World Class Wreckin' Cru

Turn off the Lights: Greatest Hits Plus

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Noted as the first group blessed with Dr. Dre's production expertise, the World Class Wreckin' Cru recorded some solid West Coast electro singles, more energetic than the style's other prime production act (Egyptian Lover), if not as revolutionary. Dre certainly rated with the prime electro producers across the nation -- New York's Arthur Baker (Afrika Bambaataa) and Detroit's Juan Atkins (Cybotron) -- and his best work ("Surgery," "Juice") was a big influence on bass music as well as West Coast rap. Turn off the Lights: Greatest Hits Plus has all of the best World Class Wreckin' Cru tracks, but there's still plenty of samey filler. The single "Turn off the Lights" is bland enough to have sounded totally innocuous on the charts during 1988, while dance tracks like "Cabbage Patch" and "The Fly" are tired novelties. The only other interesting inclusions are a pair of tracks that point toward Dre's work in N.W.A. -- the surprisingly hardcore "Mission Possible" and "B.S." (the first a Public Enemy sound-alike, but the last one a completely original gangster fantasy). Still, unless you're very curious about Dr. Dre's origins in the Compton clubs, it's far better to seek out an old-school compilation that includes "Surgery" or "House Calls."

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