Ira Robbins
April 24, 1992 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Tacky but lovable, Sonny & Cher built their substantial pop career as America’s ”hippie” sweethearts on homely singing voices and with-it lyrics as ludicrous as the bell-bottoms they sported. The Beat Goes On summarizes the couple’s mid-’60s collaboration with 19 items besides their two biggest hits, ”I Got You Babe” and the title tune. Excessive? Only a bit. The music is surprisingly inventive, and Ken Barnes’ wryly irreverent liner notes help amplify the pair’s accomplishments and mitigate their embarrassments. B? Throughout the ’70s, War?s rhythmic stew of soul, jazz, and rock barraged the charts with progressive hits — like ”Why Can’t We Be Friends?” — that still sound fresh today. Given the group’s commercial success and artistic quality, The Best of War…and More is inexplicably shoddy, an incomplete collection without so much as liner notes or a photo of the group. C+? Five years after the meter ran out on Twisted Sister, Big Hits and Nasty Cuts revisits 10 of the cartoonish group’s catchier hard-rock anthems, adding live tracks and self-righteous liner notes that fail to acknowledge an obvious debt to both Kiss and Slade (or explain why two of the band’s albums are not presented here). Fans may groove, but a few good tunes do not a compilation make. C-

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