Various Artists

70 Number One Hits of the 70s, Vol. 2

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This is the second of six volumes of a set which, taken together, actually does add up to 70 tracks that were number one singles during the 1970s. The simple fact that the series lives up to its title, in total and in each individual volume, is more remarkable than you might think; there are albums out there with the phrase "number one hits" in their names that contain only a few actual chart-toppers. Justifying the title, though, is the best the series does. Otherwise, it is a randomly sequenced collection of often stylistically disparate recordings, with no annotations. Actually, the organizing principle here is a corporate, not a musical one. This volume in the series was manufactured for Razor & Tie by Sony Music Entertainment, and so 11 of the 12 selections come from the Sony vaults, the labels Columbia, Epic, and Philadelphia International that were part of the record company owned in the 1970s by CBS. (The exception is Marilyn McCoo & Billy Davis, Jr.'s "You Don't Have to Be a Star [To Be in My Show]," which was released on ABC records, now part of Universal.) One interesting, though perhaps coincidental, characteristic of the selections is that all but two of them hit number one on more than just the pop charts. "Shining Star," "Best of My Love," "You Don't Have to Be a Star (To Be in My Show)," "Family Affair," "Lady Marmalade," and "Love Train" all hit number one on the R&B charts; "The Most Beautiful Girl (In the World)" hit number one on the country charts; and "I Can See Clearly Now" and "Baby Don't Get Hooked on Me" hit number one on the easy listening charts. That should give some idea of the breadth of styles on this single disc, and of the broad popularity of its songs.

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