Poems, Prayers and Promises (Remastered) John Denver

Album info

Album-Release:
1971

HRA-Release:
06.10.2017

Label: RCA/Legacy

Genre: Songwriter

Subgenre: Folk-Rock

Album including Album cover

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  • 1Poems, Prayers and Promises 04:05
  • 2Let It Be 03:38
  • 3My Sweet Lady 04:25
  • 4Wooden Indian 01:38
  • 5Junk 01:40
  • 6Gospel Changes 03:24
  • 7Take Me Home, Country Roads (Original Version)03:08
  • 8I Guess He'd Rather Be in Colorado 02:07
  • 9Sunshine on My Shoulders 05:11
  • 10Around and Around 02:16
  • 11Fire and Rain 03:45
  • 12The Box 02:44
  • Total Runtime38:01

Info for Poems, Prayers and Promises (Remastered)



John Denver's breakthrough album, 1971's „Poems, Prayers and Promises“, is also one of his best. In addition to containing two of Denver's strongest and best-known compositions, "Take Me Home, Country Roads" and "Sunshine on My Shoulders," „Poems, Prayers and Promises“ epitomizes the straightforward folk of the artist's early recordings, without the country and pop influences that would find their way into his later '70s work Poems, Prayers & Promises album for sale. The disc has a close, intimate feel, with Denver's softly finger-picked guitar and clear, plaintive tenor front and center throughout.

The reflective lyrics and pensive mood of the title track sets the tone for the rest of the record. Though Denver includes a few covers, the Beatles' "Let It Be" and James Taylor's "Fire and Rain" among them, he is at his best with own tunes, like the wistful "I Guess He'd Rather Be in Colorado," or the unabashedly romantic and tender "My Sweet Lady." Denver's ability to express simple, sincere sentiments is in top form on this recording, making it one of his most directly affecting efforts.

"...a very solid good-timey singer who is at least talented enough to be forgiven for a few of his trespasses..." (Rolling Stone)

„After several albums in which he had allowed cover versions to dominate the sets, John Denver returned with an album, Poems, Prayers & Promises, in which he had written over half the songs. He should have had more confidence in his own songs, for this was at the beginning of a golden period for Denver when his songs would dominate the easy listening airwaves, especially his big hit singles. "Take Me Home Country Roads" and his first U.S. number one, "Sunshine on My Shoulders," both surprisingly failed to reach the charts at all in the U.K.; however, the opening title track set the scene for the whole album, pleasant acoustic songs sung by Denver backed in most cases by the picking and strumming of his acoustic guitar. So it was rather surprising that the album ended with the track "The Box," a spoken poem with no music at all, relating a story similar to Pandora, of a box that was chained and locked and labeled "Kindly do not touch, it's war." When someone did break it open, a bouncy ball -- a metaphor for war -- escaped and ran amok, bumping into everything, particularly the children. And no one had the wisdom to put the ball back into the box and reseal it. Sounds as if it would be awful, but really it was quite moving. Poems, Prayers & Promises was actually released in 1971 but was reissued after Rocky Mountain High nearly reached the Top Ten in 1973, and it became his second Top 20 album. Of the covers, there were two from the Beatles: "Let It Be," an even simpler version than the original, and the rather less famous "Junk" from Paul McCartney's debut solo album. He also covered the James Taylor classic "Fire and Rain," which was rather unnecessary -- for it was rather insipid compared to the version the public had become familiar with less than a year previously.“ (Sharon Mawer, AMG)

John Denver, 6 & 12-string acoustic guitars, vocals
Eric Weissberg, banjo, steel guitars
Mike Taylor, acoustic guitar
Richard Kniss, double bass
Taffy Nivert, vocals (as "Fat City")
Bill Danoff, vocals, guitar (as "Fat City")
Frank Owens, piano
Gary Chester, drums, percussion

Recorded 1970-1971 at RCA Studios A and B, New York City
Engineered by Ray Hall
Produced by Milton Okun, Susan Ruskin

Digitally remastered


John Denver
One of the world’s best-known and best-loved performers, John Denver earned international acclaim as a songwriter, performer, actor, environmentalist and humanitarian. Denver’s career spanned four decades and his music has outlasted countless musical trends and garnered numerous awards and honors.

The son of a U.S. Air Force officer, Denver’s artistic journey began at age eleven when he was given his grandmother’s guitar. Denver eventually took guitar lessons and joined a boys’ choir, which led him at age twenty to pursue his dream of a career in music.

In 1963 he struck out on his own, moving to Los Angeles to be in the heart of the burgeoning music scene. It was during this time that Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr. was urged by friends to change his name if a recording career was to be in his future. He took his stage name from the beautiful capital city of his favorite state, Colorado. Later in life, Denver and his family settled in Aspen, Colorado and his love for the Rocky Mountains inspired many of his songs.

John Denver experienced his first major break in the music industry when he was chosen from 250 other hopefuls as lead singer for the popular Mitchell Trio. Two years and three albums later, Denver had honed his considerable vocal talent and developed his own songwriting style. He gained recognition when his song “Leaving On A Jet Plane” was recorded by Peter, Paul and Mary, becoming their first and only number one hit. As the Mitchell Trio disbanded, Denver was climbing up the pop charts as a solo act with songs like “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” “Rocky Mountain High,” “Sunshine On My Shoulders,” “Annie’s Song,” “Back Home Again,” “Thank God I’m A Country Boy,” and “Calypso,” solidifying his position as one of the top stars of the 1970s.

By his third album in 1970, Denver’s social and political leanings were defined more clearly. Denver was one of the first artists to share an environmental message through his music, beginning with the song “Whose Garden Was This?” This was the first in a long line of songs that he wrote about the environment.

Denver contributed his talents to the benefit of many charitable and environmental causes and received numerous civic and humanitarian awards over the years. Fans responded to his heartfelt urgings about ecology, peace, and compassion that were consistently delivered in a gentle manner on his records and at live performances.

His passion to help create a global community paved the way for ventures into new musical and geographic territories. In 1985 he was invited by the Soviet Union of Composers to perform in the USSR, inspiring the internationally acclaimed song “Let Us Begin (What Are We Making Weapons For?).” The powerful video for “Let Us Begin” moved viewers around the world.

This album contains no booklet.

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