Soul of the 70s: Original Radio Hits or Album Versions?

I’m a compulsive reader of the comments at the bottom of the page. Some people can’t look away from a bad wreck, and I can’t help scrolling down to see what the trolls and shills have to say (in the spirit of full disclosure, I admit that I read the juiciest ones aloud in the voice of Comic Book Guy from The Simpsons: “Worst. Comment. Evar.”). With that admission out of the way, I can tell you that a post on Time Life’s Soul of the 70s 10 CD Box Set page set me to thinking.

A little background: Soul of the ’70s is a Time Life CD collection of 150 songs on 10 CDs (you can upgrade to the deluxe set of 270 songs on 18 CDs if you have a serious craving for more soul in your life). The set focuses on the Golden Era of soul music – funky, sweet and hot – which we all grooved to on the radio, for the most part. Sure, a song would get under your skin to the point where you just had to buy the record, but hey, most of us could only dream of the comprehensive music library that would have ALL the soul music we loved. We had to keep tuning in to our favorite soul station, hoping to hear Marvin Gaye asking “What’s Going On” or Stevie Wonder singing to his “Cherie Amour”.

Soul of the 70s

So while most of the comments are 4 or 5 stars from satisfied customers, metfan from Long Island rated Soul of the 70s only one star. His gripe? Some songs are original radio versions, as opposed to the longer versions some artists released on the album. He goes on to admit that people want the songs the way they heard them on the radio, but he feels the artist’s album version is superior. He suggests that we’d be happier if we shopped for full-length hits on anthologies.

I consider myself a real soul music lover, but that would be an investment of time and money I’m not likely to make. Besides, I want the exact song I sang along with back in the 70s, even if it is the radio hit version. And I really want the liner notes booklet by Nelson George.

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