Various Artists

Dutch Treats

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Dutch Treats is a fairly tasty serving of radio pop courtesy of the Netherlands. The majority of the cuts are radio hits from the '70s with a few classics from 1969, namely the Shocking Blue's "Venus" and Tee Set's "Ma Belle Ami." Both of these tunes were big in Holland and America, as was the case with most of the songs in the collection. The CD is tainted, though, by two rather annoying disco-oriented cuts which received little airplay in America: "You & Me" (Spargo) and "Ding a Dong" (Teach In). The progressive rock band Focus headlines with two entries. The appealing, upbeat "House of the King," from the band's debut album In and Out of Focus (1970), is highlighted by Thijs van Leer's sprightly flute and Jan Akkerman's spirited acoustic guitar, a sound not unlike Jethro Tull. Focus' biggest hit, "Hocus Pocus," was a Top Ten smash in the U.S. in 1971, with its stinging electric guitar and yodel-like vocals. The tune, originally found on Moving Waves, is presented here in truncated form. Unfortunately, Golden Earring's monster smash "Radar Love" is also presented in an altered form, an edited live rendition from 1977. Far inferior to the original studio cut, the live performance lacks the atmosphere and pacing so integral to the effectiveness of the song. The band seem to be merely rushing through the motions. They rock hard and therefore lose the bluesy feel of the original. Stand-out cuts that bring back memories include Peter Tetteroo's cover of Neil Diamond's "Red Red Wine," Mouth & McNeal's solid pop hit "How Do You Do" (one of the best cuts on the CD), and "Una Paloma Blanca," a breezy pop tune from the George Baker Selection which became a Top 20 hit in America in 1975.

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