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Various Artists

Mullets Rock Too

Review by Gary Hill

It's a safe bet you've heard every song on this disc – although you might not have heard the Ace Frehley track as performed by him. That doesn't mean this set isn't enjoyable. Capturing a slice of time in music, this CD holds gems that still stand up quite well. If you are a fan of hard rock and you listen to this disc without singing along, please dial 911 and have them call an ambulance. It's great to have all these hits in one place and makes for a killer “blast from the past” listening experience.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 3 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Ted Nugent – Wang Dang Sweet Poontang
Fast paced and raw, this is Nugent at his best. Although I'd have to say I prefer the live version to this studio take, that's just splitting hairs. This includes some killer guitar work and one of Nugent's trademark raps.
Ace Frehley – Do Ya
Ace Frehley covers ELO here. I'd never heard this song before and I'm hooked. The stripped down, powered up approach and Frehley's vocal delivery work really well here. While this is different than the original, it works great! The more melodic section is purely spectacular here.
Boston – More Than A Feeling
One of the best known cuts on this set, what can you say about this one that hasn't been said? It's quintessential arena rock. With its incredible songwriting and delivery, this thing just plain rocks. It holds up every bit as well today as it did in 1976 when the world first heard it.
Foghat – I Just Want To Make Love To You
This bass driven, bluesy rocker was on FM radio all the time in its day. It's good to hear it again. It still works quite well, despite some slightly dated wah guitar.
Eddie Money – Baby Hold On
Another that should be pretty familiar to just about everyone, this pop rock classic is good, but pales compared to some of the other stuff on here.
Jefferson Starship – Jane
I've always loved this powerhouse – and in fact the whole Freedom at Point Zero album that was its home. Starting tentatively, it kicks in with style and features stellar instrumental work, a great riff and some awesome vocals. You just can't go wrong here.
Aldo Nova – Fantasy
Another that was all the rage in the day, this rocker was one of the founding pieces that led to hair metal. With sneered vocals and a great, nearly prog arrangement, this is another killer.
Blue Oyster Cult – Burnin' For You
Well, I reviewed this one on BOC's Workshop of the Telescopes set. For consistency, here's what I said there. Containing some interesting musical textures, “Burnin` For You” is a solid rock song that is quite accessible. The song was a respectable hit for the band.
Joan Jett & The Blackhearts – (I Hate Myself) For Loving You
Featuring Joan Jett's trademark punk meets hard rocking pop approach, this feels like it could have been recorded in her Runaways days. This rocker is cool and still holds up pretty well.
J. Geils Band – Love Stinks
Another that was all over the radio in the day, this is a cool rocker, although I always liked Geils' less commercial stuff better.
Nazareth – Love Hurts
I have to admit to being a huge Nazareth fan, so it's good to see this tune on the disc. The ultimate love gone bad ballad, this one is a stellar cut.
Cheap Trick – The Flame
OK, I'm from Trick's hometown of Rockford, Illinois, so I have to support the boys, but I've always hated this song. My feelings haven't changed. This is schmaltzy and way too formulaic. They are capable of so much better. While it's good to see Trick on here, I really wish they'd included something else from them. My understanding – and don't quote me here – is that the band were against including this track on their album in the first place, but the record label insisted. Mind you, it was their biggest hit ever, but I still think they were right about their reservations on the song.
REO Speedwagon – Take It On the Run
Here's another I've reviewed previously on another album, so here's the review excerpt from that one. Although a pretty routine REO hit, this one works quite well nonetheless. It includes a very meaty guitar solo.
Night Ranger – Sister Christian
This keyboard oriented ballad nearly misses. It's a bit trite, but done with such a sense of style that it works. It powers out into arena rock on the chorus. It's generic, but tasty.
Bonnie Tyler – Total Eclipse of the Sun
I've always thought this song feels like something from Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell album. That's a good thing. Of course, that's because Jim Steinman, the man behind BOoH also wrote and produced this one. Dramatic and evocative, this is quite possibly the best track on the CD. It holds up really well after all these years.
Cinderella – Don't Know What You Got (Til It's Gone)
I mentioned hair metal earlier. Well, Cinderella was one of the quintessential glam metal bands. Because of that I always hated them. The truth is, though, this rocking ballad is among the best of the music that came out under that genre. Yes, it's generic, but the rough around the edges vocal delivery and powerful arrangement really work. I guess I misjudged these guys in the day.
Lynyrd Skynyrd – Tuesday's Gone
A Southern rock ballad, this down home ballad still works after all these years. It's a killer with some smoking music, a great vocal delivery and an exceptional arrangement.
Kansas – Dust in the Wind
Here's another that pretty much everyone has probably heard. This balladic proggy number still works really well. It's a bit too sedate to use as an album closer in my view, but who am I to argue?
 
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