A fascinating collection, Best of the Early Years essentially takes the first two 10cc albums in their entirety, replaces four Sheet Music cuts with as many period B-sides, and then jumbles everything up into a running order that works almost as well as the original LPs. It is unlikely whether any true fan would ever consider the instrumental "Hot Sun Rock," or the workaday "4% of Something" and "Bee in My Bonnet" as fitting replacements for the likes of "Hotel," "Baron Samedi," "The Sacro-Iliac" or "Oh! Effendi" (the absent songs). But the presence of "Waterfall" reminds us that not all of the band's best ideas made it onto LP and, while it's difficult to understand why anybody would prefer a collection like this to, say, the Complete UK Recordings package, which takes a fully comprehensive look at the same period, still the budget price is difficult to argue with.
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AllMusic Review by Dave Thompson