This Dayton, OH, band came to typify swinging, effervescent, and melodic funk in an era when Parliament, Funkadelic, and other outfits were getting bogged down and burned out. Zapp, unlike the other P-Funk units, had their own personality divorced from George Clinton, so much so a listener might not get the connection unless they read the album notes. While both Zapp and Roger had enough hits to make separate greatest hits compilations, All the Greatest Hits works well due to the song inclusions and the level of skill. Zapp's first hit, "More Bounce to the Ounce" with it's hard-hitting funk with jazzy underpinnings, set the template. Tracks from Roger Troutman's solo debut, like the great "Do It Roger" and a cover of "Heard It Through the Grapevine," seemed to sap the strength from the Zapp name, although the band was on them too. Zapp's 1983 near-classic "Heartbreaker 1 and 2" still amazes with its minimal, lean sound. The synth-based sound also served Troutman well on the mid-'80s solo hit "In the Mix" and Zapp's ballad "Computer Love." As the Zapp never did regain its commercial footing by the late '80s, Roger fared better solo and turned in the romantic ballad and surprise hit "I Wanna Be Your Man." All The Great Hits diminishes its appeal by adding disposable tracks like "Curiosity '93 (Remix)" and the live "Midnight Hour-Live '93 (Remix)." While the hits are indeed here, a fan could just as easily obtain a 1980-84 album of Zapp or Roger to get a better sense of the importance of the music.
AllMusic Review by Jason Elias