Dr. Hook

Greatest Hits [Platinum Disc]

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This brief CD of tracks from Dr. Hook can hardly be called a greatest-hits collection, since it lacks the Shel Silverstein-penned hits ("Sylvia's Mother," "Cover of the Rolling Stone," "Queen of the Silver Dollar") from the band's early Columbia years, songs that exemplify the group in most people's memories. After switching to Capitol, Dr. Hook lost its unique satirical approach (probably because it was no longer doing Silverstein songs) and became an utterly ordinary band turning out near-disco, MOR pop, and this is the era covered by this compilation. Not that there aren't a couple of minor highlights here, including a cover of Sam Cooke's "Only Sixteen" (which Ray Sawyer's quavering vocal manages to make sound like a Lovin' Spoonful outtake) and a quirky version of Gus Cannon's ancient gem "Walk Right In." But in the end, you're only getting a glimpse of a once-clever band's fading, formulaic years with this collection.

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