Personnel includes: Peter Allen (vocals, keyboards).
Producers include: Brooks Arthur, Dick Bozzi, Richard Landis, Joel Dorn, Peter Allen.
Compilation producer: Mike Ragogna.
Recorded between 1971 & 1985. Includes liner notes by Tony Sachs.
Australian Peter Allen, who passed away in 1992, will probably be best remembered as a brilliant songwriter and flamboyant performer rather than as a charting artist. Indeed, his own chart successes were modest, but cover versions of his material have been pure gold for many major acts, including "Jennifer" for teen idol Bobby Sherman, "I Honestly Love You" for fellow Aussie Olivia Newton-John, and "Don't Cry Out Loud" for Melissa Manchester. His songwriting range -- tender ballads through to poppier fare and even campy fun numbers like "I Go to Rio" -- has rarely been rivaled. And while his career was neither as long nor prolific as other piano men like Elton John and Billy Joel, his work is arguably in their league. The Very Best of Peter Allen: The Boy from Down Under captures the cream of Allen's career on one highly engaging disc. All but two of the 20 tracks were penned or co-penned by Allen. Highlights include his moving 1972 ballad about his grandfather, "Tenterfield Saddler" (Allen was born in the town of Tenterfield, N.S.W.), the Judy Garland tribute "Quiet Please, There's a Lady on Stage," his ragtime-style classic "Everything Old Is New Again," and a live version of "Arthur's Theme (The Best That You Can Do)" recorded at Carnegie Hall in the mid-'80s. But perhaps the jewel in the crown is his poignant ode to his homeland, "I Still Call Australia Home." A vivacious performer with a poet's sensitivity, this album spans the moods and melodies that made Peter Allen such a special artist. ~ Adrian Zupp