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A&M 50: The Anniversary Collection

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8/28/2012

Review

A&M 50: The Anniversary Collection is a modest 60-track anthology of Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss' diverse label. Chronologically speaking, it begins with Alpert and his Tijuana Brass' "The Lonely Bull [El Solo Toro]" and concludes with Barry White's "Practice What You Preach," so it could have been released in late 1994, a few years prior to the Polygram-Universal merger that gutted the label. This isn't billed as a definitive compilation. The liner notes refer to it as a "sampling," and it's formatted as such, with each disc of the CD version given a loose theme and some peculiar sequencing, like disc two, aka A Mission to Rock, which features Joe Jackson's not-very-rocking "Steppin' Out" (1982) between Humble Pie's "30 Days in the Hole" (1972) and the Flying Burrito Brothers' "Hot Burrito #1" (1969). More selections come from the '70s than the '60s and '80s combined, while the '90s get something of a short shrift, with neither the Gin Blossoms nor Blues Traveler represented. There's no obvious label aesthetic that runs through all of the music, but the A&M roster did have a singular assortment of critical and popular favorites, from Captain Beefheart (not included) to Carpenters, and from Milton Nascimento to Styx. Mainstream rap excepted, A&M covered every development and radio format in popular music -- including bossa nova, AM pop, folk-rock, singer/songwriter, soft rock, quiet storm, stadium rock, smooth jazz, new wave, and grunge -- with significant contributors. There is no way a generalist A&M overview could have been assembled without appealing to anyone other than a voracious pop music nerd. This certainly does the trick (and retailed for a price significantly lower than a full-price two-disc set). Maybe a second volume will have room for Beefheart, Melvin Van Peebles, the Tubes, the Blue Nile, Double, Intelligent Hoodlum, Swervedriver, and Vesta. ~ Andy Kellman
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 The Lonely Bull [El Solo Toro] Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass 2:17
  3. 2 Mas Que Nada Sergio Mendes 2:36
  4. 3 You Were on My Mind We Five 2:34
  5. 4 The More I See You Chris Montez 2:37
  6. 5 (Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher Rita Coolidge 4:1
  7. 6 A House Is Not a Home Burt Bacharach 3:44
  8. 7 (They Long to Be) Close to You Carpenters 3:41
  9. 8 Wild World Yusuf / Cat Stevens 3:21
  10. 9 Don't You Want Me The Human League 3:56
  11. 10 Love Will Keep Us Together Captain & Tennille 3:23
  12. 11 Whatcha Gonna Do Pablo Cruise 4:17
  13. 12 Sun Down Lani Hall 3:30
  14. 13 Baby Baby Amy Grant 3:57
  15. 14 I Just Wanna Stop Gino Vannelli 3:40
  16. 15 Luka Suzanne Vega 3:52
  17. 16 The Lady in Red Chris de Burgh 4:15
  18. 17 Love and Affection Joan Armatrading 4:30
  19. 18 Red Red Wine UB40 3:2
  20. 19 Diamonds and Rust Joan Baez 4:46
  21. 20 Rise Herb Alpert 3:52
  22. 21 All I Wanna Do Sheryl Crow 4:33
  23. 1 Roxanne The Police 3:12
  24. 2 The Letter Joe Cocker 4:33
  25. 3 All Right Now Free 4:14
  26. 4 Jackie Blue Ozark Mountain Daredevils 4:9
  27. 5 Thirty Days in the Hole Humble Pie 3:56
  28. 6 Steppin' Out Joe Jackson 4:22
  29. 7 Hot Burrito #1 The Flying Burrito Brothers 3:38
  30. 8 Conquistador Procol Harum 4:14
  31. 9 Come Sail Away Styx 3:7
  32. 10 I Got You Split Enz 3:28
  33. 11 Tempted Squeeze 3:57
  34. 12 Show Me the Way Peter Frampton 3:33
  35. 13 Run to You Bryan Adams 3:54
  36. 14 Love Hurts Nazareth 3:52
  37. 15 The Logical Song Supertramp 4:8
  38. 16 Caught Up in You .38 Special 4:37
  39. 17 Don't You (Forget About Me) Simple Minds 4:21
  40. 18 Black Hole Sun Soundgarden 4:32
  41. 19 If You Love Somebody Set Them Free Sting 4:15
  42. 1 (Everytime I Turn Around) Back in Love Again L.T.D. 4:45
  43. 2 Black Pearl Sonny Charles & the Checkmates, Ltd. 3:26
  44. 3 Europa Gato Barbieri 4:14
  45. 4 I'll Be Good to You The Brothers Johnson 3:31
  46. 5 Everybody Plays the Fool Aaron Neville 4:28
  47. 6 Will It Go Round in Circles Billy Preston 3:45
  48. 7 Bridges (Travessia) Milton Nascimento 3:49
  49. 8 Feels So Good Chuck Mangione 3:29
  50. 9 Livin' It Up (Friday Night) Bell & James 3:19
  51. 10 Wave Antônio Carlos Jobim 2:51
  52. 11 On the Wings of Love Jeffrey Osborne 4:1
  53. 12 Summertime Paul Desmond 3:53
  54. 13 Stuff Like That Quincy Jones 3:7
  55. 14 Secret Lovers Atlantic Starr 4:23
  56. 15 Crazay Jesse Johnson 4:2
  57. 16 Amorous Cat Stan Getz 4:58
  58. 17 Finally Ce Ce Peniston 4:9
  59. 18 Practice What You Preach Barry White 3:54
  60. 19 Skokiaan 3:38
  61. 20 When I Think of You Janet Jackson 3:55

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