The Grass Roots

Greatest Hits, Vol. 1

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This isn't a bad little collection when it's paired with the accompanying Vol. 2 CD. And even on its own terms, limited though it is to ten songs -- drawn from across the group's first five years, from 1967 through 1972 -- it holds up well as a partial cross-section of the Grass Roots' impact on AM radio. The presence of "Let's Live for Today," "Where Were You When I Needed You," "Two Divided by Love," "Sooner or Later," "Temptation Eyes," "The River Is Wide," and "Bella Linda" gave it obvious appeal in 1987, and the presence of "Feelings," a group original with more of a psychedelic twist than the Grass Roots were usually known for, shows some reach in terms of programming. But the absence of "Midnight Confessions" ensured that Vol. 2 would get picked up as well. Otherwise, the sound was surprisingly good in its time -- this was a fresh compilation at the time of its release -- though it was supplanted in the latter department (as well as for depth) pretty quickly by the 1991 Rhino Records double-CD Anthology: 1965-1975. There's also some decent if sketchy annotation about the general history of the group. But no one was buying this CD for a comprehensive look at the group, just some listening pleasure (about half an hour's worth, easily repeated with a lot of rewards), and in that context this combination of songs is still mostly unbeatable.

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