Various Artists

Guilty Pleasures Rides Again

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An outgrowth of the BBC Radio London program of the same name, the Guilty Pleasures series is as much a niche product as a children's record or a Christmas album; if you grew up in the 1970s and early '80s with an enduring taste for mass-market schlock, this two-disc set is the bargain of the century, but if your formative development falls on either side of that timeline, forget it. Guilty Pleasures Rides Again is great stuff, assembling a generous three-dozen AM pop radio classics that virtually define the utterly misguided spirit of the times -- purists know this period as the death knell of classic rock, as electric guitars and bone-rattling rhythms gave way to soft-as-a-baby's-bottom acoustic melodies and arrangements as slick as silk sheets -- but if you're looking for a time machine to transport you back to those woebegone days, this should do nicely. Highlights include Starland Vocal Band's "Afternoon Delight," Starbuck's "Moonlight Feels Right," Rupert Holmes' "Escape (The Pina Colada Song)" and Pilot's "It's Magic."

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