Your Take: Latest and Greatest

Karlie Justus Marlowe | January 29th, 2011

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?

  1. Paul W Dennis
    January 29, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Back in the days when artists issued three or four albums a year, and albums feature only one single (or occasionally two singles), greatest hits collections were useful in collecting an artists hits for someone who did not wish to purchase the ten or twelve albums from which the hits were taken. TOday with albums going for or five songs deep for singles, the need for these collections is far less, although there still are artists from whom I purchase only the hits collections

    Unnecessary hits albums included the Phil Vassar album (he wrote a bunch of hits, but had very few hits himself), the new Joe Nichols album (I like him but ten songs ? C’mon) and any artist who does not have enough real hits to give you at least a 12 song album.

  2. Trailer
    January 29, 2011 at 9:25 am

    Big & Rich’s deserves a spot as a least essential. 2 1/2 hits a “Greatest Hits” album does not make. I usually only get greatest hits comps as introductions to artists I’m not that familiar with or for older artists whom I’ve only heard the major hits from. “Best of’s” are becoming more and more pointless daily, but for people who don’t do digital music or folks too disinterested to gather their own favorites set, I guess they’re still viable.

  3. numberonecountryfan
    January 29, 2011 at 9:39 am

    First of all, I was shocked to see a review of a greatest hits CD (I think that was the first one I had seen here). In the case of Joe Nichols, his catalog is not deep, so for Show Dog-Universal to include the other top 20 hits (mentioned above), plus his hit Believers (his lowest charted top 40 hit) would have rounded the collection better. Rest assured, this CD will be his swan song for SD-U (like Alan Jackson’s recent hits CD and hopefully, Tim McGraw’s as well).
    What I hate about record companies is their approach of compiling a hits collection. Look at Don Williams. His record company (MCA) put out a two disc hits package called Anthology. Several years later, they repackaged it as Gold (the big difference is the album art, but the same songs).
    I also hate when an artist passes away, a record company is sure to jump on the chance to recapture the artist’s glory by releasing a hits CD (or even a boxed set). Look at Conway Twitty. He died in 1993 and just about the time of the first anniversary of his death, MCA released a box set of his music (along with his duet partner, Loretta Lynn). Twitty was due a box set treatment when he first left MCA in 1981 (later rejoined the label in 1986).

  4. Jonathan
    January 29, 2011 at 10:09 am

    The best Greatest Hits albums are best of collections of an artist’s music. The kind of release that spans an artist’s career, not just a handful of their albums.
    Reba’s 50 GREATEST HITS comes to mind as a prime example or even George Strait’s Boxed Set. Other examples are like The Very Best of The Eagles, and such.

    I think artists should wait before releasing a collection of their hits. Instead of releasing a hits collection after only a few albums, why not wait until the end of their career and release a collection of their works instead? A collection spanning a career of over 30 years is better to spend your money on than a throwaway hits album of only 12 songs where just a few of them were really essential (if any at all).

    I feel like the Greatest Hits album has turned into a farce. More often than not, record companies are releasing them as final projects in an artist’s contract. The recent #1 collections by Alan Jackson, Tim McGraw, and Brooks & Dunn are prime examples. The Gretchen Wilson GH album also comes to mind.

    I remember when a GH album was special and you couldn’t wait, even if you owned the singer’s entire catalog, to have all the singles in one place. Now it’s a marketing ploy by a record label to cash in on an artist.

    Another trend in GH albums of late is releasing specialty GH albums focusing on #1 hits and such. While they’re all fine and good, I’d rather spend my money on GH albums that include all the hits, not just those that peaked at #1. Unless you’re Alabama, a #1 hit GH album makes little sense.

    To release a GH album, an artist should have a strong body of work, displayed over a long length of time (10, 15, 20 years), worthy of collecting in one place. GH albums should be around 15-20 songs in length and collect the hits we’ve all forgotten about since radio doesn’t play them anymore plus the ones we hear every day. To release a 10 song GH album does no one any justice.

