My Bone With Greatest Hits, Best Of's, and Anthologies


14 avr. 2008, 4h06m

I took a count today of all the retrospectives that i own, which totaled to about 12 (i didn't include some either because i am True Fan anyways or am planning on replacing that retrospective with an actual album). They were -

1. Best of Free (Free)
2. Best of Kansas (Kansas)
3. Best of the Doobies (The Doobie Brothers)
4. A Decade of Hits (The Allman Brothers Band)
*5. A Decade of Steely Dan (Steely Dan)
6. Greatest Hits (Grand Funk Railroad)
7. Greatest Hits (Journey)
8. Greatest Hits (Styx)
9. Nothing But the Best (White Heart)
10. Rotten Apples: Greatest Hits (The Smashing Pumpkins)
11. The Very Best and Beyond (Foreigner)
12. Young Hearts: Complete Greatest Hits (Steve Miller Band)

Now i'm going to explain my problem with GH's and the like. A GH is (obviously) a great way to introduce a listener to a particular artist's strongest songs and/or musical career. They are provided with the hope that maybe the listener will be interested in the albums that have been released previously and thusly go ahead and purchase them. Also, Best Of's save the listener from having to buy the "bad" or "weak" songs as well as the good ones from any given album. Or lastly, as in my case, the listener chooses to buy the Best Of simply because the retrospective has all of the band's biggest singles, and the listener has no desire to delve into the band's genre or history.

Those are legitimate reasons, but go ask any die-hard fan (or True Fan, as i like to call them) about their favorite band and if you should buy that band's GH. "Heck no!" comes the reply, as well as an answer as to which album you should buy instead. Their reasoning is because so many great underrated songs lie hidden on that particular record, and to go out and buy the one cd with all the hits on it seems like an injustice to not only the band, but yourself - just take a listen to all the stuff you're missing out on!

Thusly, i have decided that i am going to stay away from such collections. They may tempt me with an overall "best value" money wise, they may sway me with all of their shiny "guarenteed to be good" tracks, and they may come with a slick new booklet + photos, but i WON'T BUY IT!! I would only make the exception in the case that i've sampled the album and the songs don't stick to me like they should (which is a problem musically and/or lyrically). Its a great shame to buy a GH and then realize later that an actual album would have been a smarter buy. That's what happened to me with the band Free - after a couple of listens with the meager 11 track millenium masters Best Of, it became apparent to me that this was a poor excuse of a Free album (albeit not a real release), and so i am in search of Freeimports so that i can enjoy all of that bluesy rock and roll.

So there's my rant. Hope you enjoyed it.

Envois approuvés
I Still Buy CDs, Classic Rock


  • jcjohnson63

    the problem is that there are some bands who only made a finite amount of great tunes.particularly,some 60''s bands.the lovin spoonful and the mamas and the papas come to mind. remember, not every artist has a great album in them.sometimes you can get a greatest hits and certain key albums and that's all you need.and there are certain bands(the who) who have more greatest hits then actual albums.what's that about!!!

    14 avr. 2008, 19h37m
  • jcjohnson63

    i actually preefr anthologies/best of's. essentials to greatest hits.

    14 avr. 2008, 19h38m
  • sharpkontrast

    I think you have a valid point, but I wouldn't go so far as to swear off buying them in general. I think it's simply important to realize and keep in mind that you're listening to what the masses enjoyed the most about a particular band - and while they may have been onto something, if you REALLY get into the band with their GH, you should take it upon yourself to go hunt down their other albums. That's what I do, if I like a GH a lot I immediately go search for more, and if I'm not too sold I won't. It's a good tool to use to preview a band in my opinion...and that's a main reason they're made anyway.

    14 avr. 2008, 21h53m
  • deadeye017

    i guess what else makes me want to stop buying so many compilations is because, it makes my lil record collection seem so fake, you know? lol. But ok, i won't completely stop buying them. I'll just ease up a bit.

    15 avr. 2008, 4h51m
  • where_were_we

    I think you made some excellent points in your rant! I pretty much agree with all of it! I love having the original Albums, so when i rip them, I have the proper Album name and release date! However, I actually like having all of the Albums I can if possible! Bcz I find that the Greatest GH: will ofter have a sightly different version of the original song! It's especially great when I can get a (live) version or a longer version, perhaps with a solo. Mind you sometimes that back fires and I get a pile of shorter radio edits, so they could fit more songs on the Cd! hee hee But when your passion is listing & discovering music, it becomes all good in the end!

    29 avr. 2008, 3h08m
  • mackil

    I agree 100%. I only bought Rotten Apples for "Untitled" ;)

    21 mai 2008, 16h12m
  • DackAttac

    I think the Greatest Hits very often carries the burden of having to both tell the whole story of an artist's career and include all the hits and the fan favorites. My uncle let me borrow his Bryan Adams collection, and I can imagine the first disc sees much more action than the second. Here's the problem, the best album's worst track may be better than worst album's best track. But the worst album's best track was a single, hit #28 on some niche chart, and therefore needs to be included in front of the other song that didn't chart, in spite of being a concert staple for decades. It works in reverse, too—awesome album is unfairly ignored by Greatest Hits because the band just wasn't as popular at that point in their career. If their career had a clear peak with an excellent album or two, but still make a coupe incredible songs, even on crummy albums, sometimes it's best to get the good records and then get those songs on their own from iTunes or Amazon. But I think there's a certain element when one buys a greatest hits collection that proclaims, "I'm not really gonna get into these guys". If you become a fan with the greatest hits and end up getting their entire discography, doesn't starting with a greatest hits kinda put you out ten bucks? (Not to say I haven't done it occasionally.) But if someone was about to get Collective Soul's greatest hits, I'd be worried that they'd never get to hear songs like "Needs", "Goodnight, Good Guy", or any other songs I wouldn't leave off any Greatest Hits I was assembling. At the same time, I've asked some True Fans about an artist because I liked a few songs, and they start giving me a laundry list of albums to get. There's a point where I want to interject with a "I just don't think I'll like them that much." I suppose it's a case by case basis. I agree with what you're saying pretty adamantly, but there are a few greatest hits in my collection that I feel no need or desire to build upon.

    15 sept. 2008, 22h53m
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