ago and Far Away, Bittersweet, could have been left off. And so many great ones were not included: Copperline, Traffic Jam, Lonesome Road, Never Die Young, Millworker, were these not great? But the ultimate disappointment was what was the cheesy editing job on Steamroller Blues. I guess someone was offended or thought someone else would be offended by the great utterance of M---F--king at the great climax (pun unintentional but probably Freudian) of the song. I guess these same people would put a fig leaf on the statue of David. Gee, if it was so offensive, why was it not clumsily blotted out on the Greatest Hits album, released long ago? Were the producers offended, or did they just fear a "Parental Advisory" on the label? So what if it had it? Anyone who knows JT knows what is on the end of that song. Gee, why not take the Fish Cheer out out of the Woodstock Soundtrack too? Where does the censorship stop? All in all, a deceptive title if there was one. The collection seemed like it was put together by some resentful Gen Xer who didn't know his music at all. Buy it if your expectations are low.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twenty-five years late. Right on time., April 8 2003
By 
Pat Kelly (Here, There & Everywhere) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Best of James Taylor (Audio CD)
There is very little on this album that couldn't have been released on a James Taylor "best-of" in 1978. Up On The Roof appears to be the most recent track, if you can call 1979 recent.
Unfortunately, this was about the time that Ol' JT switched record labels (Columbia to WEA) and so it was not possible to get a Greatest Hits package that actually contained all his greatest hits.
It still isn't. Not quite. Missing in action are his duets with his ex, Carly Simon (Mockingbird & Devoted To You), his duet with JD Souther (Her Town Too), What A Wonderful World (recorded with Art Garfunkel & Paul Simon) and the lovely remake of Buddy Holly's "Everyday". Or anything he's recorded during, say, Britney Spears' lifetime.
But what is here more than makes up for what's missing. Classic gentle songs, that warm you like brandy on a winter's night. And like brandy, age does not harm the contents.
At this year's Grammies, James was part of a singer-songwriter performance. Alongside "young whipper-snappers" like John Mayer and Vanessa Carleton, JT performed the 30-year old "Sweet Baby James", a track than never even sniffed at the charts.
One has to question whether Mayer or Carleton will be able to strike similar memory chords in 2038.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Classic JT, May 17 2014
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This review is from: The Best of James Taylor (Audio CD)
I bought this one to make up for some of the missing tracks on JT's "Greatest Hits Vol 2" album that I own. However, had I been aware of the existence of "The Essential James Taylor", I would have bought that instead - looks like a much better value for money. That said, "The Best of James Taylor" is still a great value, and when it comes to easy listening, you can't go wrong with this one.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Required listening!, April 20 2014
This review is from: The Best of James Taylor (Audio CD)
Why didn't I buy this sooner? Lovely to hear these old tunes again nice easy listening sing along songs :)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Just like having James in your living room, March 23 2014
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This review is from: The Best of James Taylor (Audio CD)
I have many of James cd's and albums This is a wonderful collection. It's been in my car since I received it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars james taylor, Aug. 29 2013
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This review is from: The Best of James Taylor (Audio CD)
IT IS A GREAT NOSTALGIC ALBUM OF SEVENTIES FOLK MUSIC. THE GUITAR AND VOCALS ARE SOFT AND BEAUTIFUL AND SENSITIVE GREAT!!!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars James Taylor review., April 24 2013
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This review is from: The Best of James Taylor (Audio CD)
Growing up in the 60s, James Taylor was a big part of my life. The man was not only a fantastic singer...but a terrific songwriter.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Good, March 20 2013
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This review is from: The Best of James Taylor (Audio CD)
I am not a knowledgeable fan of JT. So I decided to plunge and give it a try. What better than a compilation? A the end I will remain not a fan. 4-5 fairly good tunes on 20 on this album. In this field I would prefer Jack Johnson. Personnal taste I know.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Quality Collection that includes all of the timeless hits!, April 15 2003
By 
Robert L. Henry Jr. (Paden City, WV United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Best of James Taylor (Audio CD)
This is the collection to own of JT's work. All the hits are here, including the entire old Warner Bros. Greatest Hits album and then the Columbia hit material. However 2 or 3 songs are included on this great set that really are not needed such as " You Can Close your Eyes" or Golden Moments, and "Long Ago and Far Away. These 3 songs are good songs but they do not add any flavor to the collection. What about the old tune "Rainy Day Man, which dates back to the "Flying Machine" days and then was re-recorded for his debut album, "James Taylor" on Apple records back in 1969. There has to be a way Warner Bros could have got the rights to this classic. Also what about Copperline, it could have fit in nicely after "Only A Dream in Rio", in the time frame of things. This collection also features a new track, "Bittersweet" which is absolutely top notch and should turn out to be a JT classic, the best JT song in years!!!!! This collection is a MUST BUY!!!!!
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The Best of James Taylor by James Taylor (Audio CD - 2003)
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