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Sony Music 100 Years: Soundtrack for a Century

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Gloria Estefan, Sony Music 100 Years: Soundtrack for a Century

Sony Music 100 Years: Soundtrack for a Century

Current Status:
In Season
Various Artists
Sony Music

We gave it a B+

Probably the most daunting millennial retrospective yet assembled, this behemoth attempts to distill a century of pop, rock, classical, jazz, blues, country, folk, show tunes, hip-hop, and more — onto 26 CDs. Since the selections were limited to Sony’s vaults, (admittedly voluminous, due in large part to its acquisition of the legendary Columbia catalog), the set is less than comprehensive (no Skip James, Beatles, or Hendrix). Still, there’s a wealth of engaging material on this impressively overstuffed sampler. You’ll need a week to absorb it all (if you parcel your listening time into four-CDs-per-day stretches), but it’s a fascinating journey. A hefty photo-and-essay-studded book is included to help armchair ethnomusicologists connect the dots between Roberts Johnson and Zimmerman — or find that elusive link between Bessie and Will Smith. B+