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disagree? you're wrong
you want to be able to see the development of a band throughout their career, see the arc which they follow.
Having just a collection of non-chronological songs is the coward's way out. More often than not its an excuse to hide the bad stuff (earlier material, or more likely later) amongst the bona fide classics.
i'm a bit like this, but I think if bands have been around a long time, or have a clearly defined sound, then the greatest appeal of a greatest hits compilation is that it might be in a really good order soundwise. However if it is a singles album, then it probably should be in order.
But then I'm not sure why I am even arguing this. I think Greatest Hits albums are ridiculous - generally just used as moneyspinners. They are also bad ways of getting into bands because if you like them then you invariably single out the tracks from albums you might get that you have already heard.
The only acceptable greatest hits albums are literally for bands where they actually have 20 or so songs that are much better than the rest of their stuff, bands like The Charlatans, or Supergrass.
But even so.
I don't even know what I'm talking about, I'm just totally bored.
but Greatest Hits albums are sometimes the best way to get into an artist. Somebody like Prince, where his greatest songs are spread around 20 odd records, many of which are nowhere near being his most critically or commercially popular albums.. the best way to get hold of all of them is via a Greatest Hits. Of course, in this day and age people just download such tracks, but a Best Of album is often the most efficient way of getting to grips with an artist with a large body of work
I do agree with you on the singling out of particular tracks you may have already heard on albums you've just bought, but thats an issue whther you've heard it on a greatest hits, downloaded it or had it played a lot on the radio. It definitely affects the experience, but sometimes you just have to work around it
a greatest hits of QOTSA than have to listen to all their albums
but yes, they'd have an incredible greatest hits collection
part of me would want there to be no chronology because its all great and there's definitely some common ground between all the material. But you'd be missing out if you didn't see their transferral from bass heavy stoner to drugged out psych to extremely loud heavy metal to spooky fairy rock to robotic riffage. You just wouldn't get the full picture
most bands wanting to release greatest hits albums should just release singles collections chronologically to save having to decide things like this, cf. Mckluskyism CD1...take note Idlewild.