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Greatest Hits is the first ever career spanning collection from Social Distortion. Classic songs from every classic album are represented in this definitive retrospective. From the early So-Cal punk track Mommy's Little Monster, that put them on the map, on through 2004's radio hit Reach For The Sky. Covering Social Distortion's three decade career, Greatest Hits showcases the best in band leader Mike Ness' heart-on-a-sleeve songwriting. Their classic cover of Johnny Cash's Ring Of Fire is included as well. Far Behind, is the hard charging new classic recorded just for this collection and will be the album's lead single.
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Top Customer Reviews
Let's just say that I was surprised when I first listened to this CD. As has been speculated on by Social Distortion fans for some time now, all of the songs from the major label era albums (tracks 4-9) have been given a major facelift.
This is where things get interesting. As of now, the band has not officially commented on this situation and the liner notes are no help either. Some fans are convinced that these tracks are merely remastered. Others think that the original songs have been re-mixed. Still, more think that what's on this CD is demo versions of the Sony era classics. Others think that the songs have been completely re-recorded.
I can't say that I'm an expert on mastering, mixing, or recording, but all I needed to hear was the first 5 seconds of "I Was Wrong" to realize that these songs are basically totally different. To me, the vocals and guitars sound totally different on all of the songs.
Personally, I don't buy the notion that these songs have only been "remastered". I own many remastered albums. I re-bought some of Bad Religions re-mastered releases in 2004. All of those songs sounded nearly identical to their original releases. The only difference in those releases is that they ended up much louder and crisper on the remastered discs. This is not the case with this CD. These songs have been altered and altered alot.
I'm sure some purists will be put off by the fact that the band has done this under the name of a greatest hits cd. Myself, I don't mind it one bit. It was a welcome surprise and actually made it worth me buying this cd. If I want to listen to the originals, I can pop those cd's in any time. This is a nice change of pace.
The new versions of the classic songs are interesting. I really can't call them better or worse than the originals. They are just different. I like both the originals and what's on this cd. Like I said, this is just a nice change of pace. Also, Far Behind is a great song. Classic Social Distortion.
So, I will say that this "greatest hits" album was worth the money in the end. In a perfect world, I would have preferred them to have released a b-sides/unreleased tracks cd. Social Distortion has a huge catalog of rarities that they've never released. That would have been better for the hardcore fans like myself, but I'll take what I can get. Maybe someday I'll get what I'm looking for (Mike Ness if you happen to read this: hint, hint). In the end, this will tide me over until they get around to releasing another new album. I'll just keep crossing my fingers and hoping that doesn't take nearly a decade like the last one.
If you're a hardcore SxDx fan or a newbie just looking to get aquainted with some of Social Distortion's music, you won't be disappointed with this cd.
There aren't any original studio recordings on the disc. Nothing you've ever heard on the radio, nothing you've seen live. It's a quickly thrown-together garage-studio set of re-interpreted hits, and a few non-hits mixed in. There are some obvious choices missing, as well, but I knew that when I bought it.
Some tracks have cinder-block-room reverb. Others have mic splatter. It's just a hard disc to listen to. It doesn't sound live *or* studio. It sounds like a demo tape, really, but without the energy.
If you want live recordings, get the live cd they put out a few years ago. If you want the cleaned-up originals, get the old sony cds (or better yet, just download them for free from the Social D web site). If you've already got both, just save up your nickels and dimes for the next show.