Various Artists

Hard Rock Cafe: Rockin' Down the Highway

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Rhino's Hard Rock Cafe series essentially just offers basic primers of classic rock genres, from surf rock to New Wave. That means they're not of particular interest to collectors, but they are ideal for casual fans, since they contain a good sampling of a particular genre. Hard Rock Cafe: Rockin' Down the Highway is a little different because it doesn't follow a particular genre. Instead, it draws from a number of styles -- classic rock, New Wave, album rock, oldies, anything as long as it sounds good in a car. Consequently, Rockin' Down the Highway might seem a little uneven for some listeners, but it's undeniably fun, thanks to such first-rate songs as Golden Earring's "Radar Love," Alice Cooper's "Under My Wheels," Deep Purple's "Highway Star," the Beach Boys' "Fun Fun Fun," Commander Cody's "Hot Rod Lincoln," the Dead's "Truckin'," Chuck Berry's "No Particular Place to Go," Dave Edmunds' "Crawling from the Wreckage" and, of course, the Doobie Brothers' "Rockin' Down the Highway." As the above illustrates, the disc is more diverse than the average Hard Rock Cafe release, which is for the best. Ultimately, this is still for casual listeners, but it's nice to see a little variety among the predictable choices.

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