Botanical Gardens

Botanical Gardens

Track listing:
1. Botanical Gardens
2. The Lucky Guy
3. A Total Eclipse of the Sun
4. Waving Man
5. When July Comes
6. You’re All I Ever Had
7. Rock ‘n’ Roll Your Baby
8. I’ve Cried All the Tears That I Have
9. Ain’t She a Honey
10. The King of Fools
11. Grief and Hope
12. You’ve Got Such Beautiful Eyes
13. Last Night When We Were Young

Another chapter starts as Don McLean releases his new album ‘Botanical Gardens’ on March 23rd, his 19th studio album and first in 8 years. The album is arguably one of Don’s most reflective to date. As he puts it, “The inspiration for the project started years ago when I would walk in the beautiful gardens in Sydney Australia near the Opera House. I would dream young dreams and it was a comfort and an inspiration. I was always young inside, like we all are, and I felt it again there.”

Further reflecting on the record, Don says, “the whole album really revolves around the title song. Later on I realized that the gardens are really a metaphorical heaven, and there’s a kind of death and rebirth.”

Intimacy can be found at the heart of this record, with Don penning personal numbers looking back on a life well lived, as well as his observations on youth and love. Recording at Watershed Studios in Nashville also allowed a different kind of intimacy for Don and his band, as they were made to “play close and feel the music”, resulting in a raw, yet tight sound throughout. Don proves his prowess at writing timeless sounding songs once again, as the album weaves country, Americana, folk, and boot stomping rock in this release

Order now with Amazon, iTunes, Spotify  and more and visit Don’s new Pledge store for exclusive signed copies of the CD, vinyl and tour posters.

American Troubadour (2012)

American Troubadour Don McLean CD Cover Art
American Troubadour Cover Art



9. 1967

Released by Time Life Sept 2012


Nanci Griffith: Duet
Buddy Holly: Composer
Don McLean: Producer, Executive Producer
Roy Orbison: Composer
D. McLean: Composer
Jim Brown: Producer
W. Lester: Composer
N. Petty: Composer
J. Melson: Composer
J. Vogel: Composer
J. Beaumont: Composer
Mike Severs: Mastering
Patrisha McLean: Cover Photo, Back Cover Photo
Alan Howard: Liner Notes
Larry Buttler: Producer


An extended version of the documentary about the Don McLean story produced by multi Emmy-award winning film director Jim Brown was also released on DVD in September 2012. Included in this 90-minute feature film is music by Elvis Presley, Madonna, Fred Astaire and Garth Brooks and interviews with Brian Wilson (Beach Boys), Mike Mills (REM) and Lori Lieberman.

Addicted to Black (2009)

Addicted to Black
Run, Diana Run
Beside Myself
Mary Lost a Ring
Lovers love the spring (William Shakespeare)
Promise to Remember
The Three of Us
I Was Always Young
This is America (Eisenhower)
In a Museum


Released by Don McLean Records in 2009. Studio album of original compositions.
Issued by Proper Records 2011 (UK) 2012 (US).

All tracks composed by Don McLean unless otherwise stated.

Legendary Don McLean (2007)


If We Try
Mountains O’Mourne (French-Collisson)
Words And Music
Your Cheating Heart (Williams)
Since I Don’t Have You (Beaumont-Vogel-Verscharen-Taylor-Lester)
Maybe Baby (Petty-Hardin)
Everyday (Hardy-Petty)
Have You Seen Me
And I Love You So
American Pie
Empty Chairs
Wonderful Baby
Crying (Orbison-Melson)
Castles In The Air (1981 version)
Vincent (Starry Starry Night)
In a Museum

Released by EMI Records in 2007. Top 40 hit in the UK and includes a whole DVD in addition to the CD listed here

All tracks composed by Don McLean unless otherwise stated.

