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Forums :: America Fan Blog :: My box set has arrived!

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Steve_Orchard
Member

Posts: 529
From: Iron Mountain-Kingsford, in Michigan's U.P.!

My box set has arrived!
Posted on: 10/06/2020 09:53 AM

The "Holy Grail" of all box sets has finally arrived! Took me a month to get it from Music Glue out of England--$160 total, shipping included. No damages or any other issues. You'll find it for a lot more on Amazon, if its even in stock anymore. Limited edition, my number was 0777. Beautifully packaged and arranged. 8 CDs and one DVD, and lot of other freebies included. Will be pacing myself with this. Will post further comments later....

SteveO
"You are one more posse to pass in the night, one more card to conceal..."
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AmericaSL
Member

Posts: 1434
From: Orem, Utah

Re: My box set has arrived!
Posted on: 10/06/2020 04:27 PM

Mine just arrived as well, #0775. I plan on opening it tonight after work and will try to create an "opening the box set" video to show everyone what's inside (for those who don't have it already). I've never done anything like this before so it should be interesting. I, too, will be pacing myself with this box set and I'm looking forward to immersing myself in all of it.
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Ainsley
Member

Posts: 80
From: Melbourne, Australia

Re: My box set has arrived!
Posted on: 10/11/2020 05:29 PM

My box set arrived last month #140 and has made lockdown in Melbourne Australia more bearable. I have started with the radio interviews and remember hearing some of them at the time. I also love the memorabilia booklet and feel I have a lot of newspaper reviews and ticket stubs I could add to it !! hope everyone is safe and enjoys the 50 years of America.
Ainsley
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MyUserNameIsKevin
Member

Posts: 795

Re: My box set has arrived!
Posted on: 10/23/2020 08:08 AM

Aside from the memorabilia and just deep treasure of fan-nerd nirvana you'll find in the America Half Century box set, the biggest treasures are the never before released songs. They are, for fans of the band, new songs.

There are quite a few of them here, thirteen in fact. And they are all quite good. So good, in fact, that it's really hard to believe many of these were shelved in favor of some of the songs they ended up putting out at the time.

"Bummer" is a song I had heard somewhere on some obscure demo recordings which wasn't very well produced. But this version is wonderful. It's a gem. Like finding a hundred dollar bill in an old jacket pocket. This is vintage first-album America, as strong as anything they released on America, the debut album. It's that Dewey Bunnell magic, with a real sense of conscience about the way the world is. Amazing song.

"Sea of Destiny," as with "How Long," fall into the same category, recorded in the 1970 Chalk Farm sessions. But they were both previously released on Heritage.

"I'm New In Town" is included on the Caribou Ranch Sessions CD. According to the notes, it was a demo recorded at Buzz Studios. It's in the "Lovely Night" vein, a fun, poppy Gerry Beckley piano song about a young musician trying to prove he is good enough.

Then there are a handful of songs from the Poison Oak Sessions. This is really the heart of Half Century. This forms what was an unreleased America album, recorded after Alibi and before View From The Ground. There are so many strong, amazing songs here that deserve to have been taken out and shown the light of day.

"Sailors And Seagulls" is a wistful Dewey Bunnell tune about the sea and dreaming of being somewhere else. It has a cool factor of 11 out of 10. Just one of those breezy Dewey Bunnell songs he made sound so easy, which is the genius of Dewey Bunnell.

Gerry Beckley's "Look At Me Now" ended up on Here & Now but really this version is so different it's hard to tell it's the same song. I like the Here & Now version better because it's got a biting sense of self-depricating humor about a guy who isn't really doing better even though he insists he is. This version was more of the typical aftermath of a breakup song.

"Now I Want Your Love" is a funky bass-driven Dewey Bunnell love song about a guy who is yearning for his woman. It's a refreshing change of pace for an America song. Different yet familiar. Nice trick to pull off.

