Various Artists

Greatest Hits of the 70's [Sony]

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No, this album does not contain the "greatest hits of the '70s." To be accurate, the album's title would have to be something like "40 Pop/Rock Songs of the '70s from the Sony Music Vaults." That wouldn't be as catchy, of course, but it would describe a collection of tracks, most of which were released originally on Columbia or Epic Records, all of them by rock acts. There are a bunch of major hit singles ("The Air That I Breathe," "Arizona," "Brandy [You're a Fine Girl]," "Carry on Wayward Son," "Come and Get Your Love," "The Cover of 'Rolling Stone'," "Frankenstein," "I Can Help," "Indian Reservation [The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian]," "Magnet and Steel," "Rock On"), and a number of major artists (Blue Öyster Cult, Boston, Cheap Trick, Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show, the Electric Light Orchestra, the Hollies, Kansas, Loggins & Messina, Dave Mason, Meat Loaf, Eddie Money, Ted Nugent, Poco, Paul Revere & the Raiders, REO Speedwagon, Santana, Rick Springfield, Toto, Johnny Winter). But there are also plenty of obscure songs that never reached the Top 40 or were even released as singles, and quite a few one-hit wonders (Argent, Chase, Chi Coltrane, Walter Egan, David Essex, Nick Lowe, Pacific Gas & Electric, Andy Pratt, Billy Swan, Sweathog) or worse (Mother's Finest). Of course, some of those will interest listeners as much as or more than the better known ones, but their presence is just another measure of how far the collection strays from its title. Basically, the album is like a random two-and-a-half hours of AOR (or classic rock) radio, minus the commercials and disc jockey patter, and without the Doobie Brothers or anybody else outside the CBS (now Sony) roster, for that matter.

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