Hot Chocolate

Very Best of Hot Chocolate

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The problem with Hot Chocolate is that the group's catalog is very uneven. More than that, there is a sharp descent from the fine rock-funk-soul-bubblegum fusion of the mid-'70s to the bland soft disco-rock sound of the '80s. This compilation gives the listener equal doses of each in non-chronological order, leading to a very schizophrenic and unsatisfying disc. For example, the super fine "Brother Louie" from 1973 is sandwiched by the tepid "No Doubt About It" from 1980 and the sub-Billy Ocean-sounding "Tears on the Telephone" from 1983. You have to listen to some serious dross to get to the gems like the freaky "Everyone's a Winner," the very funky "Heaven Is in the Back Seat of My Cadillac," the slinky "Disco Queen," and a song that can reduce strong men to tears halfway through the first verse, the mighty "Emma." Worst of all, a remake of Hot Chocolate's biggest hit and most recognizable song, "You Sexy Thing," is included instead of the real thing. That crime alone is enough to consign this disc to the scrap heap. While it is difficult to find a good Hot Chocolate collection that gives more weight to the group's '70s work, it is pretty easy to find one that includes the original version of "You Sexy Thing."

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