Various Artists

Love Songs of the 70's [Sony]

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This 12-track, budget-priced sampler of 1970s pop ballads drawn from the vaults of Sony Music (and originally released on the Columbia, Cleveland International, Epic, Monument, Philadelphia International, and T-Neck labels) contains tracks that seem to turn up over and over on compilations: "The Air That I Breathe," by the Hollies; "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)," by Looking Glass; "Baby, Hold On," by Eddie Money. For the most part, it alternates white and black performers, following the Emotions with Kris Kristofferson, who is succeeded by Billy Paul, then Michael Murphey, and so on. Some of the R&B tracks did better in the R&B charts than in the pop charts (the Manhattans' "There's No Me Without You" missed the pop Top 40, but made the R&B Top Five), but there are also some chart-toppers (the Emotions' "Best of My Love," Paul's "Me and Mrs. Jones," "Brandy [You're a Fine Girl]"). Since the album was released by Sony's Special Products division, you are more likely to run across it in a rack near the cash register at your local drugstore than in a record store. There you will have to decide, on impulse, whether there are enough familiar songs to pick it up at the cheap price. That's up to you, really, but we will note that these are the original recordings, and they sound fine.

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