Solid Gold Soul 1974 is an excellent compilation that neatly summarizes the trends in rhythm & blues music toward the mid-'70s. Disco was emerging, funk was developing from its James Brown roots, and the sleek Sound of Philadelphia was in its heyday. Most of the selections made the Top 10 on both the pop and R&B charts, so if it's hits you want, then hits you get. The Hues Corporation's disco-influenced "Rock the Boat" was one of the first big hits in that genre. The sophisticated, orchestral Philadelphia sound was all over the airwaves, and is represented by some of its best songs, including "TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)" by MFSB featuring the Three Degrees and "Then Came You" by Dionne Warwick and the Spinners. Lest one think that all the music was glossy, music by Rufus and the godfather himself, James Brown, will refute that theory. There are few surprises here, but the selection is solid. If a listener wants a good starting point for mid-'70s hits in soul music, this is a fine place to begin.
AllMusic Review by Michael Ofjord