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When is Greatest Hits enough?


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Posted on Jun 16, 2013 1:01:41 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 16, 2013 1:04:02 PM PDT
A. Strong says:
If K-Tel Records were to return all of our problems would be solved. There was a time when a Greatest Hits collection was a good introduction to an artist/band but today people have more options than just radio plays of a single to hear new music. Not too many musicial groups survive long enough today to collect enough music for a hits collection to be assembled. Downloading is the way to gather the music you want to hear and the best way to avoid been stuck with junk you don't want to listen to. The game is today a lot diffferent than from what it used to be.

Posted on Dec 26, 2012 11:47:10 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 26, 2012 11:50:21 AM PST
Greatest Hits is enough when you only want a few songs by an artist and have no inclination to investigate their catalog.

And the Fixx Hip-O disc "Ultimate Collection" has all the original songs on it. No "live" versions substituting for the original hit tracks like the "One Thing" collection.

Just checked - still available from Amazon for $10.49 new, used copies cheaper.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 12, 2012 9:02:03 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 12, 2012 2:03:24 PM PST
CD Lover says:
Exile: I agree with many of your choices here, particularly The Rascals, The Grass Roots and Earth Wind & Fire. I would like to add one of my favorite "greatest hits" CDs from a band I owned about three or four vinyl albums by but now find the compilation to suffice - "The Fixx: One Thing Leads To Another." Every song on there is killer, yet it should be all you need to get your fix of The Fixx.

Also, in my opinion, "greatest hits" is enough when it's Journey...

Posted on Dec 11, 2012 8:25:22 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 11, 2012 8:25:59 PM PST
The Sex Pistols best of collection called "Kiss This" is the only thing that you need from them. It includes all twelve songs from their only album, non-album B-sides from their four ground-breaking singles and a few extras to boot.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 21, 2012 10:18:11 AM PST
Grandpa Tom says:
Hi, Stephen:

I just finished the 2-cd Anthology in it's entirety, and I believe you about no filler, as every tune on this set is dynamic.

Gonna score the units you mentioned, and thanks for the suggestions.

All the best,

GT

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 2:40:37 PM PST
Grandpa Tom, I would like to recommend you 2 Rascals albums. The Young Rascals and Groovin. 1966 and 1967 respectively. They are both solid albums with little to no filler. Some really good cover versions. None of their other albums are as consistently as good as these. Of course, just my opinon. But check it out for yourself. You just might be pleasently surprised. I know I was!

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 1:25:06 PM PST
Randy says:
For me, Greatest Hits packages are enough for older artists in certain genres. For instance, most of the Blues I have are Greatest Hits packages for artists like Muddy Waters, Lightning Hopkins, Freddie KIng, T-Bone Walker, etc. Also, I stick to Greatest Hits for classic Bluegrass artists like Bill Monroe and The STanley Brothers.

Posted on Nov 19, 2012 1:55:08 AM PST
Many of the acts that came up in the singles eras before albums are perfect for a hits package. Many acts from the album era who only had a hit single could just have , barely , a hits comp.

Posted on Nov 17, 2012 8:02:52 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 17, 2012 8:19:05 PM PST
Grandpa Tom says:
For purposes of Greatest Hits compilations versus Anthologies (that trace a development of an artist, including best hits, live, and work-in-process tracks), Best-of (someone's criteria of the finest of an artist's body of work), or Box-set, I nominate the following:

BTW, I love these artists' work. Just not enough to be a completist.

1-Joe Cocker
2-Janis Joplin (I own her Hits CD, yet scored the 3-cd box for $9. The single CD satisfies me.)
3-REM
4-Robert Palmer
5-Bryan Adams
6-The Vogues
7-Barbara Streisand
8-The Righteous Brothers
9-John Denver (Except Rocky Mountain High in it's entirety should be added)
10-Glen Campbell (Add Ghost On A Canvas)
11-The Animals
12-The Searchers
13-Santana
14-Willie Nelson (Add Stardust)
15-John Lennon (Never thought I'd say so, but true)
16-The Kinks (Please don't stone me at the gates, friends. Their deep album material I've accessed doesn't move me)
17-The Beach Boys
18-The Rascals (I've never owned nor heard one of their albums in it's entirety...)
19-The Eurythmics
20-James Taylor

All the best tonight,

GT

Posted on Nov 17, 2012 7:05:38 PM PST
Comment Man says:
Very definitely The Beach Boys defy greatest hits collections big time; they are one band who I wouldn't mind owning every single track. An incredible band.
I have to agree with the Eagles. Except I think you could actually kind of trim about half their hits from the Greatest Hits CD and not hurt my feelings.
But it is the Motown acts--the Supremes, the Tempts etc.--who are best collected in the greatest hit format. Most of the albums released at the time were quickies that don't merit a second listen. (Smokey Robinson is the one Motown artist that defies this generalization in the sixties.)

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 10:41:19 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 13, 2012 10:41:59 AM PST
vivazappa says:
Geezer:
I have several Three Dog Night but I bought the hits first...for some reason I keep going back to it.
As for America I have the hits and the first record...I need to get Homecoming.

