Customer Review

17 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, but a wasted opportunity, April 9, 2006
This review is from: Best Of: 20 Years of Rock (Audio CD)
"Poison's Greatest Hits: 1986-1996" (1996) is a near perfect career -spanning compilation that will give casual fans everything they could ever want. Why then, the need for a second compilation "The Best of Poison: 20 Years of Rock" (2006) when it features an almost identical track-listing as the first "Greatest Hits"? The answer is because Poison are going on their twentieth anniversary tour and they need an album commemorating the milestone.

Much like the first "Greatest Hits," "20 Years of Rock" will give the causal Poison fan every major hit and concert staple they will ever want. In of itself, "20 Years of Rock" is a fine compilation, but because there already is an album that serves as a definitive greatest hits for causal Poison fans, "20 Years of Rock" is unnecessary and is a wasted opportunity. Instead of releasing a compilation almost identical to the first, Poison should have opted for a double-disc anthology type best-of album, similar to what Motley Crue did with "Red, White, and Crue" (2005) and Van Halen did with "The Best of Both Worlds" (2004). That way, the causal fan just looking for hits could stick with "Greatest Hits" and the more dedicated listener could have opted for the two-disc anthology.

Both Poison's "Greatest Hits" and "Best Of" compilations focus almost exclusively on their first three albums, "Look What the Cat Dragged In," (1986) "Open Up and Say Ahh...," (1988) and "Flesh and Blood" (1990). A definitive two-disc anthology would have allowed Poison to include all their well-known hits, as well as tracks from Poison's later-day albums "Native Tongue", (1993) "Crack a Smile", (2000, belated) "Power to the People" (2000) and "Hollyweird" (2002).

A lot of Poison's best songs are from their later-day albums, especially "Native Tongue" and "Crack a Smile" (with guitarists Richie Kotzen and Blues Saraceno, respectively) and it's a shame that Poison seem almost hell-bent on ignoring almost half their catalogue by excluding songs from those albums on "20 Years of Rock" and not playing those songs live. Only one song a piece is represented from "Native Tongue," "Power to the People," and "Hollyweird," with nothing from "Crack a Smile" included.

While "20 Years of Rock" is a missed opportunity in terms of being a definitive, career-spanning compilation, it still manages to do its job of giving casual fans all the hits they will want to hear. Although the track-listing from the '96 compilation was slightly better, as it featured cuts from "Crack a Smile" as well as the superb "So Tell Me Why," from "Swallow this Live" (1991). The new songs for "20 Years of Rock," "Rock N' Roll All Nite" (from '87) and "Were an American band" (both covers) are good, but seem like hastily put together obvious choices. The one major advantage of the new "Best Of" over the old "Greatest Hits" is its superior remastering and sound quality.
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Location: Arlington, MA, USA

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