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The Very Best of Peter Allen: The Boy from Down Under

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Album Review

Australian Peter Allen, who passed away in 1992, will probably be best remembered as a brilliant songwriter and flamboyant performer rather than as a charting artist. Indeed, his own chart successes were modest, but cover versions of his material have been pure gold for many major acts, including "Jennifer" for teen idol Bobby Sherman, "I Honestly Love You" for fellow Aussie Olivia Newton-John, and "Don't Cry Out Loud" for Melissa Manchester. His songwriting range — tender ballads through to poppier fare and even campy fun numbers like "I Go to Rio" — has rarely been rivaled. And while his career was neither as long nor prolific as other piano men like Elton John and Billy Joel, his work is arguably in their league. The Very Best of Peter Allen: The Boy from Down Under captures the cream of Allen's career on one highly engaging disc. All but two of the 20 tracks were penned or co-penned by Allen. Highlights include his moving 1972 ballad about his grandfather, "Tenterfield Saddler" (Allen was born in the town of Tenterfield, N.S.W.), the Judy Garland tribute "Quiet Please, There's a Lady on Stage," his ragtime-style classic "Everything Old Is New Again," and a live version of "Arthur's Theme (The Best That You Can Do)" recorded at Carnegie Hall in the mid-'80s. But perhaps the jewel in the crown is his poignant ode to his homeland, "I Still Call Australia Home." A vivacious performer with a poet's sensitivity, this album spans the moods and melodies that made Peter Allen such a special artist.

Customer Reviews

Where's the live version of "Arthurs Theme"?!

The itunes review mentions the Carnegie Hall version of this song but it's not on the list ... am I misreading something? Peter Allen was one of the greatest performer/songwriters of all time ... I hope they add "Arthur's Theme" ... that would make this collection truly unique.

Would Have Been Even Better

This album is missing two really great songs that are on the CD elsewhere. Why's that?

The missing songs...

were originally on Arista recordings; their inclusion on this disc was probably leased and subject to such legal stuff. That said, this is a fabulous (wasn't he the first to use that term, really?) collection.

Biography

Born: February 10, 1944 in Tenterfield, New South Wales, Aus

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

In the 1970s, Peter Allen gained recognition both as a composer of romantic ballads such as "I Honestly Love You" and "Don't Cry Out Loud," and, contrastingly, as a flamboyant stage performer. He learned to play the piano and began entertaining people at the pub in his small Australian hometown when he was still a child. By 1959, he was in Sydney, where he became a last-minute replacement in a duo appearing on the television show Australian Bandstand with guitarist and singer Chris Bell. The act...
Full Bio