Various Artists

The Funk Box

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At four discs and 55 tracks, Hip-O's Funk Box seems to want to be the last word on funk, and while it's a pretty good set, it ends up more representative than definitive of its chosen genre. Virtually all of funk's most important artists are featured, but not always by their most significant singles -- sometimes the collection gets it right, and sometimes it's disappointing (leaving out Curtis Mayfield's "Superfly," the Average White Band's "Pick Up the Pieces," War's "Low Rider" and "Why Can't We Be Friends," and the Ohio Players' "Fire" and "Love Rollercoaster" in favor of alternate selections). Still, the Funk Box does have a generous helping of full-length funk classics, including several rare 12" versions; moreover, it's been digitally remastered, and it features a 48-page booklet. It's just too bad the set doesn't completely hit the mark.

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