“American Pie” by Don McLean - album review

features in: Album Chart of 1971Album Chart of the Decade: 1970s1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die external-link.png

TJR says

Don McLean's luck was in when Mediarts was taken over by United Artists Records; the “promotion” was just the shot-in-the-arm that his work needed, and the results of the increased exposure were immediately apparent upon the release of his second long-player, “American Pie”, which became world famous for two songs. The epic title-track opens up the set, a morality song with a palpable sense that we're losing our way in the recent past. Symbolically, the 1959 plane crash which took the lives of Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper is immortalized with the killer line “The day the music died”. His paean to Van Gogh, “Vincent”, uses the artist's “Starry Night” print as a muse: “I knew I had to write a song arguing that he wasn't crazy, he had an illness” explained Don. The former would soon rise all the way to the top of the U.S. singles chart, and the latter would do the same in the U.K. All of this attention gave a retrospective boost to his debut album which charted in the U.S. for the first time. What did “American Pie” mean to Don McLean? “It means I don't have to work if I don't want to” he joked. Perhaps more impressively, he was name-checked in Half Man Half Biscuit's “Turned Up Clocked On Laid Off”: “The three men I admire most, The Father, Son and Mickie Most, Took the last train for the coast, And rendezvoused with Peter Glaze, To kill Don Maclean”. His legendary status is assured.

The Jukebox Rebel

A1 [08:33] 5.3.png Don McLean - American Pie (Don McLean) Folk Rock / Americana
A2 [02:11] 6.4.png Don McLean - Till Tomorrow (Don McLean) Folk
A3 [03:55] 5.1.png Don McLean - Vincent (Don McLean) Folk
A4 [03:34] 2.5.png Don McLean - Crossroads (Don McLean) Songwriter
B1 [03:09] 3.2.png Don McLean - Winterwood (Don McLean) Country
B2 [03:24] 3.8.png Don McLean - Empty Chairs (Don McLean) Songwriter
B3 [03:37] 4.6.png Don McLean - Everybody Loves Me, Baby (Don McLean) Pop
B4 [02:31] 5.3.png Don McLean - Sister Fatima (Don McLean) Songwriter
B5 [03:08] 6.1.png Don McLean - The Grave (Don McLean) Folk Rock / Americana
B6 [01:40] 5.5.png Don McLean - Babylon (Traditional) Folk

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