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Rock: Train Kept a Rollin'

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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, no matter how impressive it was, 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 40-track Rock: Train Kept a Rollin' is impressive. Columbia didn't really have a lot of rock & roll acts in the late '50s and early '60s -- the record industry was different then, and the label was a little too established to endorse something that was still seen as a fad (not to mention that most rock & rollers were on independent upstarts). Appropriately, Rock: Train Kept a Rollin' begins in 1964 with Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues" -- not only the moment Dylan went rock on record, but one of the first true rock records on the label. From that point on, things were different for Columbia and its subsidiaries, and they eventually amassed a catalog filled with commercial and artistic heavy-hitters, such as the Byrds, the Yardbirds, Moby Grape, Jeff Beck, Sly & the Family Stone, Santana, Mott the Hoople, the Stooges, Bruce Springsteen, Boston, Aerosmith, Cheap Trick, Meat Loaf, Elvis Costello, the Clash, Journey, Midnight Oil, Pink Floyd, Ozzy Osbourne, Soul Asylum, Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains, Rage Against the Machine and Oasis. Those bands, along with a handful of others, make Train Kept a Rollin' an eclectic listen, to say the least, but the remarkable thing is, not only is it really entertaining, but it winds up being pretty representative of nearly four decades of rock history. True, it's not definitive, but it does something better -- it captures the feel and the evolution of rock over the years, and it does so by drawing from a handful of related labels. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Subterranean Homesick Blues Bob Dylan 2:18
  3. 2 Mr. Tambourine Man The Byrds 2:21
  4. 3 Why Do I Cry The Remains 2:48
  5. 4 Over, Under, Sideways, Down The Yardbirds 2:22
  6. 5 Omaha Moby Grape 2:20
  7. 6 Down on Me Big Brother & the Holding Company 2:3
  8. 7 Time Has Come Today The Chambers Brothers 3:32
  9. 8 I Ain't Superstitious Jeff Beck 4:53
  10. 9 Albatross Fleetwood Mac 3:10
  11. 10 I Got a Line on You Spirit 2:39
  12. 11 I Want to Take You Higher Sly & The Family Stone 3:3
  13. 12 Black Magic Woman Santana 3:16
  14. 13 All the Young Dudes Mott The Hoople 3:31
  15. 14 Raw Power The Stooges 4:16
  16. 15 Frankenstein Edgar Winter 3:26
  17. 16 Born to Run Bruce Springsteen 4:28
  18. 17 Carry on Wayward Son Kansas 3:37
  19. 18 More Than a Feeling Boston 3:28
  20. 19 (Don't Fear) The Reaper Blue Öyster Cult 3:51
  21. 20 Walk This Way Aerosmith 3:30
  22. 21 Cat Scratch Fever Ted Nugent 3:5
  23. 22 Barracuda Heart 3:28
  24. 23 Surrender Cheap Trick 4:14
  25. 1 Paradise by the Dashboard Light Meat Loaf 5:54
  26. 2 Paradise by the Dashboard Light Meat Loaf 5:57
  27. 3 Pump It Up Elvis Costello 3:13
  28. 4 London Calling The Clash 3:18
  29. 5 Breaking the Law Judas Priest 2:33
  30. 6 Pretty in Pink The Psychedelic Furs 3:58
  31. 7 Don't Stop Believin' Journey 4:9
  32. 8 Beds Are Burning Midnight Oil 4:14
  33. 9 Learning to Fly Pink Floyd 4:50
  34. 10 Cult of Personality Living Colour 4:52
  35. 11 No More Tears Ozzy Osbourne 5:54
  36. 12 Runaway Train Soul Asylum 4:25
  37. 13 Black Pearl Jam 5:44
  38. 14 Would? Alice In Chains 3:27
  39. 15 Killing in the Name Rage Against the Machine 5:12
  40. 16 Wonderwall Oasis 4:19
  41. 17 Got the Life Korn 3:44
  42. 18 Love Sick Bob Dylan 5:20

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