America

America in Concert

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Recorded during the band's 1982 commercial renaissance with "You Can Do Magic," this is a live album that's also a de facto greatest-hits package. The departure of founding member Dan Peek notwithstanding, the group's harmonies sound as good as ever, and in a concession to '80s taste that makes sense, the band's '70s soft-rock arrangements on songs like "A Horse With No Name" and "Ventura Highway" are toughened up ever so slightly; the concert performance here of "Sister Golden Hair," for example, may lack the sonic sheen producer George Martin lavished on the studio version, but given America's patented laid-back esthetic it sounds downright aggressive. Fans should pounce on this immediately; the less committed may prefer the group's two bona fide greatest-hits albums.

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