14 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Plenty of singer/songwriters were scoring folk-flecked hits in the first half of the '70s, but few combined poignant balladry with a buoyant sense of humor like Jim Croce. As this first-rate collection shows, Croce was capable of knocking out a good-time romp like "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" one minute and delivering a tender, bewitchingly melodic tune like "Time in a Bottle" the next, and sending them both to the top of the pop charts. It didn't hurt that he was a master of concision—the classic kiss-off cut "One Less Set of Footsteps," for instance, delivers its subtly searing sayonara in just 2:45 and still finds time for a guitar solo. And if there's a more fun piece of the '70s AM radio pop canon than "You Don't Mess Around with Jim," you'll be hard-pressed to find it.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Plenty of singer/songwriters were scoring folk-flecked hits in the first half of the '70s, but few combined poignant balladry with a buoyant sense of humor like Jim Croce. As this first-rate collection shows, Croce was capable of knocking out a good-time romp like "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" one minute and delivering a tender, bewitchingly melodic tune like "Time in a Bottle" the next, and sending them both to the top of the pop charts. It didn't hurt that he was a master of concision—the classic kiss-off cut "One Less Set of Footsteps," for instance, delivers its subtly searing sayonara in just 2:45 and still finds time for a guitar solo. And if there's a more fun piece of the '70s AM radio pop canon than "You Don't Mess Around with Jim," you'll be hard-pressed to find it.

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