Ultimate '50s R&B Smashes!; Ultimate '60s Soul Smashes!; Ultimate '60s Soul Sensations!; Ultimate '70s R&B Smashes! | EW.com

Music

Ultimate '50s R&B Smashes! VARIOUS ARTISTS Ultimate '50s R&B Smashes!; Ultimate '60s Soul Smashes!; Ultimate '60s Soul Sensations!; Ultimate '70s R&B Smashes! ...Ultimate '50s R&B Smashes! VARIOUS ARTISTS Ultimate '50s R&B Smashes!; Ultimate '60s Soul Smashes!; Ultimate '60s Soul Sensations!; Ultimate '70s R&B Smashes! ...1998-03-20

VARIOUS ARTISTS Ultimate ’50s R&B Smashes!; Ultimate ’60s Soul Smashes!; Ultimate ’60s Soul Sensations!; Ultimate ’70s R&B Smashes! (Rhino/Atlantic) If any label can claim to represent the best of black pop from the late ’40s through the ’70s, it’s Ahmet Ertegun’s Atlantic. Here, as part of the label’s 50th anniversary, are four CDs stuffed with nothing but high points. The ’50s volume runs from Stick McGhee’s ‘49 hit ”Drinkin’ Wine Spo-Dee-O-Dee” to Ray Charles’ ”What’d I Say.” The two ’60s volumes give you the best of Otis, Aretha, and a dozen other champs. Only the ’70s volume is less than a hundred percent potent, starting out great with Clarence Carter’s ”Patches” but sliding (as did the decade) into generic disco/funk (Slave, Mass Production). Buy all four for your 8-year-old and help close the generation gap. ’50s R&B: B+ ’60s Soul Smashes: B+ ’60s Soul Sensations: B+ ’70s R&B Smashes: B