14 Songs, 40 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Plenty of singer/songwriters were scoring folk-flecked hits in the first half of the '70s, but few combined poignant balladry with a buoyant sense of humor like Jim Croce. As this first-rate collection shows, Croce was capable of knocking out a good-time romp like "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" one minute and delivering a tender, bewitchingly melodic tune like "Time in a Bottle" the next, and sending them both to the top of the pop charts. It didn't hurt that he was a master of concision—the classic kiss-off cut "One Less Set of Footsteps," for instance, delivers its subtly searing sayonara in just 2:45 and still finds time for a guitar solo. And if there's a more fun piece of the '70s AM radio pop canon than "You Don't Mess Around with Jim," you'll be hard-pressed to find it.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Plenty of singer/songwriters were scoring folk-flecked hits in the first half of the '70s, but few combined poignant balladry with a buoyant sense of humor like Jim Croce. As this first-rate collection shows, Croce was capable of knocking out a good-time romp like "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" one minute and delivering a tender, bewitchingly melodic tune like "Time in a Bottle" the next, and sending them both to the top of the pop charts. It didn't hurt that he was a master of concision—the classic kiss-off cut "One Less Set of Footsteps," for instance, delivers its subtly searing sayonara in just 2:45 and still finds time for a guitar solo. And if there's a more fun piece of the '70s AM radio pop canon than "You Don't Mess Around with Jim," you'll be hard-pressed to find it.

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Ratings and Reviews

4.6 out of 5
280 Ratings

280 Ratings

pip-pip-cheerio! ,

Still amazing as ever!

I'm a 90's kid but I adore Jim Croce so much. He inspired me when I was little. His songs always make me cry because they're so beautiful with heart warming feeling. Too bad most music nowadays are crappy songs about getting drunk, booty, & partys. I was born in the wrong decade, man.

D'Oh-key ,

A Star that still shines brightly though long past mortal existence

Something about Jim Croces music that evokes a feeling of warmth and makes you reflect on the importance of cherishing relationships, family and your own sense of being. As a child born in the early 60s, I remember the summers of the early 70s and listening to music like his. As a nation, we were just emerging from the turmoil of the 60s and music mirrored the feelings of the country, disenchanted with a divisive war in Southeast Asia, the assasinations and the radio stations played music which spoke to us all about taking stock of our lives and Jims music was special because it very simply yet beautifully draws you in because of his sincerety uniquely entwined in the notes and cadence. I osmetimes wonder why was it so much simpler then. Maybe it was because we survived as a nation and people just wanted to appreciate and reflect and yes, while the decade eventually devolved in the gawdy Me decade, music like Jim's bespoke of a simpler time which forever lives like Time in a Bottle.

Los Pachucos ,

Has Jim Croce Lived...

He would have become known as one the best and brighest song writers and singers of all time. I have no doubt about that. His music and his lyrics were real and truthful and he did not need electronic make belive (Hello Janet Jackson and million others just like her) to make great music.

The day that Jim died my father and I were driving into Nachodoches, LA for my uncles funeral. I had just been discharged from the Vietnam Era U.S. Army. Just as we hit the city limits the local radio station announced that a small plane had crashed and that it carried a passanger he described as a 'little known" performer by the name Jim Croce who had performed at the local university the night before. I remember thinking that the announcer must have been living in a cave if he did not know, or understand, the impact that Croce was having on the music world.

He was great, and his music still is. Thank you Jim!

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