The goddammed coolest song of all is "China Sea/Notes For John." It's a Spanish guitar influenced Dewey Bunnell song about being free and finding new lives and experiences. It's almost criminal they left off of any subsequent releases. And just when you think it's over, the "notes for John" end the song. Not sure who John is, but the final twenty-five seconds are for him, and they are hair raising.

"Doesn't The Time" is a Gerry Beckley love song from 1998. It's so much stronger than most of the songs that ended up on Human Nature, which was released about that same time. It's a shame this didn't make it on that album instead of so much of what did.

Another song from 1998 is "Someday Forever," the Dewey Bunnell collaboration with Randy Goodrum, who wrote "It's Like You Never Left At All" on Perspective, one of the stronger songs on that forgettable album. In fact, every one of these previously unreleased songs from Half Century is so much stronger than most of what ended up on Perspective. "Someday Forever" is a cousin to "Can't Fall Asleep To A Lullabye."

Also on this disc are earlier versions of "My Dear," "Sometimes Lovers," "All The People" (which became "Whole Wide World"), and "Inspector Mills," all of which were done justice when they were subsequently released.

But the best song from the Poison Oak sessions is Gerry Beckley's "Coming On." It's one of those songs that you can't stop humming, with such an infectious hook in that classic Beckley style. It's got a lot of "Never Be Lonely" and "Sister Golden Hair" in its DNA. It's the kind of acoustic guitar led song you fell in love with America for in the first place. In fact, I'm going to listen to it again before I continue, so give me four minutes and ten seconds, thanks.

I'm back. Damn, that's a good song.

The last disc of music is mainly early demos of songs from Hourglass and Human Nature. The versions of the Human Nature songs sound almost identical as what was released. Not sure why they were included here. Or, on Human Nature for that matter. But there are three unreleased songs scattered within.

"The Hills Are Green" is another Gerry Beckey song written for Dewey Bunnell. No new ground here, pretty much like every other song done this way. These songs are like Dewey Lite. Everything you love about Dewey but less. Even so, it's a nice tune about nature and birds and rocks and things.

"I Can Take It" is another Beckley/Bunnell collaboration. This one is much stronger, with the undeniable America hook and acoustic guitar solo, about the end of a relationship and remaining friends.

The disc closes with "Remembering," a remake of Gerry Beckley's tune from Unfortunate Casino. This version has a Beach Boys vibe, with an intro borrowed from Billy Joel's "Goodby Hollywood." This version is fuller, with different lyrics that are less introspective and more universal. Still a great song just slightly different.

While there is so much rich fan stuff to get lost in with this incredible new box set, it's always about the music. After fifty years of making music these guys haven't lost a step.

Thankfully, a lot of wonderful songs were released from captivity.



Edited by MyUserNameIsKevin on 10/23/2020 10:57 AM
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DannyC
Member

Posts: 410
From: Peoria Heights, Illinois

Re: My box set has arrived!
Posted on: 10/23/2020 09:16 AM

As usual, a fantastic take on this box of gold from you, Kevin. Thank you so much for giving me and the rest of this old bunch on here your insight and opinion on this release. I knew Iíd be kicking myself in the ass for not biting the bullet on this one. Maybe one of these days Iíll have a change of mind, hope itís not too late by then. Anyway,enough of that. Once again it was a real joy to read your comments, I, for one, sure appreciate them!DanC
"What we have here is....failure to communicate"
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DannyC
Member

Posts: 410
From: Peoria Heights, Illinois

Re: My box set has arrived!
Posted on: 10/23/2020 09:36 PM

Update alert!!!!!!!! I felt so much excitement and passion in your review Kevin, that I could not resist any longer. What a sales pitch. The order is in!DanC
"What we have here is....failure to communicate"
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MyUserNameIsKevin
Member

Posts: 795

Re: My box set has arrived!
Posted on: 10/24/2020 12:58 AM

Thanks, Danny C. It's expensive as hell but you will like it. The demos and alt tracks are what they are. I could take them or leave them, But the new songs are really good.

