Dr. Hook

All the Best

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EMI's 2013 retrospective All the Best surely offers plenty of Dr. Hook -- a total of 40 songs over the course of two discs -- but that doesn't mean that it has all the Hook that matters. The stumbling block is that EMI did not license material from the group's early Columbia records, so the versions of "Carry Me, Carrie," "Sylvia's Mother," and "The Cover of the Rolling Stone" are all latter-day live covers from when the band started to get their polyester disco groove on. The rest of the compilation very much emphasizes this leisure-suit soft rock and disco, containing just a hint of the wooly hippiness from Bankrupt -- "Bubblin' Up," "Levitate," "Everybody's Making It Big But Me," and "I Got Stoned and I Missed It" are all tucked away at the end of the comp -- but preferring to spend its time with "When You're in Love with a Beautiful Woman," "Sexy Eyes," "You Make My Pants Want to Get Up and Dance," "A Little Bit More," "Better Love Next Time," "Only Sixteen," and "Sharing the Night Together." This digs much, much deeper into this vein than the average listener might want, but if you're a big fan of this slick sound, All the Best is a very entertaining compilation.

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