This superb boxed set took me back to my fifth form days at school when we were allowed to bring in our albums and play them on the common room record player. Being pretty much strapped for cash most of the time, samplers were very popular.
These were usually cheap and often double albums. They usually featured resident bands on labels like Vertigo, Island, who released the excellent "El Pea" and CBS who released the equally impressive "Fill Your Head With Rock" etc. They were a great way to hear a lot of music at a relatively cheap price.
We were very much in to progressive rock then and this album reflects the inventiveness of the era. Names you've heard of and names you haven't. Somehow I managed to have heard of the bands if not the music.
But while we have the giants of the genre such as ELP, Jethro Tull, The Nice, The Kinks, Fleetwood Mac, Uriah Heep and Atomic Rooster represented here, there are gems from lesser known names such as Black Widow (how we got away with playing a song called Come to the Sabbat with the RE master in the room beats me), early, pre Annie Haslam Rennaisance, Man (Always worth hearing) and Savoy Brown (Oh, the memories).
On board too are oddities by Mike Oldfield, Gothic folksters Comus, Pre T.Rex Tyrannosaurus Rex and, oh, look at this, even some Status Quo. Something for everyone then but maybe you need to be of a certain age to really appreciate this.
Or maybe you just need to appreciate well thought out and often intelligent music that didn't follow the set formula.
This 3 CD set is the best I've heard in amany a long year. Better even than the also superb Vertigo Retrospective. For a 50 something and rapidly aging male nurse, rejuvenation was suddenly discovered and I was 17 again. Please release more like this.