This double-CD release from Britain's Beat Goes On label should interest anyone who's even slightly serious in appreciating Dan Fogelberg's music. For starters, in the absence of any upgrades since the late '80s in the sound of Sony Music's domestic Fogelberg CDs, the remastering of Souvenirs
is more than a little welcome -- the man's whole early catalog ought to have been remastered long before 2006, based on the crisp results here and the fresh edge it adds to music that is otherwise extremely familiar. And then there's the contents of the first disc, containing Fogelberg's debut Home Free
album, which was not a success at the time of its release. Fogelberg and original producer Norbert Putnam
remixed the original multi-track tapes from Home Free
when it was time to do the CD release, and issued what was, in effect, a somewhat different album, with instruments shifted around in the mix and alterations in the framing and conceptions of various songs. But Beat Goes On went back to the finished master of the original LP edition, with the result that this double-CD set marks the first appearance of that debut album as it was originally released, and as it was known until the advent of the CD era 15 years later -- and even though it wasn't a big seller at the time, across those 15 years it's a safe bet that a half-million or so fans and perhaps more did buy it and knew it in that version. The album does sound gorgeous in this remastered edition, which constitutes the optimum presentation of that original record; some of the production gets a little too lush at times, but the songs are so beautiful that it's difficult to complain too loudly about indulging that side of the music.