Rearview Mirror


  1. If You Could Read My Mind (remastered) (G Lightfoot)
  2. Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)
  3. Wonderful Baby
  4. Love Me Tender (E Presley)
  5. (It Was) A Very Good Year (Ervin M. Drake)
  6. El Paso
  7. My Saddle Pals and I
  8. And I Love You So
  9. Crying (Orbison-Melson)
  10. Empty Chairs (recorded in 1978)
  11. Homeless Brother
  12. TB Blues
  13. Magdalene Lane
  14. Infinity
  15. Prime Time
  16. American Pie
  17. Run, Diana Run
  18. You’ve Got to Share

Released by Hyena Records in 2005. Career retrospective including previously unreleased material, the original studio recording of American Pie and Don’s new song, Run, Diana Run. Includes a bonus DVD featuring Don McLean rehearsing at home with the Jordanaires in 1984 and Don’s only music video – Headroom. Produced by Don McLean and Joel Dorn.



  1. Winter Wonderland
  2. Oh Little Town Of Bethlehem
  3. Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town
  4. I’ll Be Home For Christmas-Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
  5. Burgundian Carol
  6. White Christmas
  7. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  8. Pretty Paper
  9. ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas
  10. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting On An Open Fire)
  11. Oh Holy Night
  12. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
  13. Blue Christmas
  14. Christmas Waltz
  15. Let It Snow
  16. Toyland
  17. The Last Month Of The Year
  18. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
  19. Silent Night
  20. Go Tell It On The Mountain

Combining “Don McLean Christmas” and “Christmas Dreams” this 20-track compilation was issued in 2004 by Don McLean Records.

You’ve Got to Share (songs for children)


  1. Little Rooster
  2. Be Kind to your Parents
  3. You’ve got to Share
  4. This Old Man
  5. Windy Old Weather
  6. I’m an Old Cowhand
  7. The Eagle
  8. You have no right (solo Jackie McLean)
  9. Luby Lu
  10. The Cat came Back
  11. The Horse Named Bill
  12. Pick it up
  13. Hush Little Baby
  14. Blackberry Blossom
  15. Birdies Three (A la Volette)
  16. Where Have All The Flowers Gone
  17. Going to the Chapel/Goodnight Sweetheart
  • “Be Kind to your Parents” composed by Harold Rome
  • “I’m an Old Cowhand” composed by Johnny Mercer
  • “Pick it up” composed by Woody Guthrie
  • “Birdies Three (A la Volette)” composed by A. Kevess
  • “Where Have All The Flowers Gone” composed by Pete Seeger
  • “Going to the Chapel/Goodnight Sweetheart” composed by Barry, Carter, Greenwich, Hudson and Spector

Released 2003 on Don McLean Records. Currently available from the official Don McLean Music Store.

Legendary Songs of Don McLean


  1. Words and Music
  2. American Pie
  3. Since I Don’t Have You
  4. Maybe Baby
  5. Crying
  6. Castles in the Air
  7. If I Only Had a Match
  8. Your Cheatin’ Heart
  9. And I Love You So
  10. Vincent
  11. Winterwood
  12. If We Try
  13. Everyday
  14. Wonderful Baby
  15. Crossroads
  16. Jerusalem
  17. Dreidel
  18. Headroom
  19. Have You Seen Me
  20. Just to Hold My Hand
  21. Empty Chairs

Released by EMI Records in 2003. Comprehensive compilation for the North American market that features a previously unreleased track called “Just to hold my hand”.

The Western Album


  1. Timber Trail
  2. Ridin’ Down the Canyon
  3. Pal O’ Mine
  4. I Ride an Old Paint
  5. I’ve Got Spurs (That Jingle)
  6. The Trail to Mexico
  7. Blue Prairie
  8. The Wild West Is Where I Wanna Be
  9. Tulsa Time/Deep in the Heart of Texas
  10. Lyndon Has a Bear Hug on Dallas
  11. (Take Me Back to My) Boots and Saddles
  12. Song of the Bandit
  13. Philidalphea Lawyer
  14. I’m an Old Cowhand
  15. Sioux Indians
  16. My Saddle Pal and I

Released by Don McLean Records in 2003. “Some albums are labors of love, others works of art. In returning to the western music which fired the imagination of his youth, Don McLean has clearly, beautifully, crafted a work of love and a work of art as well, spanning the spectrum of western music.” Ranger Doug, Riders in the Sky This album is dedicated to the memory of Neal Matthews and Duane West These were their last studio sessions. “My Saddle Pal and I” was recorded at the wrap party for the “Chain Lightning” album. Recording made on the spur of the moment, all quite drunk.

Don McLean Sings Marty Robbins


  1. Singin’ The Blues
  2. Kaw Liga
  3. Among My Souvenirs
  4. Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me
  5. Ribbon of Darkness
  6. The Story of My Life
  7. El Paso
  8. I Can’t Quit
  9. Love Me
  10. Devil Woman
  11. Time Goes By
  12. You Gave Me a Mountain

“Singin’ The Blues” composed by Melvin Endsley
“Kaw Liga” composed by Fred Rose and Hank Williams
“Among My Souvenirs” composed by Edgar Leslie and Horatio Nicholls
“Ribbon of Darkness” composed by Gordon Lightfoot
“The Story of My Life” composed by Burt Bacharach and Hal David
“Love Me” composed by Jeanne Pruett
“Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me”, “El Paso”, “I Can’t Quit”, “Devil Woman”, “Time Goes By” and “You Gave Me a Mountain” composed by Marty Robbins

Starry Starry Night


  1. Every Day
  2. La La Love You
  3. Homeless Brother
  4. If We Try
  5. Winterwood
  6. Crossroads
  7. Castles in the Air
  8. Tulsa Time/Deep in the Heart of Texas
  9. Castles in the Air [Retake]
  10. Angry Words
  11. My Love Was True
  12. Singin’ the Blues
  13. You Gave Me a Mountain
  14. Crying
  15. And I Love You So (duet with Nanci Griffith)
  16. Raining in My Heart (duet with Nanci Griffith)
  17. Jerusalem
  18. You’re My Little Darlin’
  19. American Pie
  20. Superman’s Ghost
  21. Fashion Victim
  22. Headroom/Dreidel
  23. It Was a Very Good Year
  24. Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)

Recorded live in concert at the Paramount Theater, Austin, TX in November 1999. All Music Guide review:

Killing Us Softly

  1. If We Try
  2. Happy Trails (Evans)
  3. Chain Lightning
  4. To Have And To Hold
  5. Eventually (Sharp)
  6. You Don’t Know Me (Walker-Arnold)
  7. Headroom
  8. Vincent (Starry Starry Night) (Version 2)
  9. Perfect Love
  10. Tapestry
  11. Everybody Loves Me Baby
  12. Color TV Blues
  13. Isn’t It Strange
  14. L’Affaire D’Amour
  15. Go Tell It On The Mountain
  16. American Pie Version 2
  17. And I Love You So Version 2

Released by Festival Records in 1994. Australian release.

FESTIVAL TVD 93403 (AUSTRALIA), Released 1994 [CD]

All tracks composed by Don McLean unless otherwise stated.

Favorites & Rarities


  1. Babylon
  2. If We Try
  3. Mountains O’Mourne
  4. Fool’s Paradise
  5. Magdalene Lane
  6. Since I Don’t Have You
  7. He’s Got You
  8. Superman’s Ghost
  9. Dreidel
  10. Everyday
  11. You Can’t Blame The Train
  12. And I Love You So
  13. American Pie
  14. Castles In The Air
  15. Empty Chairs
  16. If We Try
  17. Sitting On Top Of The World
  18. Wonderful Baby
  19. Crying In The Chapel
  20. Crying
  21. Castles In The Air
  22. Good Old Wagon
  23. Milkman’s Matinee
  24. Aftermath
  25. Mother Nature
  26. That’s All Right
  27. Profiteering Blues
  28. Hit Parade Of Love
  29. The Carnival Has Ended
  30. I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome
  31. Nature Boy
  32. Black Sheep Boy
  33. And Her Mother Came Too (LIVE)
  34. Yonkers Girl (LIVE)
  35. Turkey In The Straw
  36. Dubuque
  37. Sally Ann-Muleskinner Blues-Old Joe Clark
  38. Perfect Love
  39. Little Child
  40. Gotta Make You Mine
  41. La La Love You
  42. Vincent (Starry Starry Night)

Released by EMI in 1992. Includes many previously un-released songs dating back to the ‘Tapestry’ and ‘American Pie’ sessions. Biographical booklet included.

