Album Details

October 12, 1999
Sony Music Distribution
Pop/Rock, Singer/Songwriter, Soft Rock, Traditional Pop, Soul, Funk, Folk-Rock, Psychedelic, Early R&B, Contemporary Pop/Rock, British Invasion

Album 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, 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 51-track Pop Music: The Golden Era 1951-1975 is impressive. Columbia and its subsidiaries may have moved slowly into rock & roll, having their first rock hits in the early '60s, but that actually makes this collection more effective, since you can hear traditional pop give way to rock and soul by the end of the first disc. And that's the best thing about Pop Music: The Golden Era -- it's a genuine narrative, beginning with Frank Sinatra and Tony Bennett and ending with Patti Labelle and Earth, Wind & Fire. Between those bookends are pop classics of all stripes, from a head-spinning array of artists. Sure, it's possible to spot omissions from that list, but it gives the general feel of pop's progression, and it offers nothing but good listening as it does so. And that's a testament not only to the artists, but to Columbia, Epic, and Sony, since few other labels have captured the times quite so well.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine, Rovi

Track Listing

  1. Birth of the Blues
  2. Because of You
  3. Jezebel
  4. Come On-A My House
  5. Cry
  6. You Belong to Me
  7. The Yellow Rose of Texas
  8. Mack the Knife
  9. Standing on the Corner
  10. Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)
  11. Singing the Blues
  12. Chances Are
  13. Summertime, Summertime
  14. Theme from "A Summer Place"
  15. Moon River
  16. Bless You
  17. I Left My Heart in San Francisco
  18. Blue Velvet
  19. People
  20. Ruby Baby
  21. The Monkey Time
  22. Hey Little Cobra
  23. Before and After
  24. For Your Love
  25. Down in the Boondocks
  26. Kicks
  27. Like a Rolling Stone
  28. Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)
  29. Red Rubber Ball
  30. Sunshine Superman
  31. Don't You Care
  32. San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Flowers in Your Hair)
  33. Carrie Anne
  34. Itchycoo Park
  35. Stoned Soul Picnic
  36. Time of the Season
  37. Young Girl
  38. You've Made Me So Very Happy
  39. Hot Fun in the Summertime
  40. Evil Ways
  41. Bridge Over Troubled Water
  42. 25 or 6 to 4
  43. Me and Bobby McGee
  44. Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)
  45. I Can See Clearly Now
  46. Your Mama Don't Dance
  47. I Can Help
  48. Love Train
  49. That Lady, Pt. 1
  50. Lady Marmalade
  51. Shining Star