Dan Seals: The Very Best Of

Nearly complete collection of Dan Seals’ biggest solo hits

After partnering with John Ford Coley as the “England Dan” half of the soft-rock duo England Dan and John Ford Coley, Dan Seals found tremendous commercial success as a solo act. Starting with 1983’s Rebel Heart, he climbed the country chart with “Everybody’s Dream Girl” and “After You,” scored a Top Ten hit with his original “God Must Be a Cowboy,” and topped the chart eleven times. His initial hits added light twang to a soft-rock base, but by the time he climbed into the top ten, the steel and honky-tonk piano moved forward, the beat leaned on two and four, and his vocals took a mournful turn on “(You Bring Out) The Wild Side of Me.”

Though he cut rootsier sides that included “My Old Yellow Car,” “Everything That Glitters (is not Gold)” and the Eagles-ish “Big Wheels in the Moonlight,” they were all touched by the clean studio sound of the ‘80s. Several of Seals’ hit singles abandoned country for adult contemporary sounds, such as heard in the string-lined “One Friend” and the power ballad “I Will Be There.” But even as he vacillated between contemporary country and contemporary pop, he struck gold on the country chart. He notched his first #1 with 1985’s “Meet Me in Montana,” kicking off a string of nine chart-toppers in a row, and sparking a parallel chart renaissance for his duet partner, Marie Osmond.

The bulk of Seals’ hits were uplifting, reassuring and hopeful, but he also put across a few, including “Addicted” and “They Rage On,” that spoke to longing and sadness. There were also a few streaks of nostalgia, including the wistful memories and missed chances of “Big Wheels in the Moonlight” and a winning remake of Sam Cooke’s 1964 hit, “Good Times.” Varese’s eighteen-track collection includes all eleven of Seals’ #1s, his five Top 10s, and two of his three Top 40s. Missing is 1983’s “You Really Go for the Heart” (which you can snag here) and his lower-charting singles from the early ‘90s. This is a terrific summary of Dan Seals’ years as a solo performer, and the most complete collection of his hits that’s on the market. [©2011 hyperbolium dot com]

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