Platform shoes. Vietnam. Afros. Women's lib. Bell bottoms. Black Power. Roots. Lava lamps. Watergate. Soul Train.

Platform shoes. Vietnam. Afros. Women's lib. Bell bottoms. Black Power. Roots. Lava lamps. Watergate. Soul Train. To truly fathom the dichotomies characterizing the '70s, you had to be there—or, the next best thing, which is purchasing this six-disc boxed set. Whether reflecting social commentary, laying down a love thing, or getting a groove on, '70s soul was a kaleidoscope of creative styles—and that's what's on display here. There's funk (Sly & the Family Stone), sensuality (Marvin Gaye), social messengers (Edwin Starr), live bands (Earth, Wind & Fire), blue-eyed soul (Average White Band), Latin flavors (Malo), and the raunchy (Millie Jackson). It's all packaged in a replica of an 8-track tape case, complemented by a 100-page book that includes scene-setting liner notes, a track-by-track annotation, and a slang dictionary. Right on!—GM

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