How do you feel about "greatest hits"?

Discussion in 'Music' started by MartinTeller, Jan 18, 2004.

  1. MartinTeller

    MartinTeller Screenwriter

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    When I was a bit younger and way more hardcore about music (I would guess that about 5000-6000 albums have passed through my collection over the years) I used to shun "Best of" collections in favor of the original albums. I was very much a purist in that regard.

    But lately, as I've been replacing my vinyl with CDs, I've discovered that for many artists I'm perfectly happy with just the hits. Especially in classic rock. Why have every Doors album when the recent Legacy 2-disc collection has almost all my favorites? Sure, I'll miss "Love Street" and "Been Down So Long"... but not enough to get upset over it. Eagles? Very Best Of has all the greats without having to trudge through crap like "Hollywood Waltz". And it can't replace ALL the Stones albums, but I find that 40 Licks is an acceptable substitute for everything pre-Aftermath and post-Sticky Fingers (yes, even Exile on Main St). I could go on and on.

    So what do you think? Have I become a heathen, or does anyone else agree with me?
     
  2. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Tend to the other way around -

    the Greatest Hits get boring, the cds nearly always put them in chrono order. (And I can't stand "shuffle" play on CD players, so that doesn't help much.)

    Only problem is I can't afford to replace all those albums I have owned on vinyl or cd, that I got rid of, when I thought greatest Hits albums would suffice [​IMG]

    Not to mention that a lot of the vinyl probably hasn't come to cd...

    Most of what I buy today is "albums", rather than compilations
     
  3. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    It's great for music released before LPs became the norm. I also like it for soul and R&B albums.

    Some comps that I have:

    Aretha Franklin
    Ottis Redding
    The Staples Singers
    Sly & the Family Stone (though I want to get their albums)
    Cream (love their best stuff, but find some of their deeper album cuts to be way outdated)
    John Mellencamp
    Stephane Grapelli
    Benny Goodman (though I want to get live stuff)
    Count Basie (as well as a couple of his later albums)
    Billy Holiday (early stuff)
     
  4. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    In general, I prefer non-GH albums, even if I'm introducting myself to an artist. However, many important artists in various genres didn't record any proper albums, or they recorded before the era of the album, and compilations are the only way to go. Robert Johnson and Chuck Berry are examples that come to mind.
     
  5. Jim Rakowiecki

    Jim Rakowiecki Stunt Coordinator

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    You all know that in some cases bands were nothing but hit machines and released albums with two or three good songs and the rest of the album was flat. In those cases I really like having the greatest hits options available to me.
    I like them when I'm exploring an artist I don't know much about and if I like what I hear I go further if I don't I haven't invested too much.
    Why spend hundreds of dollars aquiring a bunch of albums when you know darn well that you will never listen to 80% of songs on them if you can reach your goal for 12 bucks and get all the stuff that you really wanted?
    Let's be honest and admit that not all artisits are prolific songwriters or are able to fill an entire album with great or in some cases even good material so there will always be room for compilations.
     
  6. robertLP

    robertLP Stunt Coordinator

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    What really bugs me is when an artist I really like puts out a GH album with 1 or 2 new songs on it. The record companies know the diehard fans have to have those two songs and are willing to pay $15 for them...

    Otherwise, GH albums are a good way to 'sample' a band before delving into their whole catalog.
     
  7. Carl Miller

    Carl Miller Screenwriter

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    Depends on the band for me, and I think it comes down to whether you're a casual fan of a band or more than that.

    The Eagles Greatest Hits is enough for me but Decade of Steely Dan isn't...Gotta have Aja, Pretzel Logic and Katy Lied.

    Oh, and there's no way I could live with 40 Licks to satisfy my Stones listening. Exile, Sticky Fingers and Some Girls are 3 Stones albums I listen to from start to finish. Gotta have them, as well as the rest of their 70's work.

    I don't know..A friend of mine bought some Pink Floyd GH package that I didn't even know existed. All I could do was shake my head and wonder how anyone could pass on the complete Dark Side, Wish You Were Here, Wall, Animals and Meddle.
     
  8. Chris Stainton

    Chris Stainton Second Unit

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    That is my view as well.
     
  9. Ben_wood

    Ben_wood Stunt Coordinator

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    My only gripe against greatest hits collections is the tendency of some record companies to use radio edit versions instead of the full-length song. This is in my opinion totally unacceptable. [​IMG]
     
  10. Chris Stainton

    Chris Stainton Second Unit

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    Radio edits can be a pain but I prefer them to either live versions or remixes. It always bugs me when the one song you liked the best, they use a live version.
     
  11. MartinTeller

    MartinTeller Screenwriter

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    Yeah, Echoes. I've been seeing a ton of those in the used bins lately. I don't get that one either. I can't imagine anyone being happy with that thing (especially when it wastes 30 minutes on post-Waters material). Pink Floyd is just not a singles band. Then again, neither is Yes, and I'm pretty satisfied with just Classic Yes.
     
  12. Yee-Ming

    Yee-Ming Producer

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    Well, sometimes I'm not in the mood for an entire album in particular, but just want to hear the more popular tracks. Call me a heathen, then.

    (FWIW, I do have almost all PF albums, and they do get a good workout. On the other hand, so do the likes of Pulse and MLOR, besides Echoes.)
     
  13. gene c

    gene c Producer

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    For me, there is a place for GH's. I like them in the car, while doing house-work and while working in the garage on my two cars (my other expensive hobby). I don't get them instead of albums, but usually along with albums. When I sit and really "listen" to music, it's always the albums. But GH's have thier place. I agree about the short versions though. A real disapointment. I also like "compilations", such as "Songs of the 70's" or "Metal Mania." But again, only for casual listening. Gene
     
  14. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Fortunately, those songs are usually not nearly as good. Anyway, I'm not big on bonus tracks and such.

    But, still, yes, a fan would want them, and it's silly to buy a whole CD for two songs. And then folks wonder why the krazy kids go clickey-clackity on the Kazaa...
     
  15. Chris Stainton

    Chris Stainton Second Unit

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    Absolutely correct.
     
  16. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    "Greatest Hits" when key tracks are left off is Bad!

    Sometimes it's because the performer has changed labels during his/her career.

    Then there is Beethoven's Greatest Hits, Baroques Greatest hits, etc. S'far as I know, Billboard didn't even publish back in the day, so who says so!!!

    [​IMG]
     
  17. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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    Ugh, the classic "hits" collections- don't get me started. Almost as bad as "Mozart for Lovers."
     
  18. MartinTeller

    MartinTeller Screenwriter

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    edit: whoops, made a mistake
     
  19. Rachael B

    Rachael B Producer

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    The whole concept of greatest hits is unrfair to the thousands of GREAT musicans who never had a so-called hit.

    Then there's the Jefferson Airplane philosophy...all hits are shite. Therefore they did a WORST OF album.[​IMG]
     
  20. Kevin Leonard

    Kevin Leonard Supporting Actor

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    What, almost 20 posts and nobody's said it yet? Fine, I will:

    "Compilations are for housewives and little girls!"*

    In all seriousness, I don't mind GH-type packages at all. If well-chosen, it can serve as an exceptional introduction to a musician.

    Because after all, there's no guarantee that just because you liked one album by an artist, you're going to like anything else they have done. Take for instance the king of genre-hopping, David Bowie; when people ask me where to start with him, I just lend them The Singles: 1969 - 1992 and let them choose their own path from there.

    *Seriously, you people need to watch more "Kids in the Hall" [​IMG]
     

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