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Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits 1991-2001

4.7 out of 5 stars 135 customer reviews

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Electrifying performers and pure-pop songwriters of the highest order, Toronto's Barenaked Ladies have emerged over a decade as that strangest of beasts. They'll never land a dishy cover story in Mojo Magazine, but as they reflect on those ribald years between 1991 and 2001, the five can allow themselves wry smiles, knowing that sometimes, just sometimes, the cream rises to the top. In addition to familiar radio staples such as "Pinch Me," "The Old Apartment," "Jane," "Alternative Girlfriend," and the ubiquitous "One Week," there's a trump card on All Their Greatest Hits that will prove irresistible to completists: the Ladies' buttery, acoustic version of Bruce Cockburn's "Lovers in a Dangerous Time." Recorded eons ago for a Cockburn tribute disc that almost immediately went out of print, the song has until now been a rare and highly coveted collector's item. Two news songs--"Thanks That Was Fun" and "It's Only Me (The Wizard of Magicland)"--were recorded specifically for this collection, while two others ("Brian Wilson" and "What a Good Boy") are captured live. But what really brings this album home is, ironically, "If I Had $1,000,000." One of their very first hits cut as the Ladies were learning to dovetail their so-called "acoustic hip-hop" into slicker pop sensibilities, "$1,000,000"--a simple knock-kneed love song with harmonies so tight they're practically braided--is a snapshot of a band with all the pieces in place just as the planets were about to align. --Kim Hughes
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 13, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Reprise
  • ASIN: B00005R1Q8
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,385 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I've been a fan of the Ladies ever since the original release of "Gordon". Their quirky wit and sense of humor have always been enjoyable, and the evolution of their musical style has been just as entertaining as the tunes themselves.
Nearly all of their best songs are here, from "If I Had $1000000" (the first song of theirs that I ever heard), to the hammering "The Old Apartment", to the daydreamy "Pinch Me". In the interest of keeping this review reasonably brief, I'll refrain from commenting on each of the tracks; suffice it to say I love them all! Unfortunately, one of my personal favorites, the heartwrenching ballad "Break Your Heart", is absent from this disc. Anyone who enjoys a good ballad must hear that song (which is, by the way, on their "Born on a Pirate Ship" album, which I highly recommend as well).
While this collection doesn't match up perfectly with my idea of their greatest hits (but then, does any artist's "best of" list ever jibe completely with yours?), it is an essential part of my Barenaked Ladies library. Not only does it contain two new songs -- the jaunty "It's Only Me" and the melancholy but engaging "Thanks That Was Fun" -- but also a pair of hard-to-find tracks: a cover of the Bruce Cockburn tune "Lovers In A Dangerous Time", and "Get In Line", another favorite of mine which is lifted from the "King of the Hill" soundtrack.
Although I could recommend any of Barenaked Ladies' albums, if you buy only one, make this it. You might be surprised at how many great songs are on this disc! Definitely worth the money!
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Format: Audio CD
...from fringe-dwellers mocking 'Greatest Hits' collections on their first album ('Disc One, it's where we've begun/It's all our greatest hits/And if you are a fan then you know that you've already got 'em' from 'Box Set') to Big Stars putting out a collection of their own. As the title indicates, they're well aware of the irony; what this traditional-style CD really celebrates is success for a band that has never sold out.
The lush (19-song!) selection is excellent, covering the obvious highlights ('Brian Wilson', 'If I Had $1 000 000', and, yep, 'One Week' - be prepared to be driven crazy all over again) as well as less successful or harder-to-find treats ('Call and Answer', 'Shoe Box', 'Lovers in a Dangerous Time'). The only track I'd disagree with is a live version of 'What a Good Boy', an essentially intimate ballad that isn't at it's best with several thousand people singing along.
The two new tracks are a toss-up; 'It's Only Me' is frenetic New Wave stuff, funny but maybe a bit too busy, and 'Thanks That Was Fun' is the gentle, nicely rueful story of a break-up that (in patented BNL fashion) isn't proving nearly as satisfying as the narrator had hoped.
The liner notes include two admiring (but thankfully not gushy) 'how-they-dunnit' essays and track-by-track annotations from Steven Page. In other words, everything you wanted to know and some stuff you maybe could have lived without but will enjoy anyway.
All told, a hugely satisfying Barenaked Ladies experience. (Although they'll hopefully drop the 'Box Set' references while they're ahead. Otherwise...'Disc Three/Well this is really me/In a grade school play' and 'Disc Six/A dance remix/to catch the latest trend...')
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By A Customer on November 14, 2001
Format: Audio CD
As Steven Page says in the liner notes about "Get In Line," calling some of these songs "greatest hits" may be stretching the definition of the term. Perhaps a better title would be "The Best of (And Then Some)."
And among the band's best these are. Besides the expected hits ("Brian Wilson," "One Week," "Pinch Me"), this collection includes the hard-to-find cover of Bruce Cockburn's "Lovers in a Dangerous Time," and "Get In Line," which was only available on the "King of the Hill" soundtrack. Plus you get the superior live version of my personal all-time BNL favorite, "What a Good Boy."
Of the new songs, "It's Only Me (The Wizard of Magicland)" reminded me a little of The Knack (one of Page's favorite albums was that band's debut album) and has a exciting New Wave kickiness to it, while Ed Robertson's "Thanks, That Was Fun" is a little more mournful. Neither of them (sad to say) is likely to conquer U.S. airwaves, but they're welcome additions anyway.
For the casual BNL fan, this collection is a great way to get deeper into the band's catalog. For the BNL fan who already has all their albums (like me), it's a way of hearing these favorites in a new context, plus two new great tracks. What are you waiting for?
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Format: Audio CD
I've been a fan of BNL ever since a friend of mine asked me if I wanted "...this annoying CD I bought off the bargain table - but I think it's your type of thing." The CD was 'Rock Spectacle', and I was hooked immediately. When they toured, I jumped to buy tickets (word to the wise: even if you're only a slight BNL fan, you MUST go to one of their concerts - it's the most fun you'll have all year). So I was thrilled to hear a couple of the newer songs I'd heard performed live ('The Wizard of Magicland', 'Falling for the First Time') on this CD.
The Ladies are very funny, a little strange, and very smart. The lyrics are never cheap, and you'll find yourself catching more and more in the songs, the more you listen. The songs on this CD range from the more "made for radio air-time" hits like 'One Week' and 'It's All Been Done' to the sadder 'Call and Answer' and 'What a Good Boy'. They even sing love songs...of a sort. What girl wouldn't want to be a guy's Yoko Ono? Right....don't answer that.
The point is, this CD is the perfect soundtrack for a cynical but hopeful generation of kooks. It has a place of honor in my CD collection, and never gets old or fails to cheer me up.
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Disc One: All Their Greatest Hits 1991-2001
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