JOHN DENVER’s RECORDING CAREER CELEBRATED ON NEW BOX SET, ALL OF MY MEMORIES: THE JOHN DENVER COLLECTION
Deluxe 90-song, 4-CD box set is first comprehensive multi-label overview to span 1964 to 1997, including six previously unreleased tracks, demos, promo rarities, live performances, limited edition and private pressings, and more
Special guests: the Mitchell Trio, Olivia Newton-John, Sylvie Vartan, Placido Domingo, Emmylou Harris, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, the Muppets, and others
Box set available everywhere November 4, 2014, through RCA/Legacy
September 11, 2014-New York, NY- John Denver’s prolific recording career is paid high tribute on ALL OF MY MEMORIES: THE JOHN DENVER COLLECTION. This deluxe 90-song, 4-CD box set, representing virtually every one of the studio and live albums he recorded in his lifetime, encompasses hit singles and signature album tracks, demos, promotional rarities, limited edition and private pressings, and a total of six previously unreleased tracks. The first truly comprehensive overview of his more than three decades of recording, from 1964 (before his solo career took off) to 1997 (the year of his death), this box set will be available everywhere November 4th through RCA/Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment. ALL OF MY MEMORIES is available now for pre-order on Amazon.
From his start as an itinerant folk-singer in the mid-1960s, John Denver rose to world class status as a multi-platinum selling recording artist and producer, a two-time Grammy Award®-winner (and five-time host of the Grammy Awards® broadcast), movie actor, television personality, philanthropist, environmental and human rights activist, and much more.
John Denver is recognized as one of the most celebrated entertainers of the 1970s, with sales over 33 million to date, including eight Billboard Top 10 RCA Albums in the U.S. (three of which hit #1). These include seven RIAA multi-platinum, thirteen platinum and 20 gold album certifications. He charted more than 40 Billboard Hot 100, AC and Country songs from 1971 to 1988. His #1 hits from 1974-’76 included “Sunshine On My Shoulders,” “Annie’s Song,” “Back Home Again,” “Sweet Surrender,” “Thank God I’m A Country Boy” (a rare live record to top the chart), “Calypso” (a monument to his close association with undersea explorer Jacques Cousteau), “Fly Away” featuring Olivia Newton-John, “Looking For Space,” and “Like A Sad Song.” These and his ‘campfire’ standards, “Leaving On A Jet Plane,” “Take Me Home, Country Roads” (designated in 2014 as the state song of West Virginia), and “Rocky Mountain High” (designated in 2007 as one of two state songs of Colorado) – not to mention his numerous recordings, movies and television appearances with Jim Henson’s Muppets – comprise a body of work that will resonate forever.
In addition to recapping hit singles, signature album tracks, live performances, folk boom rarities, private pressings tracks, and promotional-only tracks, ALL OF MY MEMORIES also uncovered six previously unissued treasures:
- Cover versions of “The Road” and “Far Side Of The Hill,” both demos recorded for Capitol Records in Hollywood, 1964, prior to joining the Mitchell Trio;
- “Rhymes And Reasons,” an original composition cut in early ’69 for Reprise Records, re-done later as the title track of Denver’s RCA debut LP in late-’69;
- “Spirit,” first recorded on his 1975 Windsong LP, this version later 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 the prophetic lyric, “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
- A different version of the evergreen, “It’s A Sin To Tell A Lie,” 1973, whose 1955 hit by Somethin’ Smith And The Redheads was Denver’s mother’s favorite tune, and was famously sung by him on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1972.
An accomplished songwriter, John Denver received the Carl Sandburg People’s Poet Award in 1982, and was inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame in 1996. As a writer’s writer, he appreciated a great song, as ALL OF MY MEMORIES shows. The box set features compositions by Bill Danoff & Taffy Nivert (who co-wrote “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” “I Guess He’d Rather Be In Colorado” and others), Buddy Holly (“Everyday”), John Prine (“Blow Up Your TV (Spanish Pipe Dream)”), Joe Henry, and others of note.
John Denver would have turned 70 on December 31, 2013. In November 2013, the BBC Four documentary, John Denver: Country Boy, premiered in recognition of his 70th. The one-hour film featured interviews with many important figures who knew Denver best, including his widow Annie Denver, producer Milton Okun, manager Jerry Weintraub, musicians James Burton and Paul Prestopino, and many others. The 32-page booklet for ALL OF MY MEMORIES will include the definitive 2,600-word liner notes essay written by long-time John Denver chronicler 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.
