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 Don McLean

American singer-songwriter


Studio Albums

Tapestry (1970)

American Pie (1972)






Don McLean

Tapestry - 7.5

Castles in the Air/ General Store/ Magdalene Lane/ Tapestry/ Respectable/ Orphans of Wealth/ Three Flights Up/ And I Love You So/ Bad Girl/ Circus Song/ No Reason For Your Dreams

I suspect like many people I turned to Don McLean's first album after hearing the single and album American Pie. That in itself is no bad thing. Tapestry is full of home spun Americana philosophy and a fine introduction to the man's work. From the opening strummings of Castles in the Air, you just know that here is a special singer songwriter - an engaging voice allayed to some stunning lyrics. Castles in the Air is a fine opener - containing many personal statements. General Store and Magdelene Lane bring us down to earth with songs about small town America - almost story songs with the introduction of the latter reminiscent of the opening chords of a child's song. MacLean then changes direction completely with some wonderful ecology poetry on the title track.. Orphans of Wealth follows a similar pattern - overtly political and caring. Here was almost a protest singer who could write love songs like And I Love You So and powerful ballads, but also make personal statements and cover so many different genres with equal ease. This is a gem of a debut


American Pie - 8

American Pie/ Till Tomorrow/ Vincent/ Crossroads/ Winterwood/ Empty Chairs/ Everybody Loves Me Baby/ Sister Fatima/ The Grave/ Babylon

Occasionally a song comes along that is so unique in its delivery, its originality and its power. Such was the case with American Pie. I first heard this song in a pub in Harlow, Essex, whilst at journalism college. Somebody put it on the jukebox. I was amazed. Here was a song of epic proportions, a song that said so much, a song with so many interpretations that somehow seemed to sum up music of the 1970s - but music from before and music to follow. Few songs deserve to be called epic - American Pie certainly does. It's simply one of those songs that you soon learn by heart, soon becomes part of the psyche but still sounds fresh on very play. And the thing about this album is the other songs all have their own power and relevance. There's considerable beauty here in the form of the wonderful Vincent and the almost incomparable Crossroads and also social conscience with the Grave. Once again McLean