One of those uniquely '70s groups, Middle of the Road were a Scottish pop vocal group whose singles "Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep," "Tweedle Dee Tweedle Dum," and "Soley Soley" were huge European hits, selling in the tens of millions. Formed by Sally Carr (vocals), Ian McCredie (guitar), Eric McCredie (bass), and drummer Ken Andrew in 1970 (the group had been playing together since 1967, but under the moniker of "Part Three") Middle of the Road had trouble finding success until they uprooted from the United Kingdom and settled in Italy…
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."
LSD: Love, Sensuality and Devotion gathers over a decade's worth of Enigma's definitive tracks, including the song that started it all, "Sadeness, Pt. 1." "Return to Innocence," "Beyond the Invisible," and "Cross of Changes" are all featured as well, and though the collection ranges from the rock-tinged "I'll Love You…I'll Kill You" to atmospheric, electronic fare like "Shadows in Silence," since it's all essentially Michael Crétu's vision, it flows surprisingly well. Since Enigma's sound has varied fairly drastically over the years, LSD: Love, Sensuality and Devotion is the perfect starting point for anyone curious about Crétu's music, and the only Enigma album that casual fans might need.
Globe-trotting artist Bodo Molitor may have been born in Germany, but heêll forever be associated with the psychedelic scene in Mexico. In addition to creating the zoomorphic art for his own bizarre album, he also created the psychedelic art for the Kaleidoscope album, for La Libre Expresion, and for his brother Reinholdês solo album. As for "Hits Internacionales", it has all the ambience and psychedelic delirium of the time, full of devastating fuzz and wacked out rhythms. And then there is Bodoês raspy and savage voice. Impressive. As Antonio Malcara says in his book "Catologo subjetivo y segregacionista del Rock Mexicano", this LP and that of Kaleidoscope are the two most important and representative pieces of Mexican garage rock-psychedelia.
It’s been a long 16 years since Bon Jovi was last compiled, when Cross Road arrived for the holiday season of 1994, two years after Keep the Faith capped off a near-decade long run of dominance for the Jersey rockers. As it turned out, it was the first act of Bon Jovi’s career. A subdued second act followed in the ‘90s, with Jon Bon Jovi flirting with a solo career once again before returning to the fold late in the decade, with the band setting out for a decade of professionalism, sometimes cresting into the charts – usually with the assist of a canny country crossover – sometimes not. Greatest Hits condenses the highlights of this journey in a mere 16 songs, just two longer than Cross Road – its simultaneously released cousin, Ultimate Greatest Hits, adds a disc with 12 additional songs – and two of those are new tunes that are unlikely to show up on any subsequent best of.
James Brown may be "the hardest working man in show business," Aretha Franklin may be the Queen of Soul, but as Ultimate Hits Collection proves, the most apt nickname in all of music may belong to Ray Charles: the Genius. Forget for a moment that fitting all of Charles' hits on a mere two CDs is not remotely possible. Almost any Ray Charles greatest-hits compilation is going to be excellent, and this one is better than most, if only because it's two-discs long. Ultimate Hits Collection follows the path of Charles' work as it cruises through the genres he so richly influenced: R&B, pop, jazz, blues, and country. The standard favorites are here from Charles' repertoire, but what sets this compilation apart are the lesser-known tracks. "Mess Around" and "Hide 'Nor Hair" are certainly not as popular as "Hit the Road Jack," but they are no less enjoyable. The most welcome inclusion is Charles' version of the country classic "You Don't Know Me," which is often left off of other Charles retrospectives.
During the '80s, Thompson Twins arguably produced the finest synth-pop singles, and Greatest Hits recollects their industrious years with Arista in clear, digitally remastered sound. Numerous collections exist in the Twins' catalog and nearly equal their studio albums, but Greatest Hits prevails as the most essential as it offers a definitive chronology from 1982's infectious debut "In the Name of Love" through 1987's reflective "Long Goodbye." Featuring 16 tracks, this brimming retrospective recalls MTV's formative years ("Lies"), those unforgettable Dr. Pepper commercials ("Doctor! Doctor!"), the anti-Apartheid movement ("The Gap"), and countless other '80s pop culture memories.
Richard Marx's Greatest Hits performs a valuable service for his fans, collecting all of his hit singles – "Don't Mean Nothing," "Should've Known Better," "Endless Summer Nights," "Hold on to the Nights," "Satisfied," "Right Here Waiting," "Angela," "Children of the Night," "Keep Coming Back," "Hazard," "Take This Heart," "Now and Forever" – on one disc. For both the casual and the longtime fan, this is a blessing, since Marx's albums were usually uneven, featuring a few strong cuts surrounded by filler. Greatest Hits cuts away the chaff, leaving behind on the best cuts, resulting in an ideal career summary of this popular MOR pop/rocker.