    As I said above, the unnecessary GH albums are those released by record labels to cash in on artists. You can tell, from a mile away, when an artist has had control over their hits album and when they haven’t.

    My favorite GH is Martina McBride’s. She clearly put time and energy into selecting the track list and I really enjoyed reading what she and Paul Worley had to say about each song. It was 18 songs in length and gives a wonderful overview of that period of her career. No other hits collection, unless it spans an artist’s whole career, even comes close.

    Also, the only way a GH album could be an entryway into a artist’s best material, is if their best songs were released as singles. In this era of fluffy, light, ear candy at country radio, the best songs will most likely remain as album cuts or not be cut at all. It’s a numbers game right now between big hits; records sold, and concert attendance. The crafting of a great song as a single has taken a backseat for the most part. So no, GH albums are not likely collections of a singer’s best material.

    I still think GH albums are important because their are just some artists you may not wish to spend money on to buy their full length albums and will only want a GH album from them.

    Remember, there are two different kinds of artists: album artists and singles artists. Album artists craft incredible albums while a singles artist’s focus on what songs will be sent to radio and fill the rest of their albums with fluff. In the case of a singles artist, a GH album will be far stronger than any of the previous records they’ve made. So yes, for singles artists, GH albums are still important.

  5. Matt B
    January 29, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Numberonecountryfan,

    Joe Nichols’ last album for his label? If they were going to breakaway from him, why would they still be promoting “The Shape I’m In?”

  6. numberonecountryfan
    January 29, 2011 at 10:36 am

    ^What else do they have to promote? The CD itself is very cheap to say the least.

  7. Michael A.
    January 29, 2011 at 11:30 am

    I used to loooooooove Greatest Hits compilations. There were very few artists whose entire discographies were represented in my collection, but thanks to compilations, most artists had at least one album on my shelf. In recent years, thanks to iTunes, I’ve been able to cherry pick the singles that I want from an artist.

    It will be interesting to see what RCA releases now that Martina’s run at the label is done.

    A lot of times I found it best to pair up collections to get the best overall picture of an artist’s work (George Strait’s 50 Number Ones & 22 More Hits, despite the shortened versions, Reba’s #1’s & 20th Century Masters Millennium Collection). Of course, that proved impossible with Dolly Parton. I probably had 10 compilations and still didn’t have everything I wanted.

    With the Dixie Chicks and Mary Chapin Carpenter I’ve stuck only to the studio releases.

    I remember being very disappointed with Faith Hill’s The Hits a few years ago.

  8. Eric
    January 29, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Greatest Hits albums, to me, mostly serve to have all the hits in one place for an artist that I don’t enjoy enough to own multiple full albums. While in today’s day and age, it’s possible to just download the songs I like and leave the ones I don’t, it is still nice to have it in a true album. Tracy Byrd is a prime example. Only being 17, I wasn’t overly familiar with his full catalog, and his Greatest Hits was a way to have songs such as “Keeper of the Stars” and “Watermelon Crawl” in my collection. On the flip side, I own every Kenny Chesney album, but I still find delight in his Greatest Hits album that my girlfriend got me for Valentine’s Day last year. The song choice and order is fantastic, making it feel like a real album as opposed to a mere cash play.

    That being said, these albums are starting to get on my nerves, and are part of the reason why I am gravitating towards non-mainstream music, both country and not, more and more. I love Tim McGraw passionately, but I’ve become truly angry at the mere number of hits collections that he has. I don’t care that much whose fault it is, the fans are simply getting ripped off. Non-mainstream artists, without a need for airplay, naturally are more “album-oriented” artists, and I love that. This is why bluegrass artists such as Sierra Hull are becoming more and more interesting to me. I am an album person, and with a very few exceptions (Byrd, Chesney, Alan Jackson, George Strait, Eagles, Tom Petty, Garth Brooks, Pearl Jam), these albums are nothing more than bothersome to me.

