This is an amazing double CD tribute compilation - to commemorate 40 years in the business, Kool & The Gang has teamed up and remade many of their top hits top to bottom featuring many of todays most up & coming vocalists and artists. I am quite surprised that this project has not made more of a splash in the states, yet…
Greatest Hits is a fine ten-track overview of the funk keyboardist's late-'70s/early-'80s recordings, containing all three of his Top Ten R&B hits ("Reach for It," "Dukey Stick," "Sweet Baby") plus a good selection of minor hits and album tracks.
Herman's Hermits were one of those odd 1960's groups that accumulated millions of fans, but precious little respect. Indeed, their status is remarkably similar to that of the Monkees and it's not a coincidence that both groups' music was intended to appeal to younger teenagers. The difference is that as early as 1976, the Monkees began to be considered cool by people who really knew music; it has taken 35 years for Herman's Hermits to begin receiving higher regard for their work. Of course, that lack of respect had no relevance to their success: 20 singles lofted into the Top 40 in England and America between 1964 and 1970, 16 of them in the Top 20, and most of those Top Ten as well. Artistically, they were rated far lower than the Hollies, the Searchers, or Gerry & the Pacemakers, but commercially, the Hermits were only a couple of rungs below the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
The Cars were responsible for some of rock's most recognizable radio hits by the mid-'80s, so when the band took an extended break after their successful tour for Heartbeat City, 1985's Greatest Hits was assembled. Mixed in with the familiar selections was a brand-new track, the playful "Tonight She Comes" (which became a Top Ten hit), as well as a remix of the overlooked "Shake It Up" ballad "I'm Not the One." And while most of the expected hits are represented ("Just What I Needed," "Let's Go," "Drive," "Shake It Up," etc.), some of the selections prove questionable – why was the title track from Heartbeat City (an unsuccessful single) included instead of the 1984 Top 20 hit "Hello Again"?
Greatest Hits is a fine overview of Fleetwood Mac's hitmaking years, containing the bulk of the group's Top 40 hits of the late '70s and '80s, including "Over My Head," "Rhiannon," "Say You Love Me," "Go Your Own Way," "Dreams," "Don't Stop," "Tusk," "Sara," "Hold Me," "Gypsy," and "Little Lies." Minor hits like "Think About Me," "Love in Store," and "Seven Wonders" are missing, making room for the new songs "As Long as You Follow" (which actually became a hit) and "No Questions Asked," but overall, Greatest Hits is an excellent choice for casual listeners. WEA released a version of Greatest Hits in 2006 that included the bonus track "Oh Diane".
Hip-O's Ultimate Collection: The Complete Hits will likely be too much music for most audiences, simply because most listeners don't remember much more than "Love Will Keep Us Together," "Muskrat Love," and "Do That to Me One More Time" from Captain & Tennille. They actually had many more hits than that – 11 more, four of which hit the Top Ten, actually (for the record, they are "The Way I Want to Touch You," "Lonely Night (Angel Face)," "Shop Around," and "You Never Done It Like That"). All of them are here, along with several other singles and album tracks on this generous 22-track collection. To be frank, Captain & Tennille weren't quite varied or deep enough to make this collection not lose steam toward the middle, but the highlights – the three Neil Sedaka-penned tunes ("Love Will Keep Us Together," "Lonely Night (Angel Face)," "You Never Done It Like That,") plus "Do That to Me One More Time" – are all very good, standing proudly amongst soft rock hits of the time.
There are a few movie and soundtrack pairings that represent the wild 1980s. None more so than Top Gun (Footloose and Pretty in Pink are also strong contenders.) A whirlwind romance set in the U.S. Air Force during the Cold War, Top Gun featured wild aerial acrobatics, steamy sexual tension, and macho competition. And the soundtrack had the songs to match. Featuring the huge hits "Danger Zone," "Take My Breath Away," as well as "Playing with the Boys," "Mighty Wings," and a handful of classic soul tracks, the Top Gun soundtrack may be the perfect example of the outrageous '80s. This version expands on the original, including a number of songs not featured on the initial release, such as "Sittin' on the Dock of the Bay" and "Great Balls of Fire" .