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Pop Music: The Golden Era 1951-1975

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10/12/1999

Review

To commemorate the end of the century, Sony Music assembled the 26-disc box set Sony Music 100 Years: Soundtrack for a Century. The title was imposing, as was the idea behind it -- to chronicle the life of the oldest record label in the music industry. To be clear, Sony Music has not existed for 100 years, but the heart of its catalog, Columbia Records, was founded early in the 20th century. Sony realized that most consumers wouldn't invest in a 26-disc box, so they simultaneously released a series of 12 genre-specific, double-disc sets that culled highlights from the box. As it turns out, the double-disc sets are every bit as impressive as the big box, perhaps more so, because they're easily digestible. Even so, the scope of the 51-track Pop Music: The Golden Era 1951-1975 is impressive. Columbia and its subsidiaries may have moved slowly into rock & roll, having their first rock hits in the early '60s, but that actually makes this collection more effective, since you can hear traditional pop give way to rock and soul by the end of the first disc. And that's the best thing about Pop Music: The Golden Era -- it's a genuine narrative, beginning with Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett and ending with Patti Labelle and Earth, Wind & Fire. Between those bookends are pop classics of all stripes, from a head-spinning array of artists. Sure, it's possible to spot omissions from that list, but it gives the general feel of pop's progression, and it offers nothing but good listening as it does so. And that's a testament not only to the artists, but to Columbia, Epic, and Sony, since few other labels have captured the times quite so well. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Birth of the Blues Frank Sinatra 3:27
  3. 2 Because of You Tony Bennett 2:55
  4. 3 Jezebel Frankie Laine 3:9
  5. 4 Come On-A My House Rosemary Clooney 1:56
  6. 5 Cry Johnnie Ray 3:2
  7. 6 You Belong to Me Jo Stafford 3:3
  8. 7 The Yellow Rose of Texas Mitch Miller 2:59
  9. 8 Mack the Knife Louis Armstrong 3:21
  10. 9 Standing on the Corner The Four Lads 2:50
  11. 10 Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be) Doris Day 2:5
  12. 11 Singing the Blues Guy Mitchell 2:25
  13. 12 Chances Are Johnny Mathis 3:0
  14. 13 Summertime, Summertime The Jamies 1:58
  15. 14 Theme from "A Summer Place" Percy Faith & His Orchestra 2:23
  16. 15 Moon River Andy Williams 2:45
  17. 16 Bless You Tony Orlando 2:6
  18. 17 I Left My Heart in San Francisco Tony Bennett 2:49
  19. 18 Blue Velvet Bobby Vinton 2:47
  20. 19 People Barbra Streisand 3:39
  21. 20 Ruby Baby Dion 2:33
  22. 21 The Monkey Time Major Lance 2:45
  23. 22 Hey Little Cobra The Rip Chords 1:59
  24. 23 Before and After Chad & Jeremy 2:40
  25. 24 For Your Love The Yardbirds 2:30
  26. 25 Down in the Boondocks Billy Joe Royal 2:32
  27. 26 Kicks Paul Revere & the Raiders 2:26
  28. 27 Like a Rolling Stone Bob Dylan 6:6
  29. 1 Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season) The Byrds 3:33
  30. 2 Red Rubber Ball The Cyrkle 2:16
  31. 3 Sunshine Superman Donovan 3:16
  32. 4 Don't You Care The Buckinghams 2:26
  33. 5 San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair) Scott McKenzie 2:56
  34. 6 Carrie Anne The Hollies 2:53
  35. 7 Itchycoo Park Small Faces 2:47
  36. 8 Stoned Soul Picnic Laura Nyro 3:47
  37. 9 Time of the Season The Zombies 3:28
  38. 10 Young Girl Gary Puckett & the Union Gap 3:5
  39. 11 You've Made Me So Very Happy Blood, Sweat & Tears 3:27
  40. 12 Hot Fun in the Summertime Sly & The Family Stone 2:39
  41. 13 Evil Ways Santana 2:54
  42. 14 Bridge Over Troubled Water Simon & Garfunkel 4:51
  43. 15 25 or 6 to 4 Chicago 2:55
  44. 16 Me and Bobby McGee Janis Joplin 4:27
  45. 17 Brandy (You're a Fine Girl) Looking Glass 3:0
  46. 18 I Can See Clearly Now Johnny Nash 2:40
  47. 19 Your Mama Don't Dance Loggins & Messina 2:47
  48. 20 I Can Help Billy Swan 2:56
  49. 21 Love Train The O'Jays 2:56
  50. 22 That Lady, Pt. 1 The Isley Brothers 3:12
  51. 23 Lady Marmalade Labelle 3:16
  52. 24 Shining Star Earth, Wind & Fire 2:50

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