Various Artists

Sounds of the Seventies: AM Nuggets

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Sounds of the Seventies: AM Nuggets doesn't dig too deep into the fringes of the '70s, as each of the songs included was a hit of some magnitude. For that reason collectors of the decade's obscurities (and anyone looking for punk, new wave, funk, or other non-mainstream artifacts) may be let down by this Time-Life collection, but anyone with a thirst for some non-obvious tracks from a very weird decade should find himself fully entertained. From the wacky (Steve Martin's "King Tut," Plastic Bertrand's "Ca Plane Pour Moi") to the sedate (Randy VanWarmer's "Just When I Needed You Most," Mary MacGregor's "Torn Between Two Lovers"), from disco (Donna Summer's "I Feel Love") to AOR (Boston's "Don't Look Back"), and from the sugary highs of the Rubettes ("Sugar Baby Love") and Shaun Cassidy ("Hey Deanie"), drunken ramblings of Dr. Hook ("When You're in Love with a Beautiful Woman"), and lovelorn drifting of Stephen Bishop ("On and On") to the heavily bearded harmonizing of the Marshall Tucker Band ("Fire on the Mountain"), this disc is sure to set off all kinds of nostalgic alarms for people who stayed glued to their radio 24/7 during the '70s. It is a total cliché but this disc sounds and feels like a solid, fun-filled hour of '70s AM radio. Laugh if you like at the throwaway nature of some of the bands and songs here, scoff at the lack of critically acclaimed groups or acknowledged classic tracks, yet those who lived through the decade and are secure enough to admit that they loved it will be digging these nuggets like they were gold.

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