For more than 30 years, Casey Kasem has been counting down the hits. Now, Casey reaches into the archives to bring you rare and exciting performances from music's legendary artists.
Calling it a "goldmine" is a stretch, but there are certainly some gems to be found among the five discs contained in host Casey Kasem's celebration of the popular-music explosion of the 1960s (the five programs themselves were compiled in 1987). There isn't a whole lot of music--each disc has less than a dozen full clips (The San Francisco Sound has just six), the longest clocks in at under 50 minutes, and there's no bonus material. Nor is the quality uniformly high, in terms of both performance (all too frequently lip-synced) and audiovisual elements. Still, there is a greatness here, including fascinating (and often rare, as advertised) live performances by Traffic and the Kinks, both on The British Invasion; Jimi Hendrix, the Doors, and the Who (The Sixties); Van Morrison (The San Francisco Sound), and others. The Soul Years is the best of the lot, with fantastic clips of James Brown, Aretha Franklin, and Otis Redding, while at the other end of the spectrum is Elvis: The Echo Will Never Die, which adds little of interest to the Presley legacy. As for Kasem, well, he's always been a bit on the square, smarmy side, but while he often fails to mention the date or origin of a particular clip, he does supply some context, social, musical, and political. In the end, Casey Kasem's Rock n' Roll Goldmine Boxed Set is unlikely to change the world. But at its price, it's a pretty good buy. --Sam Graham