This discount-priced collection of hits from the early '80s surveys the vaults of Sony Music, including tracks originally released on the Columbia, Epic, Full Moon, and Bang labels. The compilers didn't have access to the catalogs of the biggest stars who recorded for the companies -- no Pink Floyd, Barbra Streisand, Paul McCartney & Wings, Billy Joel, Bruce Springsteen, Michael Jackson, Journey, Neil Diamond, or Willie Nelson -- but they have managed to make do with a second echelon including Kenny Loggins, Toto, Boz Scaggs, Dan Fogelberg, REO Speedwagon, Luther Vandross, Santana, and James Taylor. That's not too bad, especially given the inclusion of such major hits as "Keep On Loving You" and "Who Can It Be Now?" Taken together, the 30 tracks demonstrate that what was then called CBS records maintained a commitment to quality mainstream rock in the early '80s. This collection provides only a fraction of the hit music of the era, but it gives a good sense of what Top 40 radio sounded like, and it will appeal to people who liked what they heard in those days, especially when they see the price; upon release, the package was selling in convenience stores for as little as $15.
AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann