"There's nothing more that meets the ear on this compilation soundtrack than meets the eye on the track listing. And there really doesn't need to be.
From Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's definitive version of Ain't No Mountain High Enough to Eric Burdon demonstrating with Spill The One that he could be as articulate as he once was animalistic, this is as consistent a collection of old rock, roll, blues and soul as are ever likely to come together on the one CD.
Now, I'm not among those who think that Jimmy Barnes is a screeching wailer who wouldn't know his way around a melody with a map. There's soul-a-plenty beneath the edge, but poor old Barnsey is put in perspective here - and he doesn't even sing a note.
If the ultimate version of Ain't No Mountain wasn't enough, we can here the pioneers of his raw and passionate style in Clearance Cleerwater Revival's Up Around The Bend. Barnsey's good, but CCR was better.
And that's not even the best of this bunch. It's great to once again hear Cat Stevens riding the Peace Train, an instant trip to seventh heaven long before Yusaf Islam began exhorting us all to mount Al Borak.
Then there's Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd Street Rhythm Band, who were not only the bane of signwriters, but unsurpassed exponents of acid jazz. If Clearance Clearwater Revival retain a sharper bite than Barnsey, there's no doubt these Charles Wright's cats could teach Madonna a thing or two about Express(ing) Yourself. Stuttering staccato bass, funky skank guitar, tightly grooving drums, and deliciously dirty brass, they don't quite record them like they used to do they? Did someone say burn the sampler?
What a pleasure it is to remember these rockin' Titans. This CD really is a tremendous collection of classic rock, and its rounded out perfectly by an excerpt of Trevor Rabin's rousing score.
Published January 25, 2001