Classic Rock Bottom

Yes, I'm ripping TageRyche off.  I'll admit it.  I was going to post these in his thread, but then I just decided to make a separate thread.  But as the title says, I'm specifically posting brief thoughts about only greatest hits compilations with a maximum of two discs (I already have a separate thread regarding multi-disc box sets).  These don't get a lot of attention since we typically deal with proper studio albums, so why not.  For some reason, I've been in sort of a greatest hits mood lately.  I also invite anyone else who wants to post a greatest hits disc review to do so here, even if it's a repeat of one of mine.  And I'll do like TageRyche, I'll just keep adding the new posts to this thread.  TR, you can have your people contact my people so we can get this worked out without involving the attorneys.

Ultimate Survivor is a one disc compilation released in 2004.  It contains 18 songs that cover the period from 1979 to 1988, with one song (Rockin' Into The Night) being previously unreleased.  That last song is a cover of the .38 Special song, and is nowhere near as good as the hit version.  Of course, the hits are here.  The songs that I had not heard were good for the most part.  There were a couple of non-memorable ballads (Across The Miles and Man Against The World).  Weirdly, the last four songs had a singer whose voice I didn't recognize.  Maybe someone that reads this can tell me.  It certainly doesn't sound like Jimi Jamison.  The songs are pretty good, but I'm not impressed at all by the vocals.

Personally, I would have liked for the two ballads to be replaced by Broken Promises and Popular Girl from the Vital Signs album.  Anyway, Survivor was very melodic and this was a pleasurable listen for me.

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First off, since you gave me credit as you "ripped me off", I'm good. LOL

Did you read the essay in the booklet? The cover of the .38 Special song was actually written by Jim Peterik, Frankie Sullivan and Gary Smith. There's an explanation about the song in the essay.

Oh, and I LOVE "Man Against The World". Though I do agree with you about how "Broken Promises" and "Popular Girl" should've been on the album.

As for the last four songs, to the best of my knowledge the vocalist is original singer David Bickler, who fronted the group through the Caught In The Game album.

No on the booklet, it is filed away in a box somewhere.

For shame!

BTW, if I ever get around to it, I might be doing a review of a Foreigner box set. It's got 6 or 7 albums in it. I'll be sure to rip you off and acknowledge doing so if I don't just post it in your thread on box sets.


By the way, I went back and listened to Ultimate Survivor and yes, the 38 Special version of "Rockin' Into The Night" is way better than the Survivor version.

Today I listened to Styx Greatest Hits album.  This was released in 1995 and was the sixth "hits" compilation released by the band.  I use to listen to this quite often, so it's well known to me.  And while I do think it's a good compilation, for some reason it doesn't really rank up there in the upper echelon of single disc compilations (which I will eventually get to) in my book.  And that's strange because I really like Styx.

First, the opener, Lady 95, is a re-record due to the fact that the band could not obtain the proper rights to include the original recording.  The re-record does not include original drummer John Panozzo due to health issues.  It's faithful to the original and sounds fine.  But I'd rather have the original.

On a separate side bar, I think it's totally ridiculous that a recording artist that writes their own music has to seek rights to re-release it.  I agree that whoever paid for it to be recorded should be compensated, but the artists should be able to use it in any way they want.

Styx recorded some killer rock songs and some terrific ballads in their career.  Out of the sixteen songs included here, half of them are ballads.  Now, a Styx ballad can also be a rocker, like Come Sail Away or Suite Madame Blue.  Or it can be gentle and sweet like The Best of Times or Babe.  Basically, a ten to six rocker to ballad ratio would have been better for me.  

Basically, I like all of the songs here, but pure standouts are Suite Madame Blue, Lorelei, Come Sail Away, Crystal Ball, Fooling Yourself (The Angry Young Man), Blue Collar Man (Long Nights) and Renegade.  I could take these songs I just mentioned and easily add a totally different 9 songs and still have a tremendous compilation.  But you certainly can't go wrong here either, especially not the casual fan, which in truth, is who the "greatest hits" compilations are geared toward.  

The next entry for this thread is Queen's Greatest Hits album.  Don't be fooled, there are multiple greatest hits compilations by Queen, even some having the same name.  The disc pictured here contains 17 songs from the band's career.  It is not chronological as far as the track listing goes.  I guess that's not a big deal, but I kind of like it chronological.  Oh well.  Do not be surprised to see multiple Queen entries in this thread.

As far as this one goes, it's fair.  It's probably not the best one you could spend your money on as it does not contain Bohemian Rhapsody.  You do get most of the other hits like We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, Another One Bites The Dust, Killer Queen, Somebody To Love, Fat Bottomed Girls, Bicycle Race, You're My Best Friend and Crazy Little Thing Called Love.  That covers the first half or so of the disc, with the second half being pretty good songs but not what I'd call big hits.  It does have Play The Game and Save Me, two of my favorite Queen songs off of The Game.  As a matter of fact, the disc is somewhat centered on that mid-period for the band.  I would also have preferred the inclusion of Spread Your Wings and Sheer Heart Attack.  And I would never make a mid-period greatest hits disc without Dragon Attack.

But face it, Queen had so many great songs, hits and album tracks, that you really would struggle to pick out just the seventeen best.  Overall, I don't think this is the disc I'd recommend for an introduction to the band.  And like I said earlier, maybe I'll cover one later that I would recommend.  

I have a Queen greatest hits collection but it has a blue cover as far as I remember. And yes, they have so many great songs that a 17 song single disc might not be enough to cover every one of their great songs.

I have a blue covered one too.  First song is "A Kind Of Magic". 

That's Greatest Hits II.

Are you sure?  It's all quite confusing.

Also, I remember picking up a really, really cheap cd quite a few years ago entitled Classical Queen...yep, it was Queen songs played by an orchestra.

I a classical one as well. It was also really, really cheap. 

Yeah, they have Greatest Hits, Greatest Hits II, Greatest Hits III as well as other comps.


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