The five CDs in this box set comprise 106 wonderful songs from what truly are the greatest musicals of the 20th Century. While the artists are not the ones you'd immediately recognize from the movie versions of these productions, they are nevertheless top-notch and probably were in the casts of the stage shows. So far, I haven't heard a single one that wasn't excellent. For those who love songs from great musicals, this is surely one of the great bargains of the 20th Century.
Those who do not pay much attention to record company affiliations should be warned that this discount-priced album, billed as the "best of Aerosmith," represents only their most popular recordings made for Geffen Records between 1987 and 1994. That said, it represents them well, including all 11 of Aerosmith's Top 40 hits from the period ("Angel," "Janie's Got a Gun," "Love in an Elevator," etc.), plus the track "Deuces Are Wild" from the album The Beavis and Butt-Head Experience. This, of course, was the period when the bandmembers were collaborating with such songwriting hacks as Desmond Child, Holly Knight, and Jim Vallance to considerable commercial effect, maintaining the comeback they had launched with Run-D.M.C.'s remake of "Walk This Way"…
Donna Summer's contribution to Universal's mid-priced 20th Century Masters – The Millennium Collection series is a decent, concise look at the queen of disco's career, including such natural choices as "Love to Love You Baby," "I Feel Love," "Bad Girls," "Hot Stuff," and "On the Radio," as well as early-'80s hits like "She Works Hard for the Money" and "Love Is in Control." 1995's Endless Summer remains the best single-disc introduction, since it covers more territory, presents a more rounded look, and includes many other singles that charted, but this works perfectly for those who want to stick to the basics.
Great Conductors of the 20th Century is a joint venture between the production and licensing expertise of IMG Artists and the international marketing and distribution clout of EMI. Sixty volumes were planned with hopes for even more. Unfortunately, though, perhaps reflecting our leaner climate for classical projects, the producers now advise that only forty will be issued.