Various Artists

This Is Rock Anthems [Cleopatra]

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Here's one with only marginal value, unfortunately, when it could have been a classic compilation. Its title, in big letters, proclaims "This Is Rock Anthems." OK. You get revved up -- the very idea that a two-disc box could contain most of your faves makes you salivate, right? But when the contents are revealed, the sails lose their wind. Rick Derringer's "Rock and Roll Hoochie Koo" was certainly a hit, but an anthem? Quiet Riot's version of Slade's "Cum on Feel the Noize" comes much closer and it's easy to get excited about; same with Pat Travers "Boom, Boom (Out Go the Lights)" and Black Oak Arkansas' "Jim Dandy to the Rescue." The latter three make the opener easier to swallow. But when Night Ranger's "Sister Christian" comes in, and "Rag Doll" by Terrible Ted Nugent -- then what? No "Stranglehold?" or "Just What the Doctor Ordered" or even "My Love Is a Tire Iron"? The pills get hard to wash down. But it gets worse when you find Elton John covering "Spirit in the Sky," a remixed version of Sweet's classic "Ballroom Blitz," a notoriously bad Fee Waybill of the Tubes playing Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall." Is it even necessary to go further? Yes, it is. Other catastrophic inclusions are Kevin Martin, frontman of Candlebox, covering "Ramble On," Slash with Roger Daltrey covering Alice Cooper's "No More Mr. Nice Guy," Dee Snider of Twisted Sister covering Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train," and Steve Lukather from Toto (!!!) "performing" "Shine on You Crazy Diamond." Ugh. Yechhhhhh. And that's not even the half of it. Horrid. Dismissed.

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