Whenever a chart-topping artist dies early, it's almost guaranteed that somewhere down the line, a collection of unreleased tracks and/or demos will surface. Case in point: the 2003 Jim Croce release Home Recordings: Americana. Issued just a month past the 30th anniversary of Croce's tragic passing, Home Recordings collects 15 tracks of exactly what the album title advertises. Longtime fans who have gone through a few copies of You Don't Mess Around with Jim will undoubtedly be attracted to this set of personal recordings; however, there aren't any tracks here that rival Croce's classic hits from the early '70s. All the selections are covers, but there are certainly a few worthwhile tracks to be discovered. Croce is best known as a folk-based singer/songwriter, but he also had an appreciation of country music, as evidenced by the country twang in his voice on such tracks as "You Oughta See Pickles Now," "Mom and Dad's Waltz," and "The Wall." While fans who were hoping for demos of such Croce classics as "Operator" and "Time in a Bottle" may be disappointed, fans looking for uncommon Croce recordings will surely cherish Home Recordings: Americana.
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AllMusic Review by Greg Prato