Various Artists

Only Dance 1970-1974

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It's Only Dance 1970-1974 follows the pattern of JCI's It's Only series, offering a seemingly random collection of 20 hits from a given genre or style for a period of five years. These songs weren't necessarily the biggest hits of these five years, although there are a number of classics and smashes here. It may be hard to deduce exactly why these songs were chosen -- especially since the compilers apparently define "dance" as anything you could conceivably dance to -- but the end results are nevertheless quite entertaining. All of the songs are featured in their original hit versions, not remakes, which isn't always the case with midline collections. Furthermore, there a few cuts that aren't easy to find on other collections or even greatest-hits albums, which means it's interesting to collectors as well as casual fans. Most importantly, each volume captures the feeling of the era, even if it's missing several big hits, and that's what makes the series a nice introductory overview for curious listeners. Among the highlights on It's Only Dance 1970-1974 are the Hues Corporation's "Rock the Boat," Jean Knight's "Mr. Big Stuff," George McCrae's "Rock Your Baby," the Stories' "Brother Louie," Little Feat's "Oh Atlanta," King Floyd's "Groove Me," the Ides of March's "Vehicle," Kool & the Gang's "Jungle Boogie," the Jaggerz' "Rapper," Hot Butter's "Popcorn," Golden Earring's "Radar Love," the O'Jays' "Back Stabbers," the Tee Set's "Ma Bell Amie," and the Staple Singers' "Respect Yourself."

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