  9. Stormy
    January 29, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    For me GH albums are useful as an introduction to an artist. I can understand an artist wanting to take some time off and releasing a GH album to fill the year they take. I can also see an artist releasing a GH album to get some material out if a studio album is taking longer than expected (See also, The Tigers Have Spoken from Neko Case). However, as far as artists I am a fan of, I would rather have a “Rare & Live” tracks album akin to Tigers, The Fine Print (DBTS) or that one album that The Cowboy Junkies did where they put all of their side project songs onto a single album.

  10. WAYNOE
    January 29, 2011 at 4:20 pm

    I have seldom understood a greatest hits album.

  11. Ben Foster
    January 29, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    I see a Greatest Hits album as a basic summary of an artist’s identity, as in the songs that they’re most closely associated with. If I find myself taking a strong liking to an artist who’s released one, then I might use the Greatest Hits album as a starting point in collecting their discography. I’ll just buy a simple concise hit collection, and then later on perhaps delve deeper into their catalog. If the album includes a few new recordings, then that’s icing on the cake.

    Most unnecessary Greatest Hits album? Without a doubt, it would be Trace Adkins Greatest Hits Volume II: American Man. Released only four years and two albums after his original Greatest Hits package, it included one non-single and one song that had already appeared on the previous collection. Sorry, Trace, it just wasn’t time for a Greatest Hits II yet.

  12. Jon
    January 29, 2011 at 4:45 pm

    Non-mainstream artists, without a need for airplay, naturally are more “album-oriented” artists

    Actually, they need airplay, too; it’s just that they’re working in genres and sub-genres where radio programmers resist singles, insisting instead on being serviced full albums and choosing for themselves what to air.

  13. Jon
    January 29, 2011 at 5:10 pm

    PS. One of CM’s points was that the Nichols collection was *not* aptly named.

  14. Paul W Dennis
    January 29, 2011 at 6:17 pm

    I think that the idea of Greatest Hits collections needing to span an artists entire career is absurd – there is no need to wait until a forty year career is in the books in order to issue such a collection – I would say anything an artist has 12-15 unanthologized top ten (or top twenty) hits, it is time for a hits volume

  15. Barry Mazor
    January 29, 2011 at 7:18 pm

    Lots of people who haven’t had an artist’s albums, and maybe the singles either, have played catch-up by getting a hits compilation along the way. For a lot of people, that’s all they want, or will do for the time being. Seems perfectly OK to me, though I suspect that in the single download age, the pure “biggest sellers” set gets less necessary. “Less known gems” might get more useful, on the other hand–curated.

    Some in this discussion have been talking as if the artist had the call when a hits package is put out; that’s hardly ever the case. (Ask Tim McGraw!) Labels put them out when they think there can be enough on one to sell. They might be wrong though.

  16. WAYNOE
    January 29, 2011 at 7:28 pm

    Barry,

    That is true – it is usually the label’s call. Not always, but at times, this has been a precursor for an upcoming split.

  17. Barry Mazor
    January 29, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    Well, a lot of times an artist has one more album on the contract, and that turns out to be it, so it can look like a last notice. And sometimes, too, they milk older hits (and non-hits) after the artist has started to do well somewhere s else. Of course, there are plenty of cases where hits packages are just one more album in an ongoing chain.

  18. Razor X
    January 29, 2011 at 10:07 pm

    I have seldom understood a greatest hits album.

    What’s so hard to understand about them?

  19. Fizz
    January 29, 2011 at 11:11 pm

    Compilations are great for “singles artists,” as somebody called them. You know, those artists whose CD’s you buy because you like the songs you hear on the radio, adn find out those are by far the best songs, and you just spent $10 for two good songs and ten turds? Those are the kind of hits packages I’ll buy, or if it’s someone I’m not a huge fan of and just want a few songs. A guy like Willie Nelson, who has released just an enormous volume of work, but much of it non-essential. Actually, greatest-hits albums served as my introdcution to a lot of country artists.

    But you have to be careful, because there are a ton of crappy compilations out there, with different versions of the songs. A buddy of mine bought a John Anderson best-of, and was disgusted when it turned out to be loungy, Vegas-like renditions of Anderson’s songs instead of the original versions. And look at all the Merle Haggard collecionts that consist of re-recorded versions of songs presumably because he couldn’t secure the rights to the originals. Or there are the compilations you see for five or six bucks in truck stops or something that have ten songs, and half of them were barely hits.

    My neighbor got a Carrie Underwood greatest-hits CD for Christmas. I thought to myself, “She has three albums, how can she have a best-of CD already?” But it turned out to be one of those karaoke CD’s of sound-alike songs with just the backing vocals, bought for him by somebody who didn’t really look too carefully at it.

    I’ve never been a fan of the “buy a bunch of songs you already have to get one or two new tracks’ kind of compilations, particularly since a lot of the “new” tracks are leftovers that didn’t make the cut on previous albums, or tossed-off cover songs just to have something new to add. I don’t like being treated like an easy mark by the label, so I don’t buy those kinds of CD’s.

    Best title for a best-of CD? “Greatest Hit: And 21 Other Pretty Cool Songs” by Dream Theater.

  20. Fizz
    January 29, 2011 at 11:13 pm

    As for teh Joe Nichols CD mentioned in this article? Dude … “Oh no, they put a song that only went to #18, over two songs that went to #17, the horror!” If the discussion is getting that nebulous, maybe Nichols doesn’t worth a compilation.

  21. Jon
    January 30, 2011 at 12:33 am

    And look at all the Merle Haggard collecionts that consist of re-recorded versions of songs presumably because he couldn’t secure the rights to the originals.

    And yet, some of those collections feature many great performances. I pity the fool who thinks that he knows what music sounds like without actually listening to it.

  22. luckyoldsun
    January 30, 2011 at 12:34 am

    Fizz,
    Actually, the new tracks on most major label “Greatest Hits” CD’s are typically brand new recordings of brand new songs, intended to be issued as singles over the following six-or-so months in order to support continuing sales of the disc. Just from memory, I can say that Randy Travis’s “Look Heart, No Hands,” George Strait’s “Check Yes Or No,” Reba McEntire’s “Does He Love You” duet and Mark Chesnutt’s “It’s a Little Too Late” were all number one hits that came off of Greatest Hits albums. (Actually, in Strait’s case, I think it was a box set.)

  23. Donald
    January 30, 2011 at 12:44 am

    Jon, it is sad that the best we can do on a Saturday night is read the comments here! Again, great show tonight.

  24. Rick
    January 30, 2011 at 1:23 am

    Speaking of greatist hits compilations, I’d like to draw attention to a newly released “greatest misses” collection for fans of old time female country duets.

    One of my favorite “obscure” artist discoveries of the last ten years or so were “The Miller Sisters” (actually sisters in law), who recorded for the SUN label back in the mid 1950’s. A handful of singles were released to radio and they all flopped, and that was the end of that for their music career.

    Until recently the only place you could find any of their music was on various SUN label compilations, and then only six songs or so were available. A few years ago I tracked down a compilation of their SUN recordings assembled in 1997 by the AVI label titled “Sun Country Vol. 3, The Miller Sisters – Sun’s Singing Sweethearts” which was only available in Europe! It turns out last September the Snapper label in the UK licensed the AVI tracks (and added a couple more) and released the CD as “Got You On My Mind”. I think Juli Thanki would really like this one. (I’m not so sure about the other 9513 reviewers.)

    http://www.amazon.com/Got-You-Mind-Miller-Sisters/dp/B003UT62DC/ref=sr_1_1?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1296370417&sr=1-1

    The $ 11 cost of new copies is less than I paid for shipping alone from Europe! Crikey!

