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Various Artists

Legends: Get it On (Limited Edition Hybrid SACD version)

Review by Gary Hill

This album was originally released as a Time Life Series disc. This new version is a remastered, audiophile disc that’s a limited edition and numbered. It’s a safe bet that you know every single song here. Well, they sound great on this release and it’s an excellent way to get some classic songs all in one place. I heartily recommend this. It should be noted that I previously reviewed a couple of the tracks here in other reviews. For the sake of consistency the reviews for those pieces have been adapted from the original ones.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2014  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Wild Thing - The Troggs

This is perhaps the ultimate garage band tune. It’s a raw rocker that works so well. It’s a safe bet pretty much everyone in the world has heard this one. The thing is, it still holds up today.

Smoke on the Water - Deep Purple
Arguably the most recognizable rock guitar riff, this song might be overdone, but it still works. Between that bass line, the organ sound, the guitar riffing and the killer vocals, this is the real deal.
Spirit in the Sky - Norman Greenbaum
I’ve always loved the distorted groove and trippy sounds of this piece. It’s a magical song from a one hit wonder. It also works just as well today as it did in it heyday.
Bang A Gong.. Get it On - T.Rex
Although this one still works quite well, it does have a bit more of a dated sound than anything we’ve heard to this point. The glam rock elements are still effective, though. It rocks out nicely.
Go Your Own Way - Fleetwood Mac
Here is  song that’s been a big part of modern culture. I like this cut a lot, too. Of course, there’s probably a reason it was a hit, right?
Blinded By the Light - Manfred Mann's Earth Band
Manfred Mann’s Earth Band really seemed to have a way to turn Bruce Springsteen songs into something so much greater than the pieces they began as. I have to say that I’ve always had a major distaste for Springsteen (I know, probably one of five people on the planet who can’t stand the guy’s music), yet I love MMEB’s renditions. This is no exception. They turn the cut into a proggy classic, and this is one most people should have heard at one time or another. It features some killer instrumental work. It also has some powerful vocal performances. All in all it’s a definite winner.
Spill the Wine - Eric Burdon & War
I’ve always liked pretty much anything Eric Burdon’s been in, from the Animals to War. So, I love this song, too. With its Latin rhythm and cool groove, this is just plain fun. It’s also classy. Although it has a bit of a psychedelic aesthetic, somehow this one doesn’t really feel tied to any particular time. It seems sort of all its own in terms of period of time.
LOLA..(Live) - The Kinks
Although I think this live rendering of the classic Kinks tune has a lot more energy, I think I prefer the studio rendition. Still, this is a killer, either way.
Light My Fire - The Doors
I think it’s safe to say pretty much everyone in the free world has heard this number, too. The organ and general vibe of the tune feels a bit dated, but it’s also just so classic. It oozes cool, plain and simple.
Slow Ride – Foghat
This classic riff rocker is still very tasty. I love the funky bass line and the whole thing just grooves.
Schools Out - Alice Cooper
A scorching hot rocker from Alice Cooper, this one doesn’t really have a lot of his shock rock angle. It does have a great driving riff and some killer hooks. It’s an all-time classic tune and with good reason. It’s another timeless number that works as well today as it did the day it was recorded.
Smokin In the Boys Room - Brownsville Station
This number, on the other hand, doesn’t hold up that well as far as I’m concerned. Sure, it’s still got the hooks and still rocks, but it’s just not really all that magic. Yes, it is a classic rocker that everyone knows, but if there’s a loser here, this is it. The harmonica solo is a nice touch, though.
China Grove - The Doobie Brothers
Melodic rock with great harmony vocals, you just can’t go wrong with The Doobie Brothers. The riffing on this is classic and so is the song.
Hot Blooded – Foreigner
After a while Foreigner got too far into the whole pop ballad trap. The first few albums, though, were pretty great. This rocking track is no exception. It’s got great hooks a killer vocal line and still works well.
Can't Get Enough - Bad Company
I’ve never been a big fan of Bad Company. I know a lot of people will be shocked to read it, but I don’t like Paul Rodger’s voice. Still, this is a good song.
Free Bird - Lynyrd Skynyrd
“Play ‘Free Bird!’” Who hasn’t heard that shouted at a rock show? The thing is, as classic and overplayed as this piece is, it still works. The whole vocal groove and smooth guitar work just play so well together. I know I get tired of this sometimes, but it’s still a great song.
Casey Jones - Grateful Dead
To some people this is the only song the Grateful Dead ever did. Other than their Touch of Grey album, and "Trucking" this is probably their best known song. It might be another that’s overplayed, but it’s still a good tune. Like “Spill the Wine” this is a number that doesn’t really seem to fit into any specific time period to me. There is a lot of bluegrass and country in the mix, but it also has some jazz and it’s just a great jam. I love the vocal arrangement, the lyrics and the whole thing.
 
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