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Don McLean, Legendary Songs of Don McLean (EMI/Capitol)
He seems such a non-player on the American folk-pop scene these days, it's sometimes hard to remember just what a tremendous impact Don McLean made on the music scene in 1972 with the single and album American Pie. Not only was the beguiling, addictive song about five times longer than any other AOR hit, there was tons of chatter as people tried to dissect the meaning of the lyrics (i.e., "the joker" was Bob Dylan, "the day the music died" referred to Buddy Holly's untimely death in a plane crash). But "American Pie" gave the public only a slice of McLean's talent; there are many other songs that have rightly earned him a place in our collective musical consciousness. Legendary Songs of Don McLean showcases the singer's talents past and present. There's his '70s classics "Vincent" and "Castles in the Air" but also some lesser-known numbers, too, like the previously unreleased "Empty Chairs." His over-produced contributions from the '90s -- "Headroom " and "Have You Seen Me" -- seem a bit out of place amid the sparse arrangements, but still, this is remains a definitive collection of an under appreciated talent.