Industry legend Milton Okun ‘discovered’ Denver and was his long-time producer (and executive producer) on some 20-plus studio, live and ‘hits’ albums from 1965 (as the Mitchell Trio’s producer) up until 1986. As Okun said in the BBC documentary, “He came to New York to audition, and it was very clear right away that he was the best.” Okun brought Denver’s “Leaving, On A Jet Plane” to Peter, Paul & Mary (whom he was also producing) for their second ‘folk-rock’ LP, Album 1700, and the song became PP&M’s one and only #1 career hit. “He represented America at its best and healthiest,” Okun said of Denver, “and was a wonderful artist and a wonderful writer, and I think his songs will be sung for hundreds of years. They’re that good.”
The release of ALL OF MY MEMORIES: THE JOHN DENVER COLLECTION builds on the momentum of a resurgence in his popularity that began in 2007, the tenth anniversary year of his death, when the Colorado Senate named “Rocky Mountain High” as one of its two official state songs. Several commemorative multi-CD and DVD concert packages were issued by his family over the next two years. In April 2011, the all-star John Denver Earth Day Celebration Concert sold out at 1STBANK Center; and February 2013 marked the opening of the 15-city “John Denver: A Rocky Mountain High Concert” tour, in which for the first time in 15 years, he was seen on giant video screens, performing hit songs spanning his career, backed by live musicians. The music was presented along with stories of life on the road with the artist, as told by old friends and fellow performers.
Interest soared when The Music Is You: A Tribute to John Denver (ATO Records) debuted in the Top 50 on Soundscan in April 2013. A diverse group of contributing artists ranged from Dave Matthews to Train, to Lucinda Williams, Amos Lee, Old Crow Medicine Show, and many more. Highlights included My Morning Jacket’s opening take of “Leaving On A Jet Plane,” and a special duet by Brandi Carlile and Emmylou Harris on “Take Me Home, Country Roads.”
Indeed, John Denver’s passions extended far beyond the music. Throughout his career, he imparted strong messages in his work and used his celebrity to champion important causes. Songs like “I Want to Live” and “Let Us Begin (What Are We Making Weapons For)” served as rallying themes to stand up and solve problems like world hunger and nuclear disarmament. He backed up his convictions with action, co-founding both the Hunger Project charity and the Windstar Foundation to raise awareness for those suffering from starvation and to educate people on conservation efforts, two causes closest to his heart.
In his liner notes for ALL OF MY MEMORIES, G. Brown evokes the memory of fellow singer-songwriter (and folk boom survivor) John Stewart, who told a British journalist in 1971 about his friend: “Watch John Denver. He’s a genius. He’ll defeat all the cynicism in the world because he’s so real. You don’t have to think too much about him—just lie back and let his sunshine wash all over you. And you know you’ll feel real.”
ALL OF MY MEMORIES: THE JOHN DENVER COLLECTION
(RCA/Legacy Recordings 88883 72193 2)
Disc One – Selections: 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 (~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) • 25. Grizzly Bear Song (1974, promotional only).
Disc Two – Selections: 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).
Disc Three – Selections: 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).
Disc Four – Selections: 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 (by 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).
A. Rhymes and Reasons (RCA, 1969)
B. Take Me To Tomorrow (RCA, 1970)
C. Whose Garden Was This (RCA, 1970)
D. Poems, Prayers and Promises (RCA, 1971)
E. Aerie (RCA, 1971)
F. Rocky Mountain High (RCA, 1972)
G. Farewell Andromeda (RCA, 1973)
H. John Denver’s Greatest Hits (RCA, 1973)
I. Back Home Again (RCA, 1974)
J. An Evening with John Denver (RCA, 1975) 2 CDs
K. Windsong (RCA, 1975)
L. Rocky Mountain Christmas (RCA, 1975)
M. Spirit (RCA, 1976)
N. I Want to Live (RCA, 1977)
O. John Denver (RCA, 1979)
P. Autograph (RCA, 1980)
Q. Some Days Are Diamonds (RCA, 1981)
R. Seasons Of the Heart (RCA, 1982)
S. Rocky Mountain Holiday with the Muppets (RCA, 1982)
T. It’s About Time (RCA, 1983)
U. John Denver’s Greatest Hits Vol. 3 (RCA, 1984)
V. Dreamland Express (RCA, 1985)
W. One World (RCA, 1986)
X. Higher Ground (Windstar, 1988)
Y. Will the Circle Be Unbroken Volume Two (MCA, 1989)
Z. The Flower That Shattered The Stone (Windstar, 1990)
AA. Different Directions (Windstar, 1991)
BB. The Wildlife Concert (Legacy, 1995)
CC. All Aboard! (Sony Wonder, 1997)
DD. Unplugged In The U.S.S.R. (AAO Music, 2007)
EE. John Denver In Concert (Windstar, 2007)