Your Take: Latest and Greatest
Yesterday on the blog, CM reviewed Joe Nichols’ new greatest hits album, the aptly titled Greatest Hits, and found that the songs not featured in the collection are perhaps even more notable than those that were:
Trouble is, Show Dog-Universal has diverged from a straight by-the-charts ranking with some frustrating choices that actually make the album less interesting. “It Ain’t No Crime” appears in place of the higher-ranking “If Nobody Believed In You,” and “She Only Smokes When She Drinks” and “Another Side of You” (both #17) get leapfrogged by “Cool to Be a Fool” (a #18 in 2003). If the label really had their hearts set on including “Crime” and “Cool,” they could have done us the small favor of also including the other three, all serious ballads whose inclusion could have made this feel like a more well-rounded collection.
Beyond the album’s inclusions and exclusions, commenter Lucas questioned the role and value of an artist’s greatest hits albums:
Excellent review, a greatest hits package is often a stop-gap measure during a lull or transition in an artist’s career. He’s been around nearly 10 years, which used to equate to 10 albums, but he’s around 5 or 6. Figure 3 to 4 singles off an original album and this collection should be 15 songs plus 2 or 3 new songs.
What are your thoughts on greatest hits or best-of collections? Are they entryways into an artist’s best materials? In the age of digital downloads, are they as important as they once were?
Also, what milestones do you think an artist should hit before considering a greatest hits album of his or her songs? Is there a magic number of hits, or a certain number of years in the business? Can you think of any examples of unnecessary hits albums?
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