Various Artists

Dick Bartley Presents Collector's Essentials on the Radio, Vol. 2: The '70s

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Like volume one of this cumbersomely titled series, the second installment presents hit singles in mono, stereo, or radio-edit single versions that have become hard to find on reissues. This covers a wider time span (1964-1981) than the previous volume, and it's not as worthwhile, throwing in dross like Juice Newton's "Angel of the Morning" and Pure Prairie League's "Amie" among wholly incompatible classics like Isaac Hayes' "Theme From 'Shaft'" and the Easybeats' "Friday on My Mind." It's always good to see the Reflections' white Motown imitation "(Just Like) Romeo and Juliet," and Matthews' Southern Comfort's "Woodstock" and Norma Tanega's "Walkin' My Cat Named Dog" are inspired selections. But why even collectors would want to hear these next to Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" and Al Stewart's "Year of the Cat" is unfathomable, and these versions are not so radically different than the others available (indeed, they usually don't sound any different at all to the casual listener) that they warrant purchase, except for voracious collectors.

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