EMI 0777-7-98603-2 6, Released 1992 [CD]

Don McLean Classics


  • Since I Don’t Have You (Beaumont-Vogel-Verscharen-Taylor-Lester)
  • It’s A Beautiful Life
  • Vincent (Starry Starry Night) (Version 2)
  • Jerusalem
  • American Pie
  • Crying (Orbison-Melson)
  • Castles In The Air (1981 version)
  • American Pie Version 2
  • And I Love You So Version 2

Released by Curb Records in 1992. Includes re-recorded versions of ‘American Pie’, ‘Vincent’ and ‘And I Love You So’

CURB D2-77547, Released 1992 [CD]



  1. Headroom
  2. Fashion Victim
  3. 1967
  4. Infinity
  5. One In A Row
  6. You Who Love The Truth
  7. Lady In Waiting
  8. Have You Seen Me
  9. Siamese Twins (Joined At The Heart)
  10. A Brand New World

Released by Curb Records in 1991.

CURB D2-77427, Released October 1991 [CD]

All tracks composed by Don McLean unless otherwise stated.

Don McLean Christmas


  1. Winter Wonderland
  2. O Little Town of Bethlehem
  3. Santa Claus Is Coming to Town
  4. I’ll Be Home for Christmas/Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
  5. Go Tell It on the Mountain
  6. Burgundian Carol
  7. White Christmas
  8. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
  9. Pretty Paper
  10. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

Released by Curb Records in 1991.

CURB D2-77512, Released August 1991 [CD]

For the Memories Vol I & II


  1. Maybe Baby
  2. A White Sport Coat (And A Pink Carnation)
  3. Don’t
  4. Travelin’ Man
  5. Sittin’ In The Balcony
  6. I Can’t Help It (If I’m Still In Love With You)
  7. Crazy
  8. You Don’t Know Me
  9. If I Only Had A Match
  10. But Beautiful
  11. Over The Weekend
  12. Someone To Watch Over Me
  13. Somebody Loves Me
  14. Count Your Blessings
  15. It Had To Be You
  16. Not A Moment Too Soon
  17. Change Partners
  18. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down And Out
  19. Stardust
  20. Wonderful World

Released by Gold Castle Records in 1989. Songs from the 30s, 40s and 50s. 1997 reissue on hip-o records includes bonus track ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’

GOLD CASTLE D2-71330, Released 1989 [CD]
GOLD CASTLE D4-71330, Released 1989 [CS]
HIP-O HIPD-40054, Reissued April 1997 [CD]

“Maybe Baby” produced by Larry Butler; other tracks produced by Dave Burgess.

And I Love You So


  1. Mountains O’Mourne
  2. Birthday Song
  3. Your Cheating Heart
  4. It Doesn’t Matter Anymore
  5. Since I Don’t Have You
  6. He’s Got You
  7. But She Loves Me
  8. Superman’s Ghost
  9. Everyday
  10. Love In My Heart
  11. Eventually
  12. The Touch Of Her Hand
  13. And I Love You So
  14. Castles In The Air
  15. Empty Chairs
  16. Crying
  17. Don’t Burn The Bridge
  18. Going For The Gold

Released in 1989 in the UK by EMI Records.

Love Tracks


  1. Love in My Heart (Brewer)
  2. Eventually (Sharp)
  3. Dust for Blood
  4. Going for the Gold (Browder/Ryles)
  5. What Will the World Be Like
  6. The Touch of Her Hand (Swofford)
  7. You Can’t Blame the Train (Sharp)
  8. It’s Not Your Fault
  9. Everyday Is a Miracle
  10. Blues Train

Released by Capitol in 1988. The first and only time Don McLean has recorded brand new songs written by other composers. ‘Can’t Blame the Train’ became a top-40 country hit. ‘Love in my Heart’ made the top-10 in Australia.

CAPITOL C1-48080, Released August 1988 [LP]
CAPITOL CDP-7-48080-2, Released August 1988 [CD]

All tracks composed by Don McLean unless otherwise stated.