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Steve_Orchard
Member

Posts: 529
From: Iron Mountain-Kingsford, in Michigan's U.P.!

Re: My box set has arrived!
Posted on: 10/30/2020 06:42 PM

Agree with you Dan C--Kevin's review is quite good and extensive! As box sets go, its as elaborate as they get. Nicely packaged, with many freebie things to take in. I can't give a review like Kevin, but its everything he says and more. About the only thing I haven't taken in yet is the DVD--need to find a moment to watch that--but all the discs have been given adequate airplay so far. I think I'm partial to the disc that contains the "Hideaway" sessions, and the "Poison Oak" sessions is a real keeper too. Awww heck, who am I kidding?--they're all great! And the "Radio" discs are good too. I told Jeff Larson that I was glad to hear him use Gerry's 1982 interview with Lew Irwin at the time when "You Can Do Magic" was just moving up the charts. Two major thumbs-up on this box set!

SteveO
"You are one more posse to pass in the night, one more card to conceal..."
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DannyC
Member

Posts: 410
From: Peoria Heights, Illinois

Re: My box set has arrived!
Posted on: 10/30/2020 08:32 PM

Your enthusiasm and passion assures me that my 160 clams will be well worth the wait. BTW, did your order come thru the mail, UPS, Fed Ex? Just curious, as Iím eagerly anticipating mine.DanC
"What we have here is....failure to communicate"
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MyUserNameIsKevin
Member

Posts: 795

Re: My box set has arrived!
Posted on: 10/31/2020 11:35 AM

Dan, to be honest, I don't remember but I think it came regular US mail.
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Steve_Orchard
Member

Posts: 529
From: Iron Mountain-Kingsford, in Michigan's U.P.!

Re: My box set has arrived!
Posted on: 11/01/2020 09:01 AM

I forget how mine came too, but I was certainly able to track it. But it did take me a solid month to get it from Music Glue....

SteveO
"You are one more posse to pass in the night, one more card to conceal..."
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DannyC
Member

Posts: 410
From: Peoria Heights, Illinois

Re: My box set has arrived!
Posted on: 11/01/2020 09:58 AM

Thanks guys. According to their site it has been dispatched but I havenít received tracking info on it. Guess Iím gonna have to pull out one of my lesser virtues....patience. I will be sure to post on it when it arrives.DanC
"What we have here is....failure to communicate"
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DannyC
Member

Posts: 410
From: Peoria Heights, Illinois

Re: My box set has arrived!
Posted on: 11/04/2020 02:32 PM

And FedEx just dropped it off!DanC
"What we have here is....failure to communicate"
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expresssunrise
Member

Posts: 78

Re: My box set has arrived!
Posted on: 11/04/2020 04:55 PM

Don't forget to tell us your number Dan!

I I think I like the caribou disk the best.

I noticed the CD of the German TV show doesn't include Mad Dog. It might because has the TV hosts talking in German whilst the song is playing.
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DannyC
Member

Posts: 410
From: Peoria Heights, Illinois

Re: My box set has arrived!
Posted on: 11/04/2020 07:36 PM

#0683
"What we have here is....failure to communicate"
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DannyC
Member

Posts: 410
From: Peoria Heights, Illinois

Re: My box set has arrived!
Posted on: 11/13/2020 11:11 PM

Still plugging along with all this set. I had to go over the new tunes on the Poison Oak disc a second time. Fantastic is an understatement. Havenít even listened to the two radio interview CDs yet. Itís all good and Iím really glad I decided to go with this box.DanC
"What we have here is....failure to communicate"
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DannyC
Member

Posts: 410
From: Peoria Heights, Illinois

Re: My box set has arrived!
Posted on: 11/14/2020 01:07 PM

Just listened to the first of the radio spot CDs. This thing just keeps getting better.DanC
"What we have here is....failure to communicate"
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