Initially a disc in Madacy's Rock n' Roll Reunion series, Class of 71 looks to be a decent collection of material by some big names in rock & roll and pop. Each volume has a healthy amount of tracks. There are a wealth of big-name rock and pop performers, some lesser-known acts to keep things interesting, and loads of classic songs from each year covered. All at a low price too. Then that sinking feeling that so often accompanies oldies compilations from labels like Madacy sets in. The cover trumpets that the "Original Artists" appear on the disc. What about the "Original Hits"? The word reunion in the title also sets off alarms. Indeed your fears are justified and fully realized: the discs are made up of modern day re-recordings of classic hits. Rock n' Roll Reunion: Class of 71 contains 16 inferior cover versions of songs like "Mr. Big Stuff" by Jean Knight, "One Toke Over the Line" by Brewer & Shipley, and "Drowning in the Sea of Love" by Joe Simon. Not all of the versions are terrible, some are even half-decent. There is even the occasional original hit thrown in just to frustrate you. What stinks most is the concept itself. It is sad that the artists involved have to, for whatever reason, resort to covering their old hits. It is even sadder that labels like Madacy try to foist these knock-offs on the record-buying public. If you are reading this and thinking about buying a disc in this series, do yourself a favor and don't. You can find most of the songs here on a legitimate release from a reputable label.
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AllMusic Review by Tim Sendra