The 1960s edition of Hard Rock Essentials doesn't cut very deep, but it does live up to its name, including such acid-tinged favorites as "Wild Thing" by the Troggs and Blue Cheer's thick and freaky version of "Summertime Blues." There's also some bluesy hard stuff in the form of the Allman Brothers ("Whipping Post") and John Mayall & the Bluesbreakers, who recruit Eric Clapton on their "Hide Away." No compilation of this sort would be complete without a few ringers; Essentials chooses a few doozies in the Crazy World of Arthur Brown's "Fire" ("I am the god of hellfire!") and the ragged ramble of the Velvet Underground's"White Light/White Heat." Altogether it's an entertaining hard rock romp, enjoyably straddling the crooked line between radio favorite and dusty album gem.
AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus