Pop/Rock, Country-Rock, Orchestral Pop, Southern Rock, Teen Idols, Folk-Pop, Soul, Dance-Pop, Disco, Contemporary Pop/Rock, Bubblegum, Pop-Soul, Country-Pop, Blues-Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Album Rock, Rock & Roll, Brill Building Pop, Arena Rock, Soft Rock, Hard Rock, Power Pop, Folk-Rock, Psychedelic, Sunshine Pop, AM Pop

Album Review

This disc is something of an education, for its intriguing mix of talent represented -- a quarter of the acts were nearing the end of their effective careers as chart-topping artists: The Raiders, Tommy James, and the Fortunes (all of whose careers went back a decade or more) would never see hits as big as what is represented here ever again; meanwhile, Lobo, Jerry Reed, and Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds were just starting their careers as stars. And then there were the one-shots, like Chase and Daddy Dewdrop, whose sole moments of glory are presented on this disc. No one ever said that rock music needed to be strong in the brains department, at least in terms of content -- listeners should remember that when listening to Daddy Dewdrop's "Chick-A-Boom (Don't Ya Jes' Love It)," which took sleazy lust and a slowed down strip-joint beat to number nine on the charts in the spring of 1971. Coupled with "Burning Bridges" by the Mike Curb Congregation as bookends on this volume, they run from the salacious to the serious, with stops along the way for country novelty digressions (Jerry Reed's "When You're Hot, You're Hot"), pop culture religious devotion ("Superstar" from Jesus Christ Superstar), topical songs ("Indian Reservation" by the newly re-christened Raiders, aka Paul Revere & the Raiders), easygoing folk-rock (Lobo's "Me and You and a Dog Named Boo"), and some exquisitely crafted pop (Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds' "Don't Pull Your Love," the Fortunes' "Here Comes That Rainy Day Feeling Again"). Why Redeye, whose delightfully upbeat "Games" illuminates this disc, never had another hit of this size is one of those great unsolved mysteries -- it was an original, and one would think there'd be another good one somewhere in their song bag. A rare Richie Havens appearance in the Top 20, with a bluesy reworking of "Here Comes the Sun," is a reminder that careers can endure for decades without a string (or even a pair) of big chart singles. For a time, it even seemed like Mike Curb, of the Mike Curb Congregation, might endure for decades, though not in music. This disc closes with the upbeat "Burning Bridges" by the Mike Curb Congregation. Featured over the closing credits of the movie Kelly's Heroes, the song dealt with lost and missed opportunities, and it might even have been prophetic about Curb himself. Notorious for dumping all of the seemingly drug-related acts off of MGM Records when he headed the company (thus likely hastening that label's doom) and bringing the Osmonds to the forefront of popular culture, Curb later ended up as the obstructionist Republican lieutenant governor of California, making mischief whenever he could against Democratic Governor Jerry Brown. His antics didn't get him anywhere with the voters, who rejected Curb in a primary run for governor and ended his career in elective office.
Bruce Eder, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. It Never Rains in Southern California
  2. Oh, Babe, What Would You Say?
  3. Last Song
  4. Dead Skunk
  5. Cover of the Rolling Stone
  6. The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia
  7. Stuck in the Middle With You
  8. Drift Away
  9. Wildflower
  10. Brother Louie
  11. Jimmy Loves Mary-Anne [*]
  12. Heartbeat (It's a Love Beat) [*]