DJs at Hard Rock Cafes all over the planet throw parties every night of the week. Thus music must be selected that is at once familiar, occasionally classic, always excellent, and dancefloor friendly. Ironically, this surefire craftsmanship produces little better than a homogenized sampling that reads like a competent AM radio play list on the Hard Rock Cafe: Modern Blues. Are Cream's "Crossroads," Bonnie Raitt's "Runaway," and the Allman Brothers' "Ain't Wastin' Time No More" really "modern" blues? Less arguable selections are certainly John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers' spirited "The Super-Natural" and Albert Collins' killer "Ice Pick." But even the sun in the solar system of the blues, B.B. King's "The Thrill Is Gone," has been so thinned out by exhaustive airplay that it's hard to really hear it any more. The Hard Rock's attempts to create meaningful musical documents include previous compilations 80's Heavy Metal and Surf, as well as the reasonably decent-selling Party Rock Classics, the latter of which this dance franchise seems most authorized to produce. The cafe's lunch menu aesthetic is probably not best suited for hardcore epicures of the blues.
AllMusic Review by Becky Byrkit