Like any record company worth their salt, MCA knows a good gimmick when they see it, and when the millennium came around -- well, the 20th Century Masters -- The Millennium Collection wasn't too far behind. Supposedly, the millennium is a momentous occasion, but it's hard to feel that way when it's used as another excuse to turn out a budget-line series. But apart from the presumptuous title, 20th Century Masters -- The Millennium Collection turns out to be a very good budget-line series. True, it's impossible for any of these ten-track collections to be definitive, but they're nevertheless solid samplers that don't feature a bad song in the bunch. For example, take the Who's 20th Century volume. Yes, there are some great, great songs missing, but what's here (with the possible exception of "Squeeze Box") is terrific, including "My Generation," "Happy Jack," "I Can See for Miles," "Magic Bus," "Pinball Wizard," "Behind Blue Eyes," "Who Are You," "Join Together," and "Won't Get Fooled Again." Serious fans will want something more extensive, and neophytes would be best served by more well-chosen collections, but this disc is quite entertaining, considering its length and price. That doesn't erase the ridiculousness of the series title, but the silliness is excusable when the music and the collections are good.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine