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  Listen Up! 5/3/02 Listen Up!

Friday, May 3, 2002

Various Artists, "Lynne Me Your Ears: A Tribute to the Music of Jeff Lynne," Not Lame Recording Company. Disc one of this two disc set has a pretty high hit-to-miss ratio, with at least 12 of the 16 cuts sounding excellent. The source material is all terrific; Lynne has to be one of the most underrated songwriters of the last 35 years. Paying homage to him are some of my favorite musicians, many of whom can't buy a record deal anymore. Here's Mitch Easter, Peter Holsapple, and Richard Barone, for example, all of them proving more than worthy of inheriting Lynne's legacy. Lesser known names like Jefferey Foskett and Pat Buchanan sound pretty good, too. There's only one out and out failure, Jamie Hoover's horrid rendition of "Handle With Care," in which he tries to sing like all the Traveling Wilburys.

Various Artists, "Phat Trax: The Best of Old School," Rhino Records. This is an amazing compilation of early 80s funk, with some of my favorite songs from that era, including "Cutie Pie" by One Way, "Don't Stop the Music" by Yarborough and Peoples," and "777-9311" by the Time. Inexplicably, it ends with Otis Redding and Carla Thomas doing "Tramp," a great record, to be sure, but one 15 years too soon to fit comfortably with this collection.

--Steve Pick



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