Various Artists

Ultimate 16: Power of Rock

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Madacy's Ultimate 16 series successfully walks the line between a crummy budget collection and a decent to good collection for a couple of reasons. Despite the lousy artwork, uninspired titles, and sometimes arbitrarily chosen style groupings (for example, Buzz Rock, Body and Soul, Pure Moods), the songs are well chosen and the collections hang together well. All of which means for a fair price you can luck into some really good music. The entry titled Power of Rock is a very strong collection of rock radio staples of the '70s and '80s, with some very big songs by very big names. You can't find better commercial rock radio fodder than Fleetwood Mac's "Don't Stop," Rush's "Tom Sawyer," the Cars' "Shake It Up," or Mountain's "Mississippi Queen." The blend of rockers both hard and soft makes for a varied listen, and the inclusion of America's "Sister Golden Hair" pushes the set from good to awesome. Like most of the other entries in the Ultimate 16 series, Power of Rock is an entertaining (and cheap) stroll down nostalgia lane.

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