CD Review: John Denver – The Ultimate Collection (Sony)

Incredibly, this October will be the 20th anniversary of American singer-songwriter John Denver’s tragically early death.

Although Denver was regularly in the US Billboard charts during the 70s and 80s, it was his albums that made more an impact with UK fans. While his compositions such as Leaving on A Jet Plane and Take Me Home Country Roads were covered with greater success by other artists, it wouldn’t be until 1976 that Denver would score a UK hit with his composition Annie’s Song.

The Ultimate Collection brings 19 of Denver’s best-known recordings together. Forgotten gems such as Sunshine on My Shoulders and Rocky Mountain High recall a bright young country artist who had so much to achieve while his 1981 duet with Placido Dominigo Perhaps Love remains pioneering as one of the first classical/pop duets to hit the charts.

Many of today’s New Country artists owe a lot to the laid-back style of John Denver and this album will no doubt strike a chord with many fans old and new.

The perfect tribute to a great artist.

Andy Howells