Picks and Pans Review: Keep the Fire Burnin'

updated 01/09/1995 at 01:00 AM EST

originally published 01/09/1995 01:00AM

Dan Hartman

Don't worry if the name doesn't ring a bell. Even to pop music's cognoscenti, Dan Hartman's diverse confections—which include "Frankenstein," the Edgar Winter Group's No. 1 hit from 1973, and "I Can Dream About You," a solo shot of Motown-style '80s soul—remain more familiar than this late singer-songwriter-bassist-producer's own name. Though this posthumous compilation of vintage recordings by Hartman, who died at 43 last March of an AIDS-related illness, underscores his versatility and studio finesse, it presents him as a bland tenor with a knack for churning out picture-perfect hooks. Unfortunately, Keep the Fire Burnin' is barely a comprehensive best-of. Instead of "Frankenstein," you get his 1978 solo version of "Free Ride," a lesser Hartman contribution to the Edgar Winter Group's legacy. Also missing is "Love Sensation," the 1980 disco classic that launched Marky Mark's career in 1991 as a sample on the erstwhile rapper's chart-topping "Good Vibrations" single. But then again, who needs the reminder? (CHAOS/Columbia)

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