But when someone asks me about either band I always say "just get the greatest hits"...maybe I shouldn't.
Three Dog Night's records are solid.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 10:04:56 AM PST
patc71s says:
I realize I went overboard with my lists on this topic so I'll just say that for me, an act like Duran Duran is one where a greatest hits package is all I need. I wouldn't feel the need to get Rio or Seven and the Ragged Tiger or any of their regular studio albums as long as a decent greatest hits package exists.

Posted on Nov 13, 2012 9:51:43 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 13, 2012 9:56:00 AM PST
patc71s says:
Hi Dr. Mikey,
Sure, there are tons! And even as I peruse my original list, I see some acts that I might want to take off. I was going through my CD collection and listed those acts that I only had greatest hits/best of CD's.
Here are some acts that I think you need more than greatest hits, mostly hard rock
Accept, AC/DC, Aerosmith, Angel, April Wine, Asia, Bad Company, the Beatles, Black Sabbath, Blue Oyster Cult, Boston, Cheap Trick, Chicago, Alice Cooper, Deep Purple, Dio, Dokken, The Doors, Eagles, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Fleetwood Mac, Foghat, Lita Ford, Foreigner, Peter Frampton, Girlschool, Grand Funk Railroad, Heart, Jimi Hendrix, Iron Maiden, James Gang, Jethro Tull, Elton John, Billy Joel, Journey, Judas Priest, Kiss, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, The Monkees, Motley Crue, Motorhead, Ted Nugent, Ozzy Osbourne, Pink Floyd, Suzi Quatro, Queen, Quiet Riot, Rainbow, REO SPeedwagon, Riot, Rolling Stones, The Runaways, Rush, Santana, Saxon, Michael Schenker Group, Scorpions, Styx, Sweet, Thin Lizzy, Robin Trower, UFO, Van Halen, The Who and Yes.

Looking at my original list of greatest hits is enough, I'll retract Neil Young, Nirvana, CCR & Three Dog Night. I only have greatest hits packages from them but those discs are missing some good cuts so a best of is not enough.

Also a lot of the groups i mentioned I have double disc greatest hits packages, so we're talking to 30 or 40 or more songs by such artists as Neil Young, The Beach Boys, Neil Diamond, 5th Dimension, Bread, Carpenters, The kinks, HAll & Oates, Olivia Newton-John, Badfinger, Tom Petty, Bob Seger & Stevie Ray Vaughan.

A standard 15 track best of is not enough for these acts, but I think a 40 track best of by these artists is all I feel I need, even though there are probably still additional songs missing I would like to have.

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 12:51:23 PM PST
Dr. Mikey says:
@patc71s: You have quite the list. Are there any 70s or 80s performers for whom you feel the need to get multiple original albums or get into deeper tracks?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 12:06:19 PM PST
In terms of old(er) stuff, the worst label for "hits" was Dot, though the pre-rock easy listening artists. Dot released "Greatest Hits" albums by guys like Don Cornell, Eddie Fisher, Jimmie R. Rodgers, Andrews Sisters, Vaughn Monroe, and all of the tracks were re-recordings, not the original hits. Pat Boone's Dot 1956-59 album hits were 1959 retreads. Georgia Gibbs' GREATEST HITS 1963 Epic Lp is all retreads of her Mercury hit singles. Ugh!

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 11:10:20 AM PST
patc71s says:
I love 70s & 80s rock, but I also love 70s and 80s pop. Depends on the artist, although usually the more singles oriented acts are the ones I prefer greatest hits discs. Here are some acts where greatest hits CD's are more than enough for me:
Air Supply, Paul Anka, The Association, Bay City Rollers, The Beach Boys, Berlin, Blondie, Bon Jovi, Captain & Tennille, Cher, Cinderella, CCR, Neil Diamond, Dr. Hook, Duran Duran, Earth, Wind & Fire, 5th Dimension, Andy Gibb, Gary Glitter, Geordie, The Grass Roots, The Guess Who, Hall & Oates, George Harrison, Engelbert Humperdinck, Jacksons (entire family) Jefferson Starship, Tom Jones, KC & the Sunshine Band, The Kinks, Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme, Lenny Kravitz, John Lennon, Loverboy, Loretta Lynn, Madonna, Barry Manilow, John Mellencamp, Men at Work, Mud, Olivia Newton-John, Nirvana, Aldo Nova, Tony Orlando & Dawn, The Osmonds (entire family), Buck Owens, Poison, Tom Petty, Elvis Presley, Ratt, Helen Reddy, Linda Ronstadt, Boz Scaggs, Neil Sedaka, Bob Seger, Bobby Sherman, Simon & Garfunkel, Frank Sinatra, The Smithereens, Rick Springfield, Squeeze, Ringo Starr, Donna Summer, Survivor, 38 Special, Three Dog Night, Traffic, Frankie Valli & the 4 Seasons, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Wild Cherry, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Frank Zappa

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 8:19:24 AM PST
GarionOrb says:
The worst Greatest Hits album ever made is the one by Radiohead. The band had zero involvement in it, and was essentially put out by their old record label. The songs on it are not really "hits", and sound disjointed and out of place outside the context of their respective albums.