    A quick story: In the liner notes of the AVI CD it tells of how Colonel Tom Parker approached them after they opened a show for Elvis in 1955 and offered to be their manager! Sadly the older brother of one gal, who was also the husband of the other, was a bossy, egotistical type who told Col. Parker he could handle them just fine on his own. If they had signed with Col. Parker who knows how many gigs they might have played with Elvis! Talk about the hand of fate! Also Sam Phillips wrote in his later years that of all the acts he worked with at SUN in Memphis it was The Miller Sisters he felt the most regret about for giving up on them far too quickly as their unique talent deserved more support. I must say I have to agree with him.

  25. Fizz
    January 30, 2011 at 2:06 am

    Yes, Jon, some of them do … and some of them don’t. My favorite version of “I Think I’ll Just Stay Here And Drink” isn’t the original, but nor is it the most recent re-re-re-re-recording. I was using Haggard as an example of how you might not always be getting what you expect when you plunk down your money for So-And-So’s Greatest Hits. Look at Hank Williams and the various Hank Williams collections where some engineer has attempted to add drums or strings or make the original mono recordings into stereo, resulting in an echoey mess.

    Now go practice that wicked bluegrass bass. Remember: root-five, root-five, root-five. Two fingers.

  26. Thomas
    January 30, 2011 at 4:06 am

    …if a greatest hits collection is not only a batch of the highest charting songs of an artist, but a carefully selected choice of hit songs of the particular artist over given period of his career, then they can be rather use- and mindful compilations and could come in quite handy.

    those label-forced and even untimely releases of not such great hits patched up with some odd additions are nothing more than a digital desease.

    of course in this time and age anybody could make a “best of…” compilation using downloads and a player. to me the greatest hits in cd-format look like a dying breed and i won’t miss them for a second.

  27. Paul W Dennis
    January 30, 2011 at 5:45 am

    I should note that during his career, RCA issued three best of Charley Pride albums and two Greatest Hits albums with no overlap. These albums obviously didn’t slow his momentum down as Charley had 41 #1s and a bunch of other top ten records. Also Capitol issued six best of Buck albums (the latter two volumes being actually just collections of recent singles as Buck’s career had cooled considerably by then

  28. Barry Mazor
    January 30, 2011 at 7:37 am

    About the Miller Sisters, Rick: I mention this because you might like other acts on it too, but there were 10 Miller Sister tracks on the Bear Family 6 CD set “Memphis Belles: The Women of Sun Records.” Not cheap, but sounds excellent, naturally, and there’s a lot of buried treasure..

  29. Jon
    January 30, 2011 at 9:55 am

    I was using Haggard as an example of how you might not always be getting what you expect when you plunk down your money for So-And-So’s Greatest Hits.

    If that’s what you are intended, then you are as incompetent a writer as you are a humorist. Because what any normal reader would find in your paragraph was that you were using Haggard as an example of how you might get bad, inferior versions of his hits. Yet you’re now (correctly) pointing out just the opposite; you might get great, superior ones. That’s fine, but claiming that saying one thing was actually intended to say its opposite is pretty silly. Generally speaking, it’s a good idea to form an opinion about something and then express it clearly.

    Look at Hank Williams and the various Hank Williams collections where some engineer has attempted to add drums or strings or make the original mono recordings into stereo…

    See, here’s where you go off the rails again. What do those have to do with Greatest Hits compilations? Maybe you should write down the topic under discussion on a piece of paper and tape it to your computer for reference while you’re trying to compose a post.

  30. Ollie
    January 30, 2011 at 12:05 pm

    In this era of digital downloads, I don’t think that greatest hits collections are nearly as useful as they used to be but what I’d like to see and hear more of are compilations of an artist’s strong tracks that were never released in digital form or were isolated songs included solely on soundtracks and tribute albums, and/or were recorded for television and radio shows such as Johnny Cash’s television show or the Grand Ole Opry.

