Various Maximum Cowbell

Is there a tribute idea that hasn’t been exhausted in these lean times of compilation creativity? Not any more — all hail the mighty cowbell and its rightful place in pop/rock history. This novel idea resuscitates more cowbell hits in one fell swoop than ever thought possible, the only glaring omission being the Stones’ "Honky Tonk Woman.” From such disparate chart-busters as Blue Oyster Cult’s "Don’t Fear the Reaper” to Wild Cherry’s "Play That Funky Music”; from Mountain’s "Mississippi Queen” to Harry Nilsson’s "Coconut,” you can’t help but wonder why you didn’t alter your career path to specialise in the only instrument that doesn’t leverage the Berklee College of Music for rock’n’roll fame (pity the cowbell players are not credited here). Granted those building this generous 60-minute set didn’t make the distinction between actual cowbells versus riding the ring of a cymbal hub, but that defeats the purpose. Here is your multi-purpose, nostalgic summer party platter guaranteed to launch more Bic lighters than Ozzfest ever did. (Sony BMG)