12 Songs, 46 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

The stellar harmonies of Dewey Bunnell, Gerry Beckley and Dan Peek made America one of the best-selling and much-loved groups of the ‘70s. Peek passed away in 2011 without ever reuniting with his old bandmates, however, Bunnell and Beckley have been riding a renaissance since their 2007 comeback Here and Now. This collection of covers is a truly satisfying collection. The songs are perfect choices, from Simon and Garfunkel’s “America” and the Zombies’ “Time of the Season” to the Fountains of Wayne’s “A Road Song” and Marshall Crenshaw’s hit for the Gin Blossoms, “Til I Hear It From You,” Bunnell and Beckley nail the rich melodies with the same precision that made their name. The list of songwriters covered here — Dylan, Neil Young, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell — is mostly what you might expect, but the challenges of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson’s “Caroline No,” Jimmy Webb’s “Crying In My Sleep” and the Zombies’ “Time of the Season” are worth the price of admission.

EDITORS’ NOTES

The stellar harmonies of Dewey Bunnell, Gerry Beckley and Dan Peek made America one of the best-selling and much-loved groups of the ‘70s. Peek passed away in 2011 without ever reuniting with his old bandmates, however, Bunnell and Beckley have been riding a renaissance since their 2007 comeback Here and Now. This collection of covers is a truly satisfying collection. The songs are perfect choices, from Simon and Garfunkel’s “America” and the Zombies’ “Time of the Season” to the Fountains of Wayne’s “A Road Song” and Marshall Crenshaw’s hit for the Gin Blossoms, “Til I Hear It From You,” Bunnell and Beckley nail the rich melodies with the same precision that made their name. The list of songwriters covered here — Dylan, Neil Young, James Taylor, Joni Mitchell — is mostly what you might expect, but the challenges of the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson’s “Caroline No,” Jimmy Webb’s “Crying In My Sleep” and the Zombies’ “Time of the Season” are worth the price of admission.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.0 out of 5
102 Ratings

102 Ratings

BabyEvelyn ,

America's latest CD

AWESOME CD.....Reminiscent of when music was music instead of the ugliness of hip hop & rap.

Charles C ,

Beautiful

I've been a fan of America for many years. But... I'm not a big fan of cover albums. That being said, I gave this album a shot. After several listens, I can safely say I LOVE this album. Lush harmonies, beautiful arrangements. They made virtually every song their own. Some highlights for me were "A Road Song", "Caroline No", "Something in the way she moves" and "My Back Pages".

The only song I was a bit confused on is "Sailing to Philadephia". Mind you, it was done really well.... but I don't think it's possible to improve on the version with Mark Knoffler and James Tailor. That version was done so well, and not too long ago. However, this version is top knotch nonetheless.

Not too many rockers here, but then again.... America is a folk band at it's roots, so that doesn't bother me too much. There are certainly a few songs here that pick up the pace. Many of these will find their way into my permanent America playlist (which is currently sitting at over 100 songs.... whew).

Great job, guys!

Jeff Crosby ,

An "America Twist" on Classic Songs...

This album has grown on me with every "spin" on the iPod over the past week. Gerry Beckley and Dewey Bunnell have been writing and recording and touring in support of their own songs for more than 40 years now and, thankfully, show no signs of slowing down. But with "Back Pages," they breathe new life into a 12-song collection of classic tunes originally recorded by the likes of Simon & Garfunkel, The Beach Boys, James Taylor, Art Garfunkel (as a solo artist), Bob Dylan and Rod Argent/The Zombies, among others. Virtually all of those re-interpretations are pleasant to the ear and that's no easy task, given our familiarity with the originals and our expectation of what the vocals and instrumentation will sound like. But it is two lesser-known cuts, "A Road Song" and "Someday We'll Know" that have put "Back Pages" in a regular rotation in my iTunes library and, indeed, made me find a copy of the physical CD to own and shelve alongside the 25 other America recordings in my library. Well-done, Beckley and Bunnell. I'm surprised by the one-star reviews that some have posted. This is decidedly a five-star album from one of the great bands of the 70s... and today.

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