Only Love 1975-1979 follows the pattern of JCI's Only Love 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 the "love" genre as anything vaguely romantic, musically or lyrically -- 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 mid-line collections. Furthermore, there are 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 several big hits are missing, and that's what makes the series a nice introductory overview for curious listeners. Among the highlights on Only Love 1975-1979 are Fleetwood Mac's "Rhiannon," Ambrosia's "How Much I Feel," Olivia Newton-John's "Have You Never Been Mellow," Neil Sedaka's "Laughter in the Rain," Earth, Wind & Fire's "Shining Star," Peaches & Herb's "Reunited," England Dan & John Ford Coley's "I'd Really Love to See You Tonight," Minnie Riperton's "Lovin' You," Paul Davis' "I Go Crazy," Keith Carradine's "I'm Easy," Linda Ronstadt's "Blue Bayou," America's "Sister Golden Hair," and Eric Carmen's "All by Myself."
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine