Various Artists

Guilty Pleasures [Sony]

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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. So depending on your perspective, the first Guilty Pleasures compilation is either an embarrassment of riches or just an embarrassment, period, bringing together 22 AM 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, hop in. Highlights include Electric Light Orchestra's "Sweet Talkin' Woman," Captain & Tennille's "Love Will Keep Us Together," the Climax Blues Band's "Couldn't Get It Right," and 10cc's miraculous "The Things We Do for Love."

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