Now this is more like it! In September 2012 Eric Records issued two more volumes of its extremely popular "Hard To Find 45's on CD" series. "Volume 14: 70's and 80's Pop Classics" offers up a total of 19 tantalizing tunes for your listening pleasure. It is an eclectic mix of some the biggest and brightest pop songs of that era. The song selection is simply outstanding and the sound quality second to none. I have to tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed each and every tune on this disc.
The collection kicks off with singer/songwriter Albert Hammond's bouncy 1972 Top Ten hit "It Never Rains In Southern California". Frankly I had not heard this one for quite some time and now I cannot seem to get it out of my head. A true pop classic! A couple of years later Alan O'Day came out of nowhere to score a #1 hit with "Undercover Angel". This tune is extremely hard to come by and I was happy to see it included in "Volume 14: 70's and 80's Pop Classics". Fan of 1970's pop music will also be pleased to discover that this collection includes a number of other terrific singles including J.D. Souther's "You're Only Lonely", Mary McGregor's #1 hit recording of "Torn Between Two Lovers" and Gerry Rafferty's signature tune "Baker Street" which went all the way to #2 back in 1978. That one features one of most memorable saxophone riffs in the history of rock and roll! Meanwhile, I was thrilled to see that one of most bizarre singles of this or any other decade for that matter was also included in this collection. According to the liner notes "combining the 1930's big band music of artists like Cab Calloway with slick disco beats, Latin percussion, and a carefully cultivated retro image, Dr. Buzzard's Original Savannah Band struck gold with the dance hit 'Whispering/Cherchez La Femme/Se Si Bon'". Very unusual but extremely intoxicating......I love it!
I have always been of the opinion that the 1980's was a much better decade for music than the rather lackluster 1970's. The proof is in the pudding and of the 19 tunes featured on "Hard To Find 45's on CD, Vol 14: 70's and 80's Pop Classics" a total of 11 are from the 1980's. Now if I had to cast a vote for the best single of the decade I would without hesitation choose Philip Bailey's rousing duet with Phil Collins "Easy Lover" from 1984. This was not only one of the top radio hits of the decade but also one of the most popular videos in the early days of MTV. I never tire of this tune and I was thrilled to see it included here. Also high on my list for best songs of the decade are Matthew Wilder's "Break My Stride", Bertie Higgins "Key Largo" and Bruce Hornsby and the Range's #1 smash "The Way It is" from 1986. Each of these songs sound every bit as fresh and exciting today as they did a quarter century ago and all are featured in this collection. And a big thumbs up for the decision to include Champaign's smooth and mellow 1981 hit "How 'Bout Us". This is another song that is extremely difficult to come by on compact disc. Also, I would be remiss if I failed to mention the inclusion of Taco's fabulous 1983 version of Irving Berlin's "Puttin' On The Ritz". Once again, this is one of my favorite singles of the decade.
"Hard To Find 45's on CD, Vol 14: 70's and 80's Pop Classics" offers a robust 72 minutes of music. I was extremely impressed with the song selection and I thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of the 19 tracks. This is a disc I will enjoy for many years to come. Once again the sound quality was fabulous and as always I appreciate the 12 page booklet that features extensive liner notes and photos. This collection is top drawer in every respect and underscores the fact that Eric has become one of the best reissue labels in the world. Kudos to everyone who put this one together. Very highly recommended!