217. John Denver – “An Evening with John Denver”

I have had many a curious look from folks walking past my office today. This CD (another from my wife’s generous dowry) is not what people expect to hear (wait til they hear tomorrow’s!).

My wife Catherine tells me she spent many childhood afternoons sitting cross-legged scrutinising the gatefold sleeve of the LP version of this album and listening to Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. (for that is Denver’s birthname) strumming and crooning to a swooning crowd. She still sneaks it on the stereo when I’m not looking.

Personally I recall Denver’s work as the domain of various primary school teachers who forced us all to pine for life in rural Colorado and journeys along Country Roads. I also remember him as a regular guest on the Muppet Show.

This CD includes 21 classics from this most saccharine and earnest of songwriters. I’m sure some folk see him as capturing the essence of their existence and the dilemmas and feelings they have no better means to express. I find much fo the material far too straightforward and dull.

But, when he fires up or goes for quirky it works OK. Thank God I’m a Country Boy tickles my fancy (perhaps because of the Pauly Shore/Son in Law link), while this gem (here performed with said Muppets) justifies owning this CD:

File under: I’ve had worse evenings

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2 responses to “217. John Denver – “An Evening with John Denver”

  1. I was also subjected to this by left-leaning pot-smoking primary school teachers and also my mother who is left-leaning but, unfortunately, was never pot-smoking!

  2. Unrelenting Tedium

    Whilst this has nothing to this particular release, I was interested in John’s appearance in Frank Zappa’s gripping autobiography. Whilst the PMRC and house committee enquiry into profane music was kicked off by Prince’s crappy song “Little Nicky” he remained silent throughout whislt Frank Zappa and, the most unlikely of allies, John Denver stood up for freedom of speech. And it was Denver who would pay the higher price. This anodyne and sacchrine songster fought to defend Prince’s, and everyone else’s, pissweak teenage profanity and lost his record contract as a result. It was not long before he was signed elsewhere but it does cause me to admire the man.

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