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The Definitive Anthology

Dan Fogelberg

Real Gone Music 2017

Review by David Bowling

 

The Music of Dan Fogelberg has been in the background of my life for the past forty years or so. It has provided a pleasant, if not important listening experience.

My most important memories of Fogelberg was not his music but the blog he published while fighting an ultimately losing battle with cancer. It was a gritty, moving, honest, and in some ways frightening chronicle of his last years.

His catalogue of music has been re-released in every form possible.  The Daily Vault has reviewed just about his entire output. Now The Definitive Anthology has been issued. This 2-CD release gathers 28 of his best-known, and a few not so well-known songs, scrubs the sound clean, provides a compact history of the music, into one package.

I’m not sure this release is any more essential than several of his previous compilation packages but it is a fine overview of his career, especially if you are seeking an introduction to his music.

I tend to prefer his up-tempo songs such as “The Language Of Love” and “Part Of The Plan” to his slower more popular material; “Longer,” “Heart Hotels,” and “Same Old Lang Syne,” but all sold millions of copies and received extensive radio play.

His lesser known studio material remains interesting and in some ways is more creative than many of his popular hits. “Phoenix,” “Tucson Arizona (Gazette),” “Nexus,” and “Magic Every Moment” are layered and intricate creations.

There are several inclusions that take him in a different direction. A rare cover song, The Cascades old hit “Rhythm Of The Rain,” has a smooth vocal delivery with a brass section in support. His hit “The Power Of Gold” with flautist Tim Weisberg and vocal harmonies by Don Henley of the Eagles was a unique stop in his career. The album ending fusion of his “Leader Of The Band” with “The Washington Post March” is a creative mix.

Dan Fogelberg produced bright, melodic, well-constructed, and at times introspective pop music. The Definitive Anthology is a good look at some of the highlights of his career.

Rating: ****

 

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