Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Greatest Hits collections

CNN has a list of what they deem to be the best of the Best Ofs
or the greatest Greatest Hits collections available on single discs.

Let me just say right off that their selections are awful. Yuck! I would throw out half of them in a heartbeat. You know something is wrong when they select as the very top greatest hits collection “Echo and the Bunnymen.” Their list is chock full of 80’s era New Wave Euro-Pop junk. Some of their other favorites that I would discard include:

The Cure
The Smiths
Siouxsie and the Banshees
New Order
A Tribe Called Quest
Gang of Four
The Cramps
The Buzzcocks
The Jesus and Mary Chain
Pet Shop Boys
The Jam
The Pixies
Depeche Mode
The Specials

Their list isn’t all bad. Here are some that they get right:

"Changesbowie," David Bowie (1990)
"Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass)," the Rolling Stones (1966)
"Endless Summer," the Beach Boys (1974)
"Chronicle, Vol. 1," Creedence Clearwater Revival (1976)
"Smash Hits," Jimi Hendrix (1969)
"Legend," Bob Marley (1984)
"The Very Best of Prince," Prince (2001)
"Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy," the Who (1971)
"20 All-Time Greatest Hits!," James Brown (1991)
"ELV1S 30 #1 Hits," Elvis Presley (2002)
"Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits," Bob Dylan (1967)
"1," the Beatles (2000)
"The Great Twenty-Eight," Chuck Berry (1982)
"Greatest Hits," Aerosmith (1980)
"Greatest Hits," Elton John (1974)
"Greatest Hits: We Will Rock You Edition," Queen (2004)
"Greatest Hits," the Doors (1996)
"Number Ones," Michael Jackson (2003)
"Greatest Hits (& Some That Will Be)," Willie Nelson (1981)
"Eponymous," R.E.M. (1988)

And they at least give honorable mentions to:

"The Best of 1980-1990," U2 (1998)
"Complete Greatest Hits," the Cars (2002)
"Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975)," the Eagles (1976)
"The Very Best of Otis Redding, Vol. 1," Otis Redding (1992)

One problem with their list is that they limit it to single disc collections. I can understand not including big pricey box sets, but two-disc sets should not be off limits. By including two-disc collections we can pick up a number of other great sets like:

The Bee Gees Greatest
Rush - Chronicles
Neil Young: Decade
Billy Joel: Greatest Hits Vol. 1 & 2
Lynyrd Skynyrd: Gold and Platinum

And I’m sure there are many others.
But since they filled their list with so many throwaway New Wave and Punk groups they left no room for:

Bruce Springsteen
The Police
ZZ Top
Van Halen
The Band
Stevie Ray Vaughn
Ray Charles
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers
John Mellencamp
Van Morrison
Rod Stewart
Stevie Wonder
Hall & Oates
Simon & Garfunkel
James Taylor
Roy Orbison
Peter Gabriel
Johnny Cash
Buddy Holly
Cheap Trick
Smashing Pumpkins
Los Lobos
The Black Crowes
Deep Purple
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Bon Jovi
Buffalo Springfield
Billy Squier
Gordon Lightfoot
Jim Croce
Talking Heads
REO Speedwagon
Rick Springfield
Lyle Lovett
Dwight Yoakum
John Denver
Eric Clapton
The B-52s
The Kingston Trio
The Doobie Brothers
Little Richard
Neil Diamond
Jerry Jeff Walker

OK, I’ll stop now.

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