Pandora's Toys

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The 1995 Pandora's Toys is a bit of a curious comp. Appearing four years after the box set Pandora's Box, this single disc cherry-picks 12 highlights from that three-disc box -- but instead of pulling oddities and rarities from those three discs, this has the big big hits that everybody knows ("Sweet Emotion," "Dream On," "Walk This Way," "Mama Kin") balanced with radio hits that remained staples into the mid-'90s ("Draw the Line," "Seasons of Wither") with just a couple minor alternate takes, like a live "Big Ten Inch Record" and an alternate "Chip Away the Stone," for good measure. It's not a bad listen by any means -- all 12 tracks are good -- but it's too close to a hits collection to be a true sampler of the box. All that means is that anybody looking for rarities should go to Pandora's Box, while those looking for a hard-rocking snapshot of the band's '70s peak should be satisfied with this.

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