Various Artists

'70s Soul Gold

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'70s Soul Gold couldn't possibly be the final word on '70s soul, and it's not designed that way -- it's a generous portion of some of the biggest hits of the decade, along with some relatively less-known songs that deserve more attention. Plenty of the songs here (the Delfonics' "Didn't I," Marvin Gaye's "What's Going On," Chic's "Le Freak," Al Green's "Let's Stay Together," the Stylistics' "Betcha by Golly Wow") have shown up on dozens of other compilations, but it's clear that the set is geared more toward beginners who can snap this up without getting too much overlap. Unless you own and know everything here inside out, the set will either get you started or plug some gaps. Billy Preston's "Outa-Space," Brighter Side of Darkness' "Love Jones," the Floaters' "Float On," and Bell & James' "Livin' It Up (Friday Night)" are inspired choices that nicely offset the more popular inclusions.

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