Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Appetizers for the main course

I wish more bands would release "Greatest Hits" (GH) compilations.

Let's look at this problem from another angle. Assume bands are restaurants, and their albums are appetizers. "Greatest Hits" would be the appetizer samplers.

You walk into a restaurant, you generally have an idea of what kind of cuisine they offer. The type of atmosphere inside. What you're going to order. After your visit there, you have an idea of what you do like and what you don't like about it. Restaurants who have lost their liquor licenses are like CD's with "Clean" versions. OK, but still not as good as it can be. Some restaurants are unique. Some are overhyped, overexposed carbon copies with no style and no good taste. If someone says, "Hey, let's go out to eat at this place," I know how I will respond.

So, there are a lot of bands I like. But I'm not too familiar with the their menus. I know they have some good stuff. But I don't know about the rest. And I'm not willing to spend the money to see if I like a dish. I'd rather spend roughly the same amount on a little of everything. That's what a "Greatest Hits" is; a few songs from every album. And the very best ones.

There are about 10 or 15 bands I want to release a "Greatest Hits"...

  • 3 Doors Down: I like 3 songs off of both of their albums. Third one comes out 2/8. I'll probably have to wait 5 years for the GH.

  • Bush: Most of the songs I like are on "Sixteen Stone". I also like "Swallowed" and "The Chemicals Between Us". They might not have enough hits for a GH. I'll probably also have to wait another 5 years for this one.

  • Dixie Chicks: Most of their good songs are on "Fly", their second album. Again, probably not enough for a GH. However, the decision to even BUY this one hinges on the version of "Landslide" they use. The Sheryl Crow Remix is a better version of their cover. If the GH lacked this song, I'd buy "Fly" and go with iTunes for the rest of the songs I like.

  • Fuel: Their good songs are pretty spread out. Only 1 or 2 per each of their 3 albums. I also own two of their songs. Might have to wait 10 years for this. (Ed. Note: Fuel released a GH album on 12/6/05. And I will buy the next time I'm at Best Buy. - 12/11/05)

  • Staind: Wow. Very good band. They can crank out a deep, hard-rockin' ballad. Maybe after their next album, they'll have a GH. Again, the 5 year wait is in effect. (Ed. Note: Staind released a quasi-GH album on 11/14/06. Since it does not include "How About You" or a studio version of "Outside", I will not be picking up this album. - 2/25/07)

  • AC/DC and Metallica: Both bands and heavy metal/hard rock bands. Both have extensive discographies of nearly 20 CD's. Both have many good songs I've heard on the radio. But I'm hesitant to go through all their albums to track down which songs I like. It would be a very time consuming task. I could ask my friends Vern and John for some help. A GH album from both of these bands would just make my life a whole lot easier.

  • Alanis Morissette: Tough call on this one. Quite a few good songs on "Jagged Little Pill". Then only "Thank U" on "Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie". I already have "Hands Clean" from "Under Rug Swept". And there are a few good cuts from "So-Called Chaos". In the end, I'd buy it. But I do wonder if the GH would have some of her early stuff, from her career as a pop singer, before she went all "Fuck You!" (Ed. Note: Alanis released a GH album on 11/15/05 entitled "the collection". I purchased it on 6/25/06. - 2/25/07)

  • Good Charlotte: Along the same lines as Fuel. This one really hinges on a single song though. "The Click", the theme song to the short-lived MTV cartoon "Undergrads". This song was on their self-titled debut. If the GH has it, I'll buy it. If not, I'll resort to buying their first two albums to get the good songs. (Ed. Note: I bought the self-titled album on 6/25/06 and "The Young and the Hopeless" on 7/5/06. - 2/25/07)

  • Kid Rock: He's getting close. About 2-3 good songs per each of his 4 albums. If he doesn't release a GH for his next album, the NEXT one after that should be a GH, IMO.

  • Linkin Park: I hope they don't leave out the original version of "Numb". But with only 5 songs (6 including the Linkin Park/Jay-Z "Numb/Encore" remix) from 2 albums, it's going to be about 10 years for before any GH album from these guys. (Ed. Note: Bought "Hybrid Theory" and "Meteora" after the first of this year. I still want the "Numb/Encore" remix, but that could be picked up on iTunes. - 2/25/07)

  • Limp Bizkit: Although Fred Durst claims in his blog/the band's web site that he won't do it, I can't see him not doing it. I count enough songs for them to do one right now. Unfortunately, I don't see all 12 of them making it. Let's just wait and see what happens on this one. (Ed. Note: limpbizkit released a GH album a few weeks ago. And I bought it. - 11/24/05)

  • Lisa Loeb: I'm buying this one for only three songs. Every song is on a different album.

  • Dave Matthews Band: My problem with DMB is simple. 20 albums. 17 are live. 3 are studio. How the hell am I supposed to go through, find the studio albums, then find the songs I like? I won't. They should make it easy for me (Ed. Note: Please see my blog post from 11/9/06 for my comments on the recently released DMB GH. - 2/25/07).

I've got more to say about Greatest Hits albums. But I'm saving that for another day. This took me nearly a week to write.

Anyone looking for my entry about my 2005 goals will have to wait until next week, at the earliest.

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