Like many budget-priced collections, Sony Music Special Products' Don't Be Cruel takes a scattershot approach to compilation, randomly throwing a selection of hits, cult favorites and album tracks together. Since Cheap Trick had an abundance of great album cuts, at least on their first few records, the odds were good that Don't Be Cruel would be successful -- and it is. Sure, the title track with its high-gloss surfaces sticks out like a sore thumb, but everything else here is vintage Cheap Trick. True, the Dream Police cuts don't quite match up to the selections from Cheap Trick, In Color and Heaven Tonight, but they're in the same spirit. Besides, it's hard to argue with a collection that offers "Hello There," "Surrender," "Oh Caroline," "Oh Candy," "Elo Kiddies," "California Man" and "Come On, Come On." They might not add up to a definitive collection, but it's certainly a very enjoyable sampler.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine