Sixteen songs by the soft rock duo, cut between March of 1976 and early 1980, that sum up most of their best work. It's unfortunate that the producers couldn't have salvaged one or two cuts from their A&M years, just to delineate the development of their sound, but limited to 16 songs that might not have been possible. This is a handy volume, with excellent sound and ample annotation and session information, which tells the listener a lot about the duo that is often overlooked. For starters, they took care of their own -- their one-time '60s-era partner Shane Keister played keyboards on the Nights Are Forever album. And Jim Seals accompanied them on acoustic guitar, with Janie Fricke appearing on backing vocals, on the same album. The team were never too far from country music, even when they were topping the pop and adult contemporary charts, but their genius (and that of producer Kyle Lehning) lay in applying the most compatible country players to the most melodic attributes of pop/rock. The music is as smooth and virtuosic as the best country-rock, comparable to the work of Firefall but also more personal.
The Very Best of England Dan & John Ford Coley Review
by Bruce Eder