Greatest Hits Then and Now


But She Loves Me (Fuller)
Superman’s Ghost
American Pie
Castles In The Air (1981 version)
Don’t Burn The Bridge
Vincent (Starry Starry Night)
And I Love You So

Released by Capitol in 1986. Mix of old Don McLean classics and new compositions

EMI AMERICA ST-17255, Released May 1987
EMI AMERICA 26 1359 1 (EUR), Released 1987 [LP]
EMI AMERICA 26 1359 4 (EUR), Released 1987 [CS]
EMI AMERICA 7 46586 2 (EUR), Released 1987 [CD]



  1. It’s Just the Sun
  2. Building My Body
  3. Wonderful Baby
  4. The Very Thought of You (Noble)
  5. Fool’s Paradise (Linsley-Petty)
  6. Baby I Don’t Care (Lieber-Stoller)
  7. You Have Lived
  8. The Statue
  9. Prime Time
  10. American Pie
  11. Left for Dead
  12. Believers
  13. Sea Man
  14. It’s a Beautiful Life
  15. Chain Lightning
  16. Crazy Eyes
  17. La La Love You
  18. Dream Lover (Darin)
  19. Crying (Orbison-Melson)
  20. Vincent

Released by EMI in 1983. Recorded live in concert at the Dominion Theatre, London in 1980. Features band and strings. The concert was also filmed and released on video as “The Music of Don McLean”. In 2007 the video was re-issued on DVD as part of EMI’s “The Legendary Don McLean” package.

EMI DOM 82 (UK), Released 1982 [LP]
GOLD CASTLE D2-71332, Released 1990 [CD]
HIP-O HIPD2-40033, Reissued March 1997 [CD] as “Greatest Hits LIVE”

All tracks composed by Don McLean unless otherwise stated.




  1. Castles in the Air
  2. Isn’t It Strange
  3. Left for Dead on the Road of Love
  4. Believers
  5. Sea Man
  6. I Tune the World Out
  7. Love Hurts
  8. Jerusalem
  9. Love Letters
  10. Crazy Eyes
  11. Sea Cruise
  12. Dream Lover

Produced by Larry Butler. Released by EMI in 1981. Includes the re-recorded ‘Castles in the Air’ and the highly popular ‘Jerusalem’. The 1997 Hip-o records re-issue of this album includes detailed liner notes written by Don McLean himself. In them he tells us that he re-recorded ‘Castles in the Air’ for this album because “I never liked the original, which at most had been a ‘B’ side for both ‘And I Love You So’ on Mediarts Records and later for ‘Vincent’ on United Artists Records. When this recording was released it went top-40 around the world and it’s now the ‘hit’ version of the song.” CD re-issue on hip-o records in 1997 includes bonus track: ‘Dream Lover’ (studio version).

MILLENIUM BXL1-7762, Released October 1981 [LP]
INTERFUSION (FESTIVAL) L37705 (AUS), Released 1981 [LP]
HIP-O HIPD-40060, Reissued August 1997 [CD]*

*With Bonus Track: Dream Lover (Darin)

Chain Lightning


  1. Words and Music
  2. Crying
  3. It’s Just the Sun
  4. Lotta Lovin’
  5. Chain Lightning
  6. Your Cheatin’ Heart
  7. Wonderful Night
  8. It Doesn’t Matter Anymore
  9. Since I Don’t Have You
  10. Genesis (In the Beginning)
  11. It’s a Beautiful Life

A worldwide hit album produced by Larry Butler. Recorded Jun 26, 1978-Aug 23, 1978 in Nashville and features for the first time with Don McLean, Elvis Presley’s backing singers (The Jordanaires) and musicians. ‘Crying’ and ‘Since I Don’t Have You’ became huge hits. CD re-issue (hip-o records, 1997) includes bonus track ‘If You Could Read My Mind’. CD cover also features the original artwork that was not used for the original release.