Posted on Nov 12, 2012 6:42:54 AM PST
Hip O Critic says:
The Rolling Stones are by far the band that a greatest hits album is a must for all the wrong reasons. They made a lot of money, but ethically it was pretty poor form by not including the songs that made them popular on many early albums.
UK albums did not have hit songs such as "Satisfaction, Get Off Of My Cloud, Time Is On My Side, Paint It Black, Little Red Rooster, Ruby Tuesday etc.
US albums missed out on songs such as "Carol", "Route 66", Out of Time" etc.
Both UK and USA albums omitted "Honky Tonk Women", We Love You etc.
"Rolled Gold" (vinyl) from an Australian point of view (because we copped the UK rather than the US releases) was the best compilation and included 4 sides of essential songs.

Posted on Nov 11, 2012 1:15:36 PM PST
Chazzzbo says:
Regarding ELO - the albums Eldorado, New World Record, and Out Of The Blue are probably the best...hits packages easily cover the best of the rest. I would recommend The Essential Electric Light Orchestra

Posted on Nov 11, 2012 2:47:19 AM PST
D. Mok says:
> The reason to buy the individual albums is when the songs together comprise something really artistic that would be missed by picking and choosing songs

You're "picking and choosing songs" even when you make a single studio album.
Greatest-hits collections allow a wide-angle view on an artist's career. It's not much different from an album's running order casting a specific view on a specific period of an artist's career. Jimmy Page said he loved the running order on the first Led Zeppelin boxed set. Both Neil Young's Decade and Bruce Springsteen's Greatest Hits picked quite a few non-single album tracks, and in the case of Young, some had never been released prior to Decade.

There is as much creative personality and drive in excluding something as in including something. Young decided not to release Times Square, Homegrown and Chrome Dreams. That said tons about what he considered suitable or representative at certain times in his career. Even if it means jettisoning some songs. Fans who think "hearing everything" is the only legitimate option are missing the fact that the artist doesn't always *want* you to hear everything.

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 5:51:51 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 10, 2012 5:53:25 PM PST
. says:
Speaking of ELO, to me they are a hits band. I own the now OOP

Strange Magic: The Best of Electric Light Orchestra

on CD and never have a desire to hear the albums.

I also agree about the older rock and roll artists and even some 60s bands. Some collections of hits I love are Frankie Valli and the Four Season's, Little Richard, The Rascals, The Grass Roots and some others.

And this is also one of the best collections of hits assembled:

Earth Wind & Fire: Greatest Hits

Many of the 80's synth pop bands hits collections are ear candy, culled from very inconsistent albums.

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 5:12:20 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 10, 2012 5:14:09 PM PST
Dr. Mikey says:
The reason to buy the individual albums is when the songs together comprise something really artistic that would be missed by picking and choosing songs, or when there are hidden gems that are unlikely to be found in greatest hits collections. An example of the former would be the Who's (no, not Tommy or Quadrophenia; well, maybe them, too) "The Who Sell Out," since the format is that of a pirate radio station and all the songs are killer to boot.

Now that I am retired, older and trying to spend my money before it goes to the medical-pharmaceutical-longterm care complex, I am going back to seek out some individual albums. One place I've had great luck with is amazon.co.uk. They carry something called the Original Album Series for many performers (some are recently remastered but it's best to check). The two most recent packs I got were Emmylou Harris and Little Feat. Each has the first five studio albums, and the price is unbelievably low, even including shipping. I've recently added the Paul Butterfield Blues Band in hopes that my wife will, as usual, choose my Christmas presents from my cart (or "basket" as they call it in the UK). They also email you when your order has been "dispatched." Now I'm trying to decide if I like ELO or Dr. John good enough to spring for the same OAS set.

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 4:05:12 PM PST
D. Mok says:
> I take it you were being facetious about the Zeppelin boxes.

No, I wasn't. The two Led Zeppelin boxed sets collect every track from every album, plus an extra.

Just because I love a band doesn't mean I have to collect every scrap it's ever recorded. I love Neil Young, but his endless live albums and outtakes bore me, and in fact take away from my enjoyment of even the official studio versions. I really don't feel like playing "Down by the River", ever. There are maybe 50 albums I own, out of a few thousand (more if you count MP3s), where every track is good.

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 10:46:12 AM PST
Barry Smith says:
Elton John is a good choice for his later 70s and 80s material. All of his LPs up to "Captain Fantastic" are essential but then his albums started to become lackluster. However his hits still kept coming and are worth picking up on greatest hits albums.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2012 9:13:15 AM PST
Galley says:
Were you aware that The Monkees invented Country Rock in 1966?
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Discussion in:  Music forum
Participants:  25
Total posts:  36
Initial post:  Nov 9, 2012
Latest post:  Jun 16, 2013

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