  31. Rick
    January 30, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Barry Mazor said:
    “About the Miller Sisters, Rick: I mention this because you might like other acts on it too, but there were 10 Miller Sister tracks on the Bear Family 6 CD set “Memphis Belles: The Women of Sun Records.” Not cheap, but sounds excellent, naturally, and there’s a lot of buried treasures..”

    Thanks for the tip Barry. Actually I’ve been aware of that boxed set for awhile but have never found one offered cheap enough anywhere yet for me to snag! Dang. (I’m always looking though.)

    By the way, I gave a copy of the AVI Miller Sisters CD to The Secret Sisters when they performed in Santa Monica a few months ago. I wanted to give the Rogers sisters a goal to aspire to vocally! (lol)

    PS – For amazing, mostly unknown female country vocalists of the mid 1950’s I just have to add Charline Arthur to the top echelon list! Thank goodness Bear Family put out a compilation CD of Charline’s music.

  32. MayorJoBob
    January 30, 2011 at 6:56 pm

    I like to buy greatest hits albums with descriptive liner notes about each song such as Ricky Van Shelton’s first, Martina McBride and Alan Jackson’s first. It’s no fun when they just remain status quo with lyrics and personnel. That’s one of the reasons why Brad Paisley’s first official hits album seems like a waste to me. The live tracks are nothing new to hear either.

  33. WAYNOE
    January 30, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    @RazorX – If I could answer that question, my original statement would have no meaning.

    @Jon – And I pity the fool who thinks they know about music without being able to play it.

  34. luckyoldsun
    January 31, 2011 at 8:33 am

    W–
    I think Raz was saying that a “Greatest Hits” album seems like such a simple and obvious thing to comprehend that your original statement HAS no readily apparent meaning.

  35. Fizz
    January 31, 2011 at 9:21 am

    And maybe YOU, Mr. Bass Man, could learn to read, Jon, instead of spending all your time telling everyone else what they meant. The first thingI said in that paragraph was that you don’t always know what you’re getting with some of these greatest-hits packages. Maybe the Haggard re-recordings are better, maybe not, maybe someone buying a Haggard greatest-hits wants the originals, no matter what. And those Hank collections are also labelsed as greatest-hits as well.

  36. Jon
    January 31, 2011 at 1:15 pm

    Fizz, you apparently have forgotten how to read, or didn’t bother to look at what you wrote yourself. Because the first thing you said in the paragraph to which I originally responded was:

    “But you have to be careful, because there are a ton of crappy compilations out there, with different versions of the songs.”

    And then you went on to talk about a friend being disgusted by a set of alleged John Anderson remakes, and then you said:

    “And look at all the Merle Haggard collecionts that consist of re-recorded versions of songs presumably because he couldn’t secure the rights to the originals.”

    A straight line from “there are a ton of crappy compilations” to Merle Haggard collections of remakes, without a trace of “sometimes good, sometimes bad” along the way.

    Furthermore, I’ll bet it will be a colder day in Hell than it is right now in Edmonton, AB before you come up with the name of a Hank Williams with strings set labelled as his “Greatest Hits.”

    I fear you are perilously close to adopting Stormy’s “making it up as I go along” approach. That’s a bad idea.

  37. Stephen H.
    January 31, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    I will vouch for the existence of the John Anderson remakes CD, as I was suckered in to purchasing it at Walmart several years ago … but I don’t remember if it was a “Greatest Hits” or “Anthology”.

    But as it stood, I read that sentence about the Merle Haggard collection the exact same way, so if that wasn’t what was meant, it was a very poor way of executing that thought.

  38. numberonecountryfan
    January 31, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    ^Was it the one CD (2004’s The Ultimate Hits) or the two CD (2002’s Anthology)? Both were released by Audium/Koch Records. The songs on those releases would be remakes (and I have seen them both). It is a shame that Warner Bros. (John Anderson’s label from 1978-1986) and BNA Records (he was there between 1991-1996) can not release the original versions together in a two CD set. Imagine Swingin’ next to Straight Tequila Night.

