Various Artists

Driving Rock: 18 Classic Athems

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This cool EMI-issued import moves outside the usual compilation jumble of classic rock dinosaurs, new wave resets, and auto-themed novelties for a set that, if not packed with hits, at least functions as a sort of bizarro world FM radio station. Kicking off with Meat Loaf -- who else? -- Driving Rock ushers in the lip-curl fun of Billy Idol and "Rebel Yell." From there we move into Deep Purple's "Fireball" which, reanalyzed, could easily pass for a Queens of the Stone Age beta test. Then it's time for "Stick Together" and a Bryan Ferry impersonation, which for most people resembles Mick Jagger's rooster breaking into 1980s right angles. There's also a pair of absolute gems -- hard rock done bloody right -- in the T. Rex strut of Thunder's "Dirty Love" and the Quireboys' cocksure "Hey You." "Motor Bikin'" from Brit new wave hero Chris Spedding fills the requisite grease and tires quota, with support from Suzi Quatro ("Devil Gate Drive") and the Stranglers ("Go Buddy Go"). It's weird that Driving Rock includes solo tracks from Jane Wiedlin and Belinda Carlisle, but then again this is bizarro FM land, right? If you were on a road trip and discovered some strange station out on I-80 spinning Wiedlin's crushworthy "Rush Hour" and Carlisle's awesomely '80s "(We Want) The Same Thing" back to back, you'd find the next phone and call 50 friends.

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