Best of the 70's

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This generous budget-line compilation covers glam rock favorites Mud. Although often shrugged off by the music press as puppets for producers Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman, this collection shows that the band's music has held up nicely. They had an edge on many glam groups because they incorporated a solid knowledge of (and obvious love for) classic 1950s and 1960s rock & roll into their guitar-heavy glam sound. Indeed, hits like "Rocket" and "The Cat Crept In" sound like rockabilly tracks from Sun Records played in a heavy 1970s style. This set also includes plenty of amped-up covers of favorites like "One Night" and "Blue Moon." One of the most inventive covers is the group's hit reinterpretation of the Buddy Holly classic "Oh Boy," which starts as an a cappella tune and builds into a sultry, slow rocker. This aspect of their style lends a classic touch to their music that keeps engaging long after the glam rock trend has passed. Other highlights include "The Secrets That You Keep," a retro-styled ballad that features a nifty Elvis Presley impression from vocalist Les Gray, and "Dyna-Mite," a hard-rocking tale of a beautiful woman; this song's exciting arrangement builds from suspenseful, guitar-strummed verses to a triumphant, percussion-driven chorus. The downside of this collection is that it ignores some successful singles from Mud's post-RAK Records period and includes a few too many covers when it might have been nice to see some B-sides or other rarities. Despite these quibbles, Best of the 70's is a fine introduction to the retro-glam sound of Mud.

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