  39. Fizz
    January 31, 2011 at 1:43 pm

    I hope the Night Drivers travel in separate vehicles. Otherwise, it would make for a hell of a long ride with Scheissberger putting every syllable under the microscope. How they manage not to choke him out before they even hit the interstate, I don’t know. They must be saints.

    The Hank CD I was referring to was called something like “Twelve Of His Best”, and had very little in the way of liner notes. One of those cheap deals you can find in truck stops or cutout bins. Turned out to be a repackaging of “The Legend Lives Anew.”

  40. luckyoldsun
    January 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    The John Anderson Anthology was actually an attempt to replicate the original singles note-for-note.
    I wouldn’t want it, because if I want to listen to the originals, I want the actual ORIGINALS.

    Haggard, Willie, et al have had such long careers that they occasionally revisit their classic records. I might be interested in buying and hearing their later interpretations of the old material, as well has buying and listening to the originals.

  41. Barry Mazor
    January 31, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    That Anderson redo hits package came out at a time when the original Greatest Hits CDs on SWarners (Greatest Hits with the B/W photo cover) and Greatest Hits Volume II (yellow cover) were unavailable, and nothing was making them available–including high prices paid by traders. The originals are available again today, as downloads in the usual places. But those originals are still Warner Bros tracks, and linked to the original collections, if you’re buying the album collections.

    And why wouldn’t ya?i

  42. luckyoldsun
    January 31, 2011 at 4:25 pm

    A foreign label also put out an “Ultimate Joe Diffie” disc a year or so ago that seemed definitive and superior to any of the more abbreviated “hits” discs that Epic/Sony had put out over the years. But it turned out that the “Ultimate” Diffie disc was cookie-cutter recreations. I only found out after I bought the disc on-line.

    There’s still no comprehensive John Anderson package with original recordings, as far as I know.

  43. Jon
    January 31, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    @luckyoldsun. Are you sure that “foreign label” isn’t Rounder?

  44. pat
    February 1, 2011 at 12:24 pm

    All that being great, but sometimes you have to think of the artist contract agreement with their label. most contracts state that they have to release a greatest hits album to fulfill the agreement. that is most likely always the case when you have someone releasing a GH album with only mild success. Keep this in mind.

  45. luckyoldsun
    February 2, 2011 at 7:44 am

    J–
    I’m quite sure. I don’t have it in front of me, but I remember that it was some sort of Euro or Australian import. The disc seems to be listed twice now on AMG. Maybe Rounder took it over.

  46. Jon
    February 2, 2011 at 8:29 am

    J–
    I’m quite sure. I don’t have it in front of me, but I remember that it was some sort of Euro or Australian import. The disc seems to be listed twice now on AMG. Maybe Rounder took it over.

    Maybe not.

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  • Leeann Ward: Thanks, NM. I like a good pop hook, to be honest. So, maybe I need to try it again.
  • Barry Mazor: OK, Jim Z. That changes everything. I surrender.
  • Jim Z: to call the Dirty River Boys an "Austin area band" is still incorrect. They are based in El Paso.
  • nm: Leeann, you and I often have similar tastes in more-traditional country. And, to my ears, Sam Hunt's voice and lyrics …
  • Barry Mazor: Matter of fact, as always--I did. The notes say the album was recorded & mixed by and at "The …
  • Roger: Looking forward to picking up the Jamey Johnson Christmas EP - love all of those songs and can't wait for …
  • Jim Z: that record was recorded in El Paso. (you could look it up) and other than appearing in Austin once in …
  • Leeann Ward: Yes, I can always use more dobro in my life! Thanks for the Phil Leadbetter tip! I haven't been able to …
  • Barry Mazor: OK, Jim. The record's more or less out of Austin. But I'm sure they're also good in El Paso...
  • Jim Z: Dirty River Boys are from El Paso, Texas.

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