EMI INTERNATIONAL INS-3025 (UK), Released December 1978 [LP]
INTERFUSION (FESTIVAL) L36758 (AUS), Released 1979 [LP]
MILLENIUM BXL1-7756, Released January 1981 [LP]
HIP-O HIPD-40061, Reissued July 1997 [CD]*

*With Bonus Track: If You Could Read My Mind (Lightfoot)

  • Don McLean – Vocals, Acoustic Guitar
  • James D. Capps, Ray Edenton – Acoustic Guitar
  • Tommy D. Alsup, Billy R. Sanford – Electric Guitar
  • Pete Drake – Pedal Steel Guitar
  • Hargus “Pig” Robbins, Chuck Cochran – Piano
  • Bobby R. Woods – Electric Piano
  • Bob “King” Moore – Bass
  • Jerry K. Carrigan – Drums, Percussion
  • Joseph E. Chrisman, Eddy Anderson – Drums
  • The Jordanaires – Background Vocals
  • The Nashville Strings.

Prime Time


  1. Prime Time
  2. The Statue
  3. Jump
  4. Red Wing (Trad.)
  5. The Wrong Thing to Do
  6. The Pattern Is Broken
  7. When Love Begins
  8. Color TV Blues
  9. Building My Body
  10. Down the Road/Sally Ann (Trad.)
  11. When a Good Thing Goes Bad
  12. South of the Border (Kennedy-Carr)
  13. If You Can Dream

Produced by John Peters and released by Arista in 1977 – Don’s one and only album with Arista records. Arguably his least successful album but one that contains excellent songs. ‘When Love Begins’ and ‘The Pattern is Broken’ were written and recorded for the film ‘Fraternity Row’. Re-issued in 1997 on Hip-o Records with ‘If You Can Dream’ bonus track and liner notes written by Joel Dorn.

ARISTA 4149, Released October 1977 INTERFUSION (FESTIVAL) L36446 (AUS), Released 1977 [LP]
HIP-O HIPD-40055, Reissued September 1997 [CD]*

*With Bonus Track: If You Can Dream

All tracks composed by Don McLean unless otherwise stated.





  1. Magdalene Lane
  2. Masters of War
  3. Wonderful Baby
  4. Where Were You, Baby?
  5. Empty Chairs
  6. Geordie’s Lost His Penker
  7. Babylon
  8. And I Love You So
  9. Mactavish Is Dead
  10. Cripple Creek/ Muleskinner Blues
  11. Great Big Man
  12. Bronco Bill’s Lament
  13. Happy Trails
  14. Circus Song
  15. Birthday Song
  16. On the Amazon
  17. American Pie
  18. Over the Waterfall/ Arkansas Traveller
  19. Homeless Brother
  20. Castles in the Air (Three Flights Up)
  21. Lovesick Blues
  22. Winter Has Me in Its Grip
  23. The Legend of Andrew McCrew
  24. Dreidel
  25. Vincent
  26. Till Tomorrow

Recorded live at Manchester, Bristol and Oxford, England. Produced by Don McLean and John Peters.

UNITED ARTISTS UA-LA652-H2, Released August 1976 [LP]
UNITED ARTISTS UA-EA652-J2, Released August 1976 [8T]
UNITED ARTISTS (FESTIVAL) L70067 (AUS), Released 1976 [LP]
BEAT GOES ON (BGO) 2779 300 2 [CD]


Solo Album Advert
Advertising the new album

Homeless Brother


  1. Winter Has Me in Its Grip
  2. La La Love You
  3. Homeless Brother
  4. Sunshine Life for Me (Sail Away Raymond) (Harrison)
  5. The Legend of Andrew McCrew
  6. Wonderful Baby
  7. You Have Lived
  8. Great Big Man McLean
  9. Tangled (Like a Spider in Her Hair)
  10. Crying in the Chapel (Glenn)
  11. Did You Know

Produced by Joel Dorn. Released by United Artists in 1974. Features ‘Wonderful Baby’, later recorded by Fred Astaire. ‘La La Love You’ became a minor hit. Reissued in 1994 by BGO records on CD with extensive liner notes.

