Tower of Power

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Sure, Tower of Power best-ofs are pretty thick on the ground these days. But if you want a quick overview of the catalog's high points and don't want to shell out thirty bucks for Rhino's excellent two-disc anthology (or even $11.00 for the one-disc Warner Years collection), this ten-track, eight-dollar quickie is for you. It wouldn't be accurate to say it includes every essential track from the Tower of Power book, and a few might even dispute whether these ten songs are really the best of the best, but they do make a fine and cost-effective introduction to the band's deep catalog. There's the relentlessly funky title track, of course, as well as the lovely "So Very Hard to Go," the strutting (and charmingly dated) "This Time It's Real," and the utterly archetypal "Oakland Stroke." Come to think of it, these ten tracks probably really are the best of the best. Anyone who says otherwise is crazy. But if you can afford it, shell out the thirty bucks for the two-disc version.

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