Various Artists

House of Hits

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It's difficult to recommend an 11-disc box set for any but the most committed fans, but this collection has more of the influential but hard-to-find early techno and house singles than any set ever made, rarities never anthologized in such a fashion. Besides requisite anthems like "Move Your Body," "You Used to Hold Me," "Strings of Life," "No UFO's," and "Mystery of Love," House of Hits includes legendary pioneering tracks such as Z Factor's "Fantasy," Jesse Saunders' "On & On," Mr. Fingers' "Amnesia," Channel One's "Technicolor," and Eddie "Flashin" Fowlkes' "Goodbye Kiss." No less than six discs chart the Chicago house scene from 1983 to 1987, including crucial singles by Jesse Saunders, Farley Jackmaster Funk, Adonis, Larry Heard, Phuture, Marshall Jefferson, Jamie Principle, and Fast Eddie. Disc seven concentrates on the early New York response to house (Todd Terry, Masters at Work, Blaze), while the eighth CD documents the rise of Detroit techno with tracks by Juan Atkins' Model 500, Derrick May's Rhythim Is Rhythim and Mayday, Eddie "Flashin" Fowlkes, and Kevin Saunderson. Of the final three discs, one charts the early European response to America -- with Bang the Party, T Coy, and PW&L -- while the final two move back to Chicago with Mike Dunn, DJ Pierre, and Armando. The box set's scope is breathtaking, and despite a pronounced overemphasis on Chicago producers (eight discs total) to the detriment of New York and Detroit, House of Hits has dozens of '80s club classics and worthy obscurities long unavailable. In an unfortunate irony, however, House of Hits itself went out of print soon after its 1990 release.

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