Michael Martin Murphey

The Best of Michael Martin Murphey

(CD - EMI Music Distribution #E2-92736)

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This is a fair to middling 12-cut collection of Michael Martin Murphey's best material as licensed from Liberty (Capitol/EMI). In fact, it's identical in material and artwork to the collection of the same name released by EMI America in 1982. That doesn't take away from it at all, since some of the stuff here like "Geronimo's Cadillac" and "Wildfire" come from the very best of Murphey's earliest years. Don't look for any of the Sagebrush Symphony material, or anything from the more familiar Warner years because it's not here. This set was put together after Murphey left the label for greener pastures. Still, one can't help but admire the real songwriter and storyteller he was during this time, even if some of the later '70s stuff is almost pure schmaltz. Look to the aforementioned tracks, the crossover AOR smash "What's Forever For" that rivaled "Wildfire" as his most successful single ever, and "Carolina in the Pines" as stellar examples of '70s singer/songwriter fare at its best.