There were a lot of hits in the 1970s, so this modestly-titled, bargain-priced collection doesn't have to go far to live up to its name. And, for the most part, it does better than that. Among the ten tracks drawn from the PolyGram vaults (and originally released on the Casablanca, MGM, Mercury, Polydor, Polydor/MVP, RSO, and 20th Century labels) are no less than eight gold or platinum number one records, ranging from Rod Stewart's 1971 signature song "Maggie May" to the Captain & Tennille's "Do That to Me One More Time," which actually topped the charts in early 1980. But after including so many big hits, the collection stumbles badly at the end. The inclusion of Stewart's Top 20 follow-up to "Maggie May," "You Wear It Well," is fine, if not up to the standard set by the previous inclusions. But what is Eric Burdon & the Animals' Top Ten 1967 hit "San Franciscan Nights" doing on an album called Hits of the 70s? Looks like some ignorant staffer at PolyGram misread a date, but how could the album have gotten out without anybody noticing? It's the sort of gaffe that makes you think the people who run the major labels have no idea what they're doing and don't care, either.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann