There have been hundreds of compilation CDs pressed over the past few years celebrating the hits of the '70s and '80s, and Rhino Records has been responsible for a good percentage of them. The label now offers yet another serving of those decades, as well as one covering the '90s in a new cooperative effort with VH1.
The CD VH1 I Love the '70s offers The Guess Who's "American Woman," Bread's "Make It With You," Don McLean's "American Pie," Isaac Hayes' Theme From Shaft" and Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Free Bird," as well as songs from Ray Stevens, KC & The Sunshine Band, John Sebastian, Sister Sledge and more.
VH1 I Love the '80s opens with The Knack's decade-defining "My Sharona," and continues through a survey of the Reagan years with The Vapors' "Turning Japanese," Rick Springfield's "Jessie's Girl," Madness' "Our House," Cyndi Lauper's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," Til Tuesday's "Voices Carry," Robert Palmer's "Addicted to Love" and more, including tracks from B-52s,' INXS, Bobby McFerrin and The Waitresses.
The VH1 I Love the '90s disc has a more urban and Latin vibe, opening with Naughty by Nature's "O.P.P.," before hitting Right Said Fred's "I'm Too Sexy," Tag Team's "Whoomp! (There It Is)" and House of Pain's "Jump Around." Also included are Hanson's seminal bit of pop bubblegum "MmmBop," Barenaked Ladies' "One Week," Lou Bega's "Mambo No. 5," Los Del Rio's "Macarena" and The Rembrandts' "I'll Be There for You." Also included are songs from Collective Soul, Mr. Big, and Chumbawamba.
and the Maytals
What music says summer more than reggae?
And what says reggae more than Frederick "Toots" Hibbert, the man who coined the term?
Over more than three decades of music-making, Toots and the Maytals have become synonymous with reggae, and have scored crossover pop hits of their own ("Pressure Drop"), as well as given them to others (Bonnie Raitt had a hit with Toots' "True Love Is Hard to Find" in the '90s).
On the band's latest outing, True Love, Toots takes a cue from Santana and recruits a wealth of friends and admirers to re-record both classic Maytals material and other songs. It's both a retrospective of sorts, and a step forward for the band.
The veteran reggae singer teams up with another music vet, Willie Nelson, to handle Nelson's "Still Is Still Moving to Me," a surprisingly effective duet on a very appropriate theme for this album — the vocalists sing of "still moving forward" after years of surrounding personal change. Phish's Trey Anastasio turns up to offer a guitar lick to that track, as well as to the perfectly shuffling reggae vibe of "Sweet and Dandy."
Bonnie Raitt owes some of her pop success to Toots' "True Love Is Hard to Find," and she turns up to re-record it with Toots, here, in an exuberant reprise. Eric Clapton offers some effortless guitar work on the Maytals classic "Pressure Drop" and "Take a Trip," the latter of which also includes the contributions of another reggae icon, Bunny Wailer.
The new generation also pays tribute to Toots here, with Gwen Stefani singing a marvelously urgent duet with Toots when No Doubt joins the Maytals for the pounding rhythm of "Monkey Man." Likewise, current international reggae star Shaggy offers his trademark toasting work to "Bam Bam" and Ben Harper turns up on "Love Gonna Walk Out on Me."
There are 15 tracks in all, and everyone from classic rockers Jeff Beck and Keith Richards to funkmeisters Bootsy Collins and The Roots, to newcomer Rachael Yamagata and old hand Terry Hall (of early '80s ska band The Specials) join in the fray. It's a great album for a summer barbecue, or a day at the beach.