UNITED ARTISTS UA-LA315-G, Released August 1974 [LP]
UNITED ARTISTS UA-EA315-G, Released August 1974 [8T]
LIBERTY LN-10211, Reissued September 1983 [LP]
BEAT GOES ON (BGO) BGOCD247 Reissued 1994 [CD]

All tracks composed by Don McLean unless otherwise stated.


Playin’ Favorites


  1. Sitting on Top of the World
  2. Living With the Blues
  3. Mountains O’ Mourne
  4. Fool’s Paradise
  5. Love O’ Love
  6. Medley: Bill Cheeatham/Old Joe Clark
  7. Everyday
  8. Ancient History
  9. Over the Mountains
  10. Lovesick Blues
  11. New Mule Skinner Blues
  12. Happy Trails
  • “Sitting on Top of the World” composed by Bo Carter, Little Walter
  • “Living With the Blues” composed by Ruth McGhee
  • “Mountains O’ Mourne” composed by Collisson/French
  • “Fool’s Paradise” composed by Sonny LeGlaire, Horace Linsley, Norman Petty
  • “Everyday” composed by Charles Hardin, Norman Petty
  • “Ancient History” and “Over the Mountains” composed by Irene Stanton, Wayne Walker
  • “Lovesick Blues” composed by Cliff Friend, Irving Mills
  • “New Mule Skinner Blues” composed by Jimmie Rodgers, George Vaughn
  • “Happy Trails” composed by Dale Evans
  • Produced by Ed Freeman

UNITED ARTISTS UA-LA161-F, Released October 1973 [LP]
UNITED ARTISTS UA-EA161-6, Released October 1973 [8T]
UNITED ARTISTS (FESTIVAL) L35000 (AUS), Released 1973 [LP]
BEAT GOES ON (BGO) 2779 21 2 [CD]

Don McLean


  1. Dreidel
  2. Bronco Bill’s Lament
  3. Oh, My What a Shame
  4. If We Try
  5. The More You Pay
  6. Narcisissima
  7. Falling Through Time
  8. On the Amazon (Grey-Newman-Ellis)
  9. Birthday Song
  10. The Pride Parade

Released by United Artists in 1972. Follow up to the ‘American Pie’ album and single. From this album, ‘Dreidel’ and ‘If We Try’ became hits. Reissued in 1994 by BGO records on CD with extensive liner notes. Produced by Ed Freeman.

UNITED ARTISTS UAS-5651, Released November 1972 [LP]
UNITED ARTISTS K-0461, Released November 1972 [CS]
UNITED ARTISTS U-8461, Released November 1972 [8T]
UNITED ARTISTS (FESTIVAL) UAL-34676 (AUS), Released 1972 [LP]
BEAT GOES ON (BGO) 2779 246 2 [CD]

All tracks composed by Don McLean unless otherwise stated.


  1. Castles in the Air
  2. General Store
  3. Magdalene Lane
  4. Tapestry
  5. Respectable
  6. Orphans of Wealth
  7. Three Flights Up
  8. And I Love You So
  9. Bad Girl
  10. Circus Song
  11. No Reason for Your Dreams

Released by United Artists in 1971. Don’s first album, famously rejected by over 30 labels before being snapped up by Mediarts. Mediarts was soon taken over by United Artists. Album includes legendary ‘Castles in the Air’ and ‘And I Love You So’ and other excellent folk songs concerned with environmental and social issues. Reissued in 1994 by BGO records on CD with extensive liner notes.

MEDIARTS 41-4, Released April 1970 [LP]
MEDIARTS M 84, Released April 1970 [8T]
UNITED ARTISTS UAS-5522, Reissued August 1971** [LP]
UNITED ARTISTS U-8280, Reissued August 1971 [8T]
UNITED ARTISTS UAS-29350 (UK), Reissued 1971** [LP]
PICKWICK SPC-3702, Reissued 1979* [LP]
LIBERTY LN-10157, Reissued January 1982* [LP]
BEAT GOES ON (BGO) 2779 232 2 [CD]
EMI E2-53928, Reissued 1996 [CD]

*PICWICK and LIBERTY release missing Three Flights Up and Respectable.
**UNITED ARTISTS and later releases contain a remix of Castles In The Air, and a remix of No Reason For Your Dreams.

