Six years ago, in a moment of zealous devotion, Richard Foos, president of Santa Monica-based Rhino Records, swore that he would never sell out the '60s: "I despise the music of the 1970s," he snarled.
But nostalgia by any other name is just as profitable. So it was not too surprising to notice in music stores a series of compact discs called "Have a Nice Day: Super Hits of the '70s" and bearing the Rhino label. If you must betray your beliefs, you might as well do it in a big way, and Rhino has--15 volumes of pop hits by obscure and semi-obscure artists released between January, 1970, and December, 1975. If you'd forgotten the lyrics to "Motorcycle Mama" by Sailcat or "I'd Love You to Want Me" by Lobo, this is your big chance.
Foos is not only unrepentant, he is also delighted to talk about '70s music. "The more time there is between when music first comes out and when it's reissued, the more you can look at it in a different perspective."
Besides which, the music sells like hot cakes--more than 25,000 of each volume this year. It has obviously been a personal turning point for Foos. "Sometimes we think '60s music is the only music anyone would get nostalgic about," he muses. "But people in their 20s and 30s are just as nostalgic for the music they heard when they were teens."
Well, except for the Village People.