Various Artists

VH1: I Love the '70s

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It was inevitable that VH1 would eventually release compilations spun off from some of their most popular nostalgia programs. Just before the channel rolled out the I Love the '90s series, in apparent response to the success of I Love the '70s and I Love the '80s, they teamed with Rhino to release a disc for each decade. Of course, it would be impossible to summarize ten years of popular music on one disc, so neither VH1 nor Rhino can be faulted for failing to be the least bit definitive. That's clearly not the goal to begin with. I Love the '70s naturally contains several songs that have appeared on hundreds of compilations -- such as Curtis Mayfield's "Superfly," KC & the Sunshine Band's "That's the Way I Like It," Chic's "Le Freak," and the Sugarhill Gang's "Rapper's Delight" -- but it does throw in a few curve balls to keep it from being just another '70s-themed disc. Helen Reddy's "I Am Woman," John Sebastian's "Welcome Back," and perhaps even Bread's "Make It With You" are either guilty pleasures or flat-out joke inclusions that represent their time just as much as a universally loved number one hit. Once the first decade of the 2000s pass, listeners can look forward to I Love the '00s, in which VH1 rounds up some of the talking heads featured in shows past and has them recall their favorite nostalgic moments. (Besides, just think of all the unused Hal Sparks commentary that VH1 is sitting on.) Let's hope popular culture doesn't become that past-obsessed.

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