All tracks composed by Don McLean unless otherwise stated.

American Pie

  1. American Pie
  2. Till Tomorrow
  3. Vincent (Starry, Starry Night)
  4. Crossroads
  5. Winterwood
  6. Empty Chairs
  7. Everybody Loves Me, Baby
  8. Sister Fatima
  9. The Grave
  10. Babylon (Adapt. from Psalm 137)

Released by United Artists in 1971.


UNITED ARTISTS UAS-5535, Released October 1971 [LP]
UNITED ARTISTS U-8299, Released October 1971 [8T]
LIBERTY LN-10037, Reissued October 1980 [LP]
EMI MANHATTAN CDP 7 46555 2, Reissued 1987 [CD]
ULTRADISC MFSL UDCD 728, Reissued July 1998 [CD]

 Commentary on “American Pie” from The Don McLean Story

“American Pie” is partly biographical and partly the story of America during the idealized 1950s and the bleaker 1960s. It was initially inspired by Don’s memories of being a paperboy in 1959 and learning of the death of Buddy Holly. “American Pie” presents an abstract story of McLean’s life from the mid-1950s until the end of the 1960s, and at the same time it represents the evolution of popular music and politics over these years, from the lightness of the 1950s to the darkness of the late 1960s, but metaphorically the song continues to evolve to the present time. It is not a nostalgia song. “American Pie” changes as America, itself, is changing.

For McLean, the transition from the light innocence of childhood to the dark realities of adulthood began with the deaths of his father and Buddy Holly and culminated with the assassination of President Kennedy in 1963, which was the start of a more difficult time for America. During this four year period, Don moved from an idyllic childhood, through the shock and harsh realities of his father’s death in 1961, to his decision, in 1964, to leave Villanova University to pursue his dream of becoming a professional singer.

The 1950s were an era of happiness and affluence for the burgeoning American middle class. Americans had a feeling of optimism about their prospects for the future, and pride in their nation which had emerged victorious from World War II, setting the world free from the tyranny of Nazi Germany. Popular music mirrored society. Performers such as Buddy Holly, Elvis Presley, and Bill Haley and the Comets churned out feel-good records that matched the mood of the nation. Sinister forces such as communism were banished, and serious folk groups like the Weavers were being replaced by the beat poets who, as members of the intelligentsia, were excused their lack of optimism.

The 1960s was the antithesis of the previous decade. The exuberant simplicity of the 1950s was displaced by a much more volatile and politically charged atmosphere. People were asking questions. The cozy world of white middle class America was disturbed, as civil rights campaigners marched on Washington, D.C., and Martin Luther King Jr delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The following year saw the 1964 Civil Rights Act become law. On the world stage, America’s leading super-power status was being challenged by the Soviet Union, and its military might was being tested by the Vietnamese. Even in music, America soon found itself overrun by a British invasion. The 1960s was a turbulent time for McLean’s generation.

By 1971, America was still deeply troubled. The Vietnam War was out of control. The anti-war movement was gathering momentum and being listened to. On April 22, 1971, former naval officer, John Kerry, stated to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:

 “…In our opinion, and from our experience, there is nothing in South Vietnam, nothing which could happen that realistically threatens the United States of America. And to attempt to justify the loss of one American life in Vietnam, Cambodia, or Laos by linking such loss to the preservation of freedom, which those misfits supposedly abuse, is to us the height of criminal hypocrisy, and it is that kind of hypocrisy which we feel has torn this country apart…”

Other events of the time, such as the successful launch of Apollo 14, did little to restore national pride. “American Pie,” in the opinion of the song’s producer, Ed Freeman, was the funeral oration for an era: “Without it, many of us would have been unable to grieve, achieve closure, and move on. Don saw that, and wrote the song that set us free. We should all be eternally grateful to him for that.”

 Extract from The Don McLean Story: Killing Us Softly With His Songs by Alan Howard Copyright 2007 Starry Night Music, Inc. All rights reserved. Reproduction or translation of any part of this work without the permission of the copyright owner is unlawful. Used by permission.

Don McLean Sings American Pie on Top of the Pops (October 31, 1991):