Various Artists

American Anthems: All Time Classics

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Calling all of the 60 tracks on this three-disc set "American Anthems" might be a bit of a stretch (are Ram Jam's "Black Betty" and Janis Ian's "At Seventeen," for instance, truly anthems in the real sense of the word?), but all of them are undeniably American rock or pop classics, the very songs one hears on classic rock oldies stations, and listening to this extended playlist on a long drive is very much like cruising the freeway tuned to one of those stations. The strength of this box is its variety, with tracks ranging from the aforementioned ones to Foreigner's "Cold as Ice," Johnny Cash's "I Walk the Line," and Harry Nilsson's "Everybody's Talkin'," with stops along the way at songs that are truly anthem-like, Lynyrd Skynyrd's epic "Free Bird" among them, as well as Simon & Garfunkel's "The Sound of Silence," which is an anthem of sorts to the chaos and isolation of life in the modern world.

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