Liner Note Author: Bill Kopp.
Arranger: Lawrence Fogelberg.
A physical rendition of the 2014 digital-only The Essential Dan Fogelberg, Real Gone Music's 2016 double-disc set The Definitive Anthology certainly is generous. It's 28 tracks, twice as long as either 2003's single-CD The Essential Dan Fogelberg or 2009's Playlist, but that doesn't mean that The Definitive Anthology contains every charting hit. For one, "Go Down Easy," a Top Ten adult contemporary hit from 1985, is missing, but only serious Fogelberg fans will notice its absence because every other major hit is here, along with some sharply selected deeper cuts, ranging from album tracks to failed singles like "Sweet Magnolia (And the Traveling Salesman)." The non-chronological order forces attention not on Fogelberg's artistic progression but rather the songs themselves. Usually, they're delicate, literary creations, so that makes the exceptions hit even harder: 1984's "The Language of Love" sounds like an arena rocker in this context. Still, the attractions are tunes that can function as textbook examples of a sensitive '70s singer/songwriter, and this collection digs deep enough to fulfill the promise of its title. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine