Various Artists

Best of Hard Rock [Universal]

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Despite its title, the ten-track The Best of Hard Rock doesn't necessarily contain nothing but hard rock. Sure, there are several classic rock staples -- Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Gimme Back My Bullets," the James Gang's "Funk #49," Night Ranger's "You Can Still Rock in America," Asia's "Don't Cry" -- but there are also power ballads (Whitesnake's "Is This Love," Steelheart's "I'll Never Let You Go (Angel Eyes)"), AOR power-pop (Donnie Iris's "Love Is Like a Rock"), hair-metal (Nelson's "After the Rain"), country-rock (Steve Earle's "Copperhead Road") and post-new wave new wave (Wang Chung's "Let's Go"). In other words, there's nothing holding the songs together, other than they were recorded for MCA and its subsidiaries -- they don't even sound like a typical classic rock radio show. Still, it's hard to argue with the track listing of any CD that retails for under four dollars, and in that sense it may be a bargain.

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