This charming collection of golden classic Christmas favorites stretches from 1935 to 1954. Rhino scores big with the idea of marketing music of such quality for a lesser cost. This record features everybody and everything from the Bing himself to Gene Autry's "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" to "All I Want for Christmas," a comedic, hilarious family favorite.
Three prior Mountain collections, 1973's THE BEST OF, 1974's ON TOP, and 1995's box set OVER THE TOP, left few stones unturned in their overviews of these short-lived yet successful power rockers. If you're looking for a succinct collection of their best-known tracks, then 1998's budget priced SUPER HITS is recommended. Containing 10 tracks, SUPER HITS features such classic rock radio standards as "Mississippi Queen," "Never in My Life," "Theme for an Imaginary Western," and "Flowers of Evil." Although THE BEST OF may have a longer track listing, SUPER HITS contains several tracks not included on the former, which rank among some of the band's best–"Flowers of Evil," "Blood of the Sun," "You Better Believe It," and "The Great Train Robbery."
The seventh in a series of two-fer reissues of the 1960s albums by the Four Seasons and their lead singer Frankie Valli on the British label Ace, this disc combines the group's ninth studio album, The 4 Seasons Sing Big Hits by Burt Bacharach…Hal David…Bob Dylan (originally released in November 1965) and its eleventh, New Gold Hits (May 1967). (For good measure, Ace has tossed in two Four Seasons singles from 1966, "Opus 17 (Don't You Worry 'Bout Me)" and "I've Got You Under My Skin.") These may be the quartet's two most misunderstood albums; for one thing, despite the presence of the word "Hits" in both titles, neither was actually a compilation.
Sharing a light, lush airiness with bands like Poco, America, and Air Supply, Firefall sang fluffy love songs that were weak in lyrical nutrients but abundant with softened chords and harmonies. When radio was saturated with light rock in the mid- to late-'70s, they were right in the heart of it, reaching number nine on Billboard's Top 40 with the gentle "You Are the Woman," which remained on the charts for a startling 15 weeks. Firefall's greatest hits collects all of their mellow rock favorites in one place, presenting some thin but not unlistenable soft rock tunes. Lead singer Rick Roberts pours his heart out but still manages to stir up a decent tempo with "Just Remember I Love You," their second biggest single. The blue of the Colorado skyline, the band's home state, is visioned on the soothing flow of "Break of Dawn," and a slight attractiveness is felt throughout "Strange Way," another chart single in 1978. Roberts, who replaced Gram Parsons in the Flying Burrito Brothers, and drummer Michael Clarke, a onetime Byrds member, did give Firefall a talented history within its lineup, but the music being produced contained ample amounts of schlock that soon faded as radio became tired of this shallow drivel. Sometimes harboring a country feel a la Michael Martin Murphy best heard in songs like "Someday Soon" and "It Doesn't Matter," it was evident that the band had only one direction, which was that of a folk-rock sound. Since their material never strayed from this subtle easiness, Firefall's greatest hits is their most worthwhile offering.