Don McLean

Rearview Mirror: An American Musical Journey

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Producer and record executive Joel Dorn (who worked with Don McLean previously on his 1974 album Homeless Brother) assembled this retrospective CD/DVD collection by going through McLean's archives. Although no indication is given of the sources of the material, a majority of it has been previously released, starting with the original hit recording of "American Pie," licensed from EMI Special Products. The rest of the collection dates from after 1976, when McLean, for the most part, controlled his own recordings, and there is a heavy complement from albums issued on his own Don McLean Records label, notably "Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)," "Crying," "Homeless Brother," and "And I Love You So" (the last a duet with Nanci Griffith) from the live Starry Starry Night album; "El Paso" from Don McLean Sings Marty Robbins; "My Saddle Pals and I" from The Western Album; and "You've Got to Share" from You've Got to Share: Songs for Children. Previously unreleased tracks include McLean versions of the standards "Love Me Tender," "(It Was) A Very Good Year," and "TB Blues," and a McLean original, the Rolling Stones-like "Run, Diana Run." Neither a greatest-hits collection nor a best-of, exactly, the album is an idiosyncratic compilation that nevertheless gives a good sense of McLean's accomplishments as a songwriter and an interpretive singer. (Equally idiosyncratic are Dorn's liner notes, which are more about him than they are about McLean.) The DVD contains a 20-minute home movie of a rehearsal by McLean and the Jordanaires for McLean's 1984 Carnegie Hall holiday concert; the 1991 music video for the politically charged rocker "Headroom"; and the duet with Griffith on "And I Love You So" from the 2000 home video Starry Starry Night.

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