John Denver died in a small plane crash over a decade ago. He still, however, has a multitude of fans in The United States and in many parts of the world.
Still, many people forget just how popular he was during the seventies. He sold millions of albums including three that reached the number one position in The USA. His 1973 Greatest Hits album sold in excess of 14 million copies in The United States and Canada alone. His singles, “Sunshine On My Shoulder,” “Annie’s Song,” “Thank God I’m A Country Boy,” “I’m Sorry,” and “Calypso” all topped the Billboard Magazine singles charts while “Take Me Home, Country Roads” just missed at number two.
Eagle Rock Entertainment has just issued Around The World Live which is a massive five DVD set of unreleased concert material plus two documentaries. It all clocks in at just less than nine hours and that is a lot of John Denver.
Because it presents him in a concert setting from different periods of his career there is some repetition. An example of this would be the six performances of “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” Even his fan base would be well advised to enjoy this set over a period of days rather than just plowing through it in one or two sittings.
Disc one takes you down under for his 1977 Australian concert in front of 30,000 people. This is John Denver at the height of his popularity. I was immediately impressed with the quality of his voice and his relaxed demeanor in front of so many people. While many of his hits are performed he also digs into his catalog to present some lesser known material such as “Come And Let Me Look In Your Eyes,” “Eagle And The Hawk,” and “Singing Skies And Dancing Waters.” The concert concludes with the song that jump started his career. “Leaving On A Jet Plane” was a number one hit for Peter, Paul & Mary in the fall of 1969 and as its composer he received a large amount of recognition.