Get Ready, Here Come... The '70s

Shout Factory!
By JEFF TAMARKIN  |  September 12, 2007
3.5 3.5 Stars

Don’t go looking for the Ramones, the Clash, or the Pistols on this new three-disc set. Same goes for the nascent jam-band scene of the Grateful Dead and the New Riders, the prog-rock of Yes and ELP, the fusion of Mahavishnu and Zappa, deep funk, and glam. No George Clinton or New York Dolls, no Van Halen or Deep Purple, no Eagles, Ronstadt, or James Taylor. Okay, so they missed a few things, but Get Ready manages to be a whole lot of fun by ignoring the music that mattered. The compilers, former Rhino mainstays who now run this label, focused their gaze squarely on the Top 40 charts and slapped together 57 of the hits and nothing but the hits. Some are grand indeed — you can never get too much of Mungo Jerry’s “In the Summertime,” Labelle’s “Lady Marmalade,” or the O’Jays’ “Love Train.” The Southern rock of the Allmans and Lynyrd Skynyrd isn’t accounted for, but the Marshall Tucker Band’s curiously likable “Can’t You See” is, and even if the arena rock of Billy, Bowie, and the Who is shunned, Elton’s in, with his eminently sing-along-able “Crocodile Rock.” Plenty of disco, too, from KC and the Sunshine Band to the Trammps to Gloria Gaynor. But what sells the package is all the goofy stuff you’d never in a million years admit to liking but probably sing in the shower: Carl Douglas’s “Kung Fu Fighting,” the Hues Corporation’s “Rock the Boat,” Looking Glass’s “Brandy,” Lobo’s “Me and You and a Dog Named Boo.” Sure, there’s some respectable music here — Fleetwood Mac, Harry Chapin, Jim Croce, Janis Ian, Dobie Gray’s magnificent “Drift Away” — but this isn’t about that. This is about the guilty pleasures.


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