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Music to tailgate to

Pop Music

Now That's What I Call Tailgate Anthems (Universal/SONY).

Wait just a minute here. This is a great idea for the beginning of football season, you have to admit---"18 Crowd Shakin' Sports Anthems." Unfortunately, it is so hung up on a pseudo-fair "one-to-a-customer" ground rule the disc doesn't begin to pay adequate tribute to one of the most hilarious ironies in the entire history of popular music: that two -- and perhaps three -- of the greatest stadium and arena sports anthems of all time came from the same guys. And those guys, Queen, were led by the bisexual and, however briefly, most flamboyantly campy singer of his time, Freddy Mercury (who, in another time entirely, set the world on its ear in 1974 by answering an interviewer inquiring about his sexuality "I'm as gay as a daffodil, my dear.")

And yet Queen and Freddie's immortal single combining "We Will Rock You" and "We Are The Champions" is, without question, the all-time stadium statement from rock and roll. Add Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" and you can't get around the fact that no one understood testosterone-filled stadiums and arenas like Queen.

All you'll find on this anthology though is "We Will Rock You." The other two parts of the Queen's classic Macho Trilogy are missing.

While we're at it, you won't find Gary Glitter's once-ubiquitous "Rock and Roll Part One" either because Glitter, after the world-conquering fame of his bombast (Channel 7 once used it to promote Irv Weinstein) turned out, in later life, to be a convicted pedophile and, at last report, was sentenced to 16 years in prison after evading authorities all over Southeast Asia.

I suppose you have to give this anthology some credit do doing it right. On the same disc as "We Will Rock You" is Kiss' "Rock and Roll All Night," and Survivor's "Eye of the Tiger". Think of them as yet another triology of macho bombast. But hey, what is the Black Eyed Peas' "I Got a Feeling" doing in a collection of Tailgate Anthems? Pink's "Get This Party Started" is all very nice but come on now, it will never come close to the all-time musical celebration of football night on TV, Hank Williams Jr.'s "All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over Tonight." And that's not here either.

2 1/2 stars (out of four)

 

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