Top positive review
29 of 31 people found this helpful
Missing some singles, but great compilation for casual fans
on August 27, 2003
It's strange to see a "Greatest Hits" collection from a band that, in the eyes of many die-hard fans, seems to be the furthest thing from a "radio" or "hit singles" band. Many deadheads criticize "Skeletons In The Closet: The Best Of The Grateful Dead" for similar reasons. Similarly, fans of both bands viciously collect and trade concert bootlegs, and hardly any of these shows consist of more than one or two songs from the band's repsective compilation album.
Never the less, The Black Crowes had a successful string of singles and Mtv videos, especially during the time of their first two albums. And having been around for over 10 years, it seems like some sort of compilation album was due. As with any band's Greatest Hits compilation, this one is obviously not designed for the fan who already owns all the band's albums, but rather for the casual fan: the one who always liked what they heard from The Black Crowes on the radio or Mtv, but just never got around to buying anything from them.
So with this in mind, the CD does a very good job. The songs have been remastered, and the CD sounds consistantly good in sound quality. The liner notes show their whole album and single discography. The most well-known songs from the band come from their first two albums, and they're graciously represented here in tracks 1-8. The first 4 tracks also represent the first 4 Black Crowes videos, all of which got very fair airplay on Mtv and VH-1.
Though with the next 4 tracks, it seems a little strange that "Sting Me" was included while "Sometimes Salvation" was omitted. "Sting Me" was released as a single, but unlike "Sometimes Salvation" a video was never made for this song. I would think that not many casual fans have heard "Sting Me". Similarly, it seems that other singles from the band (particularly "Hotel Illnes", "Highhead Blues") should have ended up on this compilation in place of other songs that didn't get nearly as much airplay. Then again, maybe these are still obscure songs in the mind of the casual fan.
My only other complaint is that this compilation came out before the live albums with Jimmy Page, and the most recent studio album "Lions". As I write this review, the Black Crowes have since taken a declared sabbatical, and are not sure when they plan on reuniting to make more albums. So since the band is now broken up (again, at least for a long while), this CD is a few tracks short of being a truly all-encompassing album. Of course, nobody really knew this was going to happen in 1999.
I still highly recommend this album to anybody who's liked the Black Crowes but just never bought any of their CDs. I've bought it as a gift for friends in this position, and they've thoroughly enjoyed it. Great, well-written rock songs from a great band.