This CD compilation is the only ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY one I own. Back in the 1990s, it seemed like everyone was putting out CD compilations from Rolling Stone to Starbucks. Some of these selections don’t strike me as “Rock Anthems.” Take America’s “Horse With No Name” for example. Or Gary Wright’s “Dream Weaver.” I confess my ears have been burned out by Don McLean’s “American Pie” which was played unceasingly back in the day. Fortunately, this set is redeemed by one of Maggie Mason’s favorites: Iron Butterfly’s “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida.” What do you think of these “Rock Anthems”? GRADE: B



1-1–Free All Right Now Written-By – Fraser*, Rodgers*

1-2–Rod Stewart Maggie May Written-By – Quittenton*, Stewart*

1-3–Elton John Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me Written-By – Taupin*, John*

1-4–Lynyrd Skynyrd Sweet Home Alabama Written-By – King*, Rossington*, Van Zant*

1-5–The Guess Who American Woman Written-By – Cummings*, Peterson*, Kale*, Bachman*

1-6–The Allman Brothers *Ramblin’ Man Written-By – Betts*

1-7–Robert Palmer A ddicted To Love Written-By – Palmer*

1-8–America (2) Horse With No Name Written-By – Bunnell*

1-9–Humble Pie Hot ‘N’ Nasty Written-By – Clempson*, Ridley*, Shirley*, Marriott*

1-10–Golden Earring Radar Love Written-By – Hay*, Kooymans*

1-11–Boston More Than A Feeling Written-By – Scholz*

1-12–Rick Derringer Rock & Roll Hoochie Koo Written-By – Derringer*


2-1–Blood, Sweat And Tears And When I Die Written-By – Nyro*

2-2–Grand Funk Railroad We’re An American Band Written-By – Brewer*

2-3–Don McLean American Pie Written-By – McLean*

2-4–Quiet Riot Cum On Feel The Noize Written-By – Jim LeaHolder*

2-5–Nazareth (2) Love Hurts Written-By – Bryant*

2-6–Bachman-Turner Overdrive Takin’ Care Of Business Written-By – Bachman*

2-7–Gary Wright Dream Weaver Written-By – Wright*

2-8–Foreigner Cold As Ice Written-By – Grammatico*, Jones*

2-9–Iron Butterfly In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida Written-By – Ingle*

2-10–Jefferson Airplane White Rabbit Written-By – Grace Slick

2-11–Alice Cooper School’s Out Written-By – Dunaway*, Buxton*, Bruce*, Smith*, Furnier*

2-12–Three Dog Night Joy To The World Written-By – Axton*

39 thoughts on “ROCK ANTHEMS [2-CD Set]

  1. Jeff Smith

    “I confess my ears have been burned out by Don McLean’s ‘American Pie’ which was played unceasingly back in the day.”

    Almost all of these songs were played unceasingly back in the day, why pick on just one?

    1. george Post author

      Jeff, there were local DJs who played “American Pie” four or five times in a row. The result–for me at least–was Song Exhaustion.

  2. Steve Oerkfitz

    Rock anthems? When I think of rock anthems I think of Queen’s We Will Rock You or Springsteen’s Born In the USA. This is just another collection of mostly over familiar songs. Not too many bad ones although I never could stand Gran Funk Railroad, Boston, Foreigner, or Gary Wright. American Pie (one hit wonder)was played to death. And I bet this is the short version of the Iron Butterfly (one hit wonder) song. Quiet Riot(one hit wonder) does a cover song that was better by the original artist Slade. And Humble Pie’s selection seems odd. They had better known songs that would have been better choices like I Don’t Need No Doctor or 30 Days in the Hole. And Jefferson Airplane seems out of place here. This is a pretty bland collection of mostly over played songs that If I never hear them again that would be fine with me. I give this a C.

  3. Patti Abbott

    I wonder, if on the whole, men seem more knowledgeable about rock music than women.
    From DINER
    “- Laurence ‘Shrevie’ Schreiber: Ok, now ask me what’s on the flip side.
    – Beth Schreiber: Why?
    – Laurence ‘Shrevie’ Schreiber: Just, just ask me what’s on the flip side, ok?
    – Beth Schreiber: What is on the flip side?
    – Laurence ‘Shrevie’ Schreiber: Hey, Hey, Hey, 1958. Specialty Records. See? You don’t ask me things like that, do you? No! You never ask me what’s on the flip side.”

    Daniel Stern – Laurence ‘Shrevie’ Schreiber
    Ellen Barkin – Beth Schreiber

      1. Jeff Meyerson

        True. I can name you flip sides too! Not the obscure ones like in that DINER scene, but certainly I know some Beatles and Four Seasons and Beach Boys flip sides. For instance: Jackie’s favorite Beach Boys song was “Don’t Worry, Baby.” the flip side of “I Get Around.”

      2. george Post author

        Jeff, I’m a fan of both “I Get Around” and “Don’t Worry, Baby.” In the 1960s, I liked just about every song The Beach Boys brought out.

    1. Steve Oerkfitz

      Patti, not just rock music. I’ve never known women to be as passionate about jazz or classical either. Or sports statistics.

