Various Artists

The Finest of Hard-Rock, Vol. 1

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The double-disc K-Tel collection The Finest of Hard-Rock, Vol. 1 is a hodgepodge that scatters a few tried and true hard rock pioneers -- Uriah Heep ("Easy Livin'"), Black Sabbath ("Sabbra Cadabra"), and Judas Priest ("Diamonds & Rust") -- among lesser-knowns like Phantom Blue, Mama's Boys, and the Steve Whitney Band. Stylistically, with the exception of maybe Uriah Heep, the pioneers are caught on the downslide or represented by minor hits, while the remaining tracks embrace art rock, heavy metal, and neo-classical metal, making for an extremely spotty set.

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