The Tuesday DiScussion: what's the best best-of?
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- Blur »
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Come every Christmas a rash of best-of releases floods store shelves nationwide, rendering thoughtful gifts forgotten and ensuring that anyone that once uttered “I prefered ‘Roll With It’, actually” receives a copy of Stop The Clocks, the Oasis best-of collection. This Christmas, anyway, and about time too – Blur’s correspondent release came out six years ago, ‘Country House’ and all.
Which makes you think, doesn’t it? When did our bands – Blur, Oasis, Manic Street Preachers, Supergrass, Nirvana, Mudhoney – start releasing best-of albums, and doesn’t it mean we’re getting old? Where was I when the stamp of approval was placed upon the plans for a Mansun best-of? Still, at least there’s no Kula Shaker best-of. What? There is? Kollected: The Best Of Kula Shaker you say? Released in 2002? Well I’ll be…
Convenient, though, said unlikely ‘greatest hits’ collection is, as this Tuesday’s DiScussion piece focuses on best-of releases, past, present and future. What bands have ever really earned a best-of? The Beatles? Fair enough, and we expect 1 to feature prominently when we ask you for your best-ever best-ofs. Led Zeppelin? Hell yes – buy Remasters now if it’s not already at home waiting for you to rock to it upon your return. Pink Floyd? Again, Echoes is a must-have if you’ve not already collected the ‘Floyd’s finest LPs. Then you've Bowie, Iggy Pop, T-Rex, Thin Lizzy, Fleetwood Mac, Hendrix... But these are all old bands, no? Bands that our dads listened to, releasing CDs that we’ve all purchased so that the old man can listen to ‘Communication Breakdown’ while parking the car at Sainsbury’s. When did our bands get to the best-of stage?
Look at the release schedule for the next few months: there’s Gomez’s 5 Men In A Hut (news story), Moby’s Go (likewise), Oasis’ aforementioned effort on November 20, and Mansun’s Legacy next month. These are bands and acts we grew up with, releasing records more regularly associated with crusty ol’ rockers looking for a little extra dough (or should that read crusty ol’ labels looking for a little extra dough). Or, are these acts that we hold so dear – acts that our parents called ‘noise’ before drowning our protesting out with Yes – actually old enough to deserve career round-up records?
Which, finally, leads us to the DiScussion of the day: what are your favourite best-of albums? There are, like, A Million Actually to choose from, but we’re thinking post-1990 affairs, really – it’s ‘cause we’re young, ish. Soundgarden’s A-Sides is pretty ace, no? March To Fuzz (Mudhoney) never fails to raise a smile chez Diver, and we’ve been enjoying Massive Attack’s Collected in the office lately. What about Nick Cave’s great best-of collection, or Placebo’s Once Again With Feeling, if only for ‘Teenage Angst’? Björk's best-of is a must-have for sure, if you don't already own the Homogenic and Vespertine albums. The there's The Prodigy...
Additionally, who should release a best-of? Beck, maybe? Radiohead? Fugazi? Weezer? The Flaming Lips? Primal Scream? Who’s due an update, after already releasing a best-of record? What about Sonic Youth? Screaming Fields Of Sonic Love could do with an additional disc these days. I’d mention another… but my brain’s fried from thinking about Kula Shaker.
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