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."
Gen X-ers will instantly recognize Burl Ives's voice from his appearance as a rotund snowman in the animated TV classic Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer. But more mature listeners should remember that Ives was a key figure in the folk explosion of the '50s. His pop handling of traditional tunes brought him great success, and this CD collects some of his best. A few tracks, like a swinging "Blue Tail Fly," complete with Andrews Sisters-style background singing, may seem anathema to the folk aesthetic, but that's splitting hairs. If nothing else, this is exceedingly friendly music, and there's nothing wrong with that.