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The Essential Gretchen Peters


Artist: Gretchen Peters
Label: Proper Records
RRP: £13.99
Release Date: 05 February 2016

Over the last three decades, Gretchen Peters has carved a niche for herself in country and roots music. Peters first arrived in Nashville in 1987 and quickly established herself as a songwriting force to be reckoned with and tracks recorded by some of the biggest names in country music. The Essential Gretchen Peters is a 2-disc, 27 track (1 hr, 55 min, 36 sec) collection of some of the highlights of Peters's music career to date...

Gretchen Peters landed her first #1 with George Strait's rendition of her 'Chill Of An Early Fall'. She garnered her first GRAMMY Nomination and CMA Song of the Year win with Martina McBride's recording of 'Independence Day', and penned hits for Patty Loveless, Shania Twain, Bryan Adams, Trisha Yearwood, Jimmy LaFave, and Etta James among others.

While The Essential Gretchen Peters collects some of the most memorable moments from her inimitable catalogue, it also offers a unique window into Peters' process. Highlights include rare recordings of her own takes on classics like 'The Chill Of An Early Fall,' 'On A Bus To St Cloud,' and 'Independence Day,' as well as a previously unheard collaboration with Bryan Adams and unreleased demos and outtakes from throughout her career. Listeners can also trace the evolution of her work with keyboard player Barry Walsh, who began recording on Peters's demos in 1990 and appears on every one of her albums (the two were married in 2010).

A few random things that struck me as I listened to this album: 'The Aviator's Song' reminded me of Barry Manilow's 'Mandy'; 'If Heaven', instrumentally, has a ring of Mary Black about it; 'When You Wish Upon A Star' didn't do it for me at all. In fact it was probably the only song that could have been left off the album.

For Peters's many fans, this is a no brainer.

Track listing:

Disc 1
01 - 'Blackbirds'
02 - 'The Aviator's Song'
03 - 'The Secret of Life'
04 - 'If Heaven'
05 - ' When All You Got Is a Hammer'
06 - 'On a Bus to St. Cloud'
07 - 'The Matador'
08 - 'Sunday Morning (Up and Down My Street)'
09 - 'Guadalupe'
10 - 'Hello Cruel World'
11 - 'When You Love Someone'
12 - 'Five Minutes'
13 - 'When You Are Old'

Disc 2
14 - 'The Way You Move Me (Demo)'
15 - 'Ring Around the Moon' (Previously Unreleased)
16 - 'Pretty Things' (Radio Edit)
17 - 'The Cruel Mother'
18 - 'Woman on the Wheel (Live)'
19 - 'When You Wish Upon a Star'
20 - 'I Saw Your Light'
21 - 'Love'
22 - ' The Chill of an Early Fall' (Demo)
23 - 'Independence Day' (Acoustic Version)
24 - 'Wild Horses'
25 - 'The Answer (Work Tape)
26 - 'Blackbirds' (Work Tape)
27 - 'Five Minutes' (Work Tape)


Nick Smithson

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