  4. Michael Padgett

    As I do with most of these compilations, even the OK ones like this, I wonder what the intended audience is. I sorta like more of these songs than I hate, but I wouldn’t buy it. If you gave me a copy I wouldn’t play it. People who lived through that era have likely heard enough of them. And what about people who didn’t? Are they thinking “hmmm, wonder what Humble Pie sounds like”.

    1. george Post author

      Michael, like you I wonder who the intended audience for ROCK ANTHEMS was. Apparently, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY thought this was a winning collection of songs.

  5. Jerry House

    Some good songs here, some no so good, and some bothersome earworms. I wouldn’t spend whatever little money it cost to buy this one, although if I received it as a gift, I would happily accept it while thinking to myself, “You cheap bastard!”.

    1. george Post author

      Jerry, in the stacks of complication albums I am slowing working my way through, ROCK ANTHEMS stands out for its odd selections. I don’t remember how much I paid for ROCK ANTHEMS but I mostly buy them for chump change.

      1. george Post author

        Steve, most of our record stores have closed. People donate their old CD collections to the Salvation Army and Goodwill thrift stores. Or give the CDs to Library Book Sales. Sometimes I score a shopping bag of CDs for a few dollars at the end of a Library Book Sale. The CDs I don’t like I re-donate for the next Sale.

  6. maggie mason

    I really liked most of the songs on this collection. I know all but one by title (Hot n Nasty?)

    Gadda da Vida isn’t one of my favorites, though George -either short or long version. The Elton John, Blood Sweat & tears, and Jeff. Airplane choices wouldn’t be what I would select for them. Agree about American Pie, don’t care if I ever hear that again.

    We will Rock You and Born in the USA should be on here, for sure. That they’re not makes the B grade justified.

    If I’d seen this at a library sale, etc., I’d have snatched it up for sure.

    1. george Post author

      Maggie, when you commented on FLOWER POWER, you wrote: “I was never a true hippie, but maybe hippie adjacent. I agree with Steve’s list, but would add Canned Heat (if only for ‘going up the country’) and Iron Butterfly, though only for the short version of gadda da vida.” That led me to think you were an Iron Butterfly fan.

      1. maggie mason

        I see I was commenting more on the hippie culture than the song. The short version was acceptable, but it really helped define the 60’s, more than (to me) entertain.

        I’ve never really been too much of a fan of slow music love the beat of the music, harks back to my dancin’ days

  7. Jeff Meyerson

    Hey, I like “American Pie.” okay? I do agree with you – characterizing “Dream Weaver” as a Rock Anthem is ludicrous, as is “Horse With No Name.” It’s a so so collection, not many songs I could say that I really like, but not many I hate either. If I found it in the basement laundry room, I might bring it upstairs for a listen, but probably not. Or at least, I wouldn’t add it to our collection.

  8. Deb

    A bit of a mish-mash to say the least—and most of these artists did much more “anthemic” work than what is on this CD. Elton John’s “Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me” as opposed to say, “Saturday Night’s All Right for Fighting”? Jefferson Airplane’s “White Rabbit” rather than “Somebody to Love”? I do love “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” though, but I’m assuming the version here is not the epic 17-minute long album version beloved of FM radio in my youth.

    1. george Post author

      Deb, you’re right about “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” on this disc being the “AM radio-friendly” version instead of the classic 17-minute FM radio version. I agree with you that “Somebody to Love” is much more of an anthem than “White Rabbit” (although I love both songs).

      1. Steve Oerkfitz

        During the years of free form radio DJ’s liked playing the long version of In A Gadda Da Vida so they could take a bathroom break.

  9. Dan

    “PIE” was more popular with DJs than the Public. At 8+ minutes it gave ’em a break they hadn’t enjoyed since Marty Robbins’ EL PASO

  10. Patti Abbott

    Deb might be the exception to my statement. Probably right, Steve. I prefer words to music. And that doesn’t mean lyrics.

      1. Deb

        Why, thank you, George and Patti.

        I was going to say (before your compliments turned my head) that, based on my admittedly unscientific observations, whether because of biological or social factors, men do seem more likely to perform “deep dives” into the things that interest them, so that learning the B-sides to big hits or learning the names of all the players in a band is just part of liking the music. Whereas (again, anecdotal observation) women tend to learn a little bit about everything that interests them, but that interest is not as likely to compel them to discover absolutely everything about a particular subject. I always say I have a very broad, but rather shallow, pop culture knowledge: I know a little bit about a lot of things; but there are very few things about which I know a lot.

  11. Rick Robinson

    American Pie was many decades ago, and you still hate it? Carry a grudge much? I have the CD with the “long version” (the unedited version) on it and I have played it loud–very loud– many, many times, not always with earphones, to my then neighbors discomfort (bad me).

    I like a lot of the songs here, but rock anthem sounds like it should be fast, loud and heavy on the bass and drums. I like “White Rabbit” a lot, like the whole Surrealistic Pillow album, but 3/5 of a Mile would have been a better pick here.

    The Grand Fink is a good choice.

  12. Jeff Meyerson

    Or even better, “Time Has Come Today” by The Chambers Brothers.

    “My soul has been psychedelicized.”


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