Various Artists

The Best Pop Album of the 70's...Ever!

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EMI's 2003 collection The Best Pop Album of the 70s...Ever! probably doesn't live up to its title, but it certainly gives it a decent run. Contained within the two discs are stellar examples of some of the big styles of the decade as well as a whole bunch of great songs. There are soft rock classics (Gerry Rafferty's "Right Down the Line," Peter Frampton's "I'm in You"), funky classics (Rose Royce's "Car Wash," Sly & the Family Stone's "Thank You [Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin]"), silly bubblegum hits (Edison Lighthouse's "Love Grows [Where My Rosemary Goes]", Bobby Sherman's "Julie, Do You Love Me"), pop/rock smashes (Grand Funk Railroad's "The Loco-Motion," ELO's "Turn to Stone"), and straight pop classics (Starland Vocal Band's "Afternoon Delight," Pilot's "Magic"). Only a few of the songs are annoyingly familiar (Don McLean's "American Pie," Harry Chapin's "Cat's in the Cradle"), and a couple songs (Meat Loaf's "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad," the Stampeders' "Sweet City Woman") are really cool songs that don't often find their way onto '70s compilations. As with any disc that claims to be definitive in any way, there are glaring omissions. The only real new wave track is Blondie's "Heart of Glass," there is no hard rock to speak of, and there is a glaring lack of soul music. It is hard to imagine the '70s without any Philly International (Spinners, O'Jays) or any disco for that matter. Still, this disc is filled with songs that have stood the test of time, and anyone who wants to take a trip down Nostalgia Boulevard will find The Best Pop Album of the 70s...Ever! to be a good tour guide.

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