Super Hits of the '70s: Have a Nice Day, Vol. 14

From the sublime to the ridiculous -- that was what popular culture of the '70s was like (with detours into the sublimely ridiculous), and pretty much defines this 12-song CD. Opening with the mega-hit, Carl Douglas' "Kung Fu Fighting" (gorgeous arrangement, great beat and tune, disposable lyrics), it passes through Sugarloaf/Jerry Corbetta's "Don't Call Us, We'll Call You" (which manages to incorporate several musical references to the Beatles, as well as the names of three of them); Hot Chocolate's "Emma," a disquieting and offensively overwrought, melodramatic tale of a suicidal actress; Sammy Johns' hippie fantasy "Chevy Van"; and the Hudson Brothers' miserable, sub-McCartney ballad "So You Are a Star." And Polly Brown, of the British group Pickettywitch, does a pretty fair Diana Ross impersonation on "Up in a Puff of Smoke." So far, the disc has offered us a string of one-hit wonders and short shelf-life talents, but we finally hit some more substantial talent with Leo Sayer's infectious "Long Tall Glasses (I Can Dance)" and the Ozark Mountain Daredevils' eerie, ethereal "Jackie Blue." Michael Murphy's "Wildfire" maxes out the "haunt count" on this disc, but a genuinely close second comes as the finale, 10CC's soaring "I'm Not in Love." The sound is excellent, and the notes are more informative than usual. ~ Bruce Eder

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