Ahhh, those ‘70s singles. They ruled the airwaves, and although some of us refuse to admit it, we loved a whole lot of them. They now define the era for those of us who grew up in that period. You can even call them memory-markers as many of us have fond memories firmly attached to these songs. There have been many ‘70s collections over the years, the most notable being the multi-disc albums from Rhino called Have a Nice Day (Decade). The ultimate problem for collections is that they end up being someone’s idea of a perfect set but not everyone’s idea, which makes a collection that satisfies a near impossibility.
On the latest compilation, Get Ready, Here Come…the ‘70s, you have 3 CDs with 57 remastered selections that the compilers hope will represent the period with aplomb. There are legitimate inclusions that are no-brainers. For example, to release a set such as this, it only makes sense to include “American Pie” in its entirety. To leave out a classic like “That’s the Way (I Like It)” or “Get Down Tonight” by KC and the Sunshine Band would be criminal, like it or not. An Elton John song is definitely necessary, take your pick.
But most songs will either make some wince, and some cry, with no response the same from any one person. We won’t discuss exclusions here because you’d have to have a 25-disc Box to accurately represent. And people would still complain. Believe it or not, I wish “Oh Babe (What Would You Say)” by Hurricane Smith were here. Cheesy yes, but attached period memories will always supplant any degree of derision for a song’s grip.
What Get Ready, Here Come…the ‘70s attempts to be is representative of the decade respectfully, adding a fair amount of songs from various styles and periods to cross the most borders. Disco was a strong latter ‘70s phenomenon. For that, you have 10 disco tunes. There are no Bee Gees tunes, likely one of the stronger potential selection candidates but music rights probably excluded them.
Country Rock played a significant part in the development of the ‘70s and therefore you have “Can’t You See” from Marshall Tucker Band (a good inclusion at that), and “You Are the Woman” from Firefall. There were folk (Jim Croce, Janis Ian, Brewer and Shipley, etc), harder rock favourites (Alice Cooper), R&B (O’Jays, Billy Paul, Isley Brothers, etc), and one-stop cuts from a whole lot of performers.
The entire set is housed in a 5.5” x 10” bookset digipak with a 40-page booklet inside. The booklet contains a lot of pictures, decent credits including charting info on all 57 songs, and an essay by Stephen Chean called “The ‘70s.”
There will never be a perfect collection; it’s impossible to catalogue and present the brightest and best of any era, particularly the ‘60s, ‘70s, and ‘80s, in a single set. But if you’re looking for a set that brings back memories, as all sets will do, then Get Ready, Here Come…the ‘70s can do that easily enough. What might have made this a better set would have been an included DVD filled with video clips of many of these artists, pre-MTV era. Now that would have rocked…’70s style!!