At first glance, Direct Source's 1977 looks like a decent, low-cost sampler of some really good music from 1977. When you look at the fine print on the back cover, however, you will find the chilling disclaimer that says some of the songs have been re-recorded. Since the disc came out in 2000, one would assume that they are re-recordings from the '90s. A quick listen would also tell you that the remakes are uniformly terrible. For example, the versions of Jay Ferguson's "Thunder Island," the Atlanta Rhythm Section's "So into You," and Johnny Paycheck's "Take This Job and Shove It" (which has a staggeringly bad synth-bass all over it) are tinny and overly smooth musically, as well as very weak in the vocal department. The horror of Rose Royce's mangling of "Car Wash" is the absolute nadir of this disc; why anyone would want to hear that classic song ruined by modern production "techniques" is a mystery on par with the death of Bobby Fuller. Don't be fooled by the splashy cover or the big names involved; this is a disc that must be avoided at all costs.
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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra