The Cars were responsible for some of rock's most recognizable radio hits by the mid-'80s, so when the band took an extended break after their successful tour for Heartbeat City, 1985's Greatest Hits was assembled. Mixed in with the familiar selections was a brand-new track, the playful "Tonight She Comes" (which became a Top Ten hit), as well as a remix of the overlooked "Shake It Up" ballad "I'm Not the One." And while most of the expected hits are represented ("Just What I Needed," "Let's Go," "Drive," "Shake It Up," etc.), some of the selections prove questionable – why was the title track from Heartbeat City (an unsuccessful single) included instead of the 1984 Top 20 hit "Hello Again"?
The Complete Greatest Hits is an awkward title, but it's more or less accurate. Less because there are two new recordings here ("World of Light," "Paradise") at the end that couldn't qualify as hits. More because it does contain all of the group's greatest hits, from their Warner recordings from the '70s ("A Horse With No Name," "Tin Man," "Ventura Highway," "Lonely People," and "Sister Golden Hair") to their smooth recordings for Capitol in the early '80s ("You Can Do Magic," "The Border"). Not counting Rhino's superb box set, Highway, this is the first collection to do this, and it makes for an excellent listen and a great, succinct summary of their strengths.
The Pretenders Greatest Hits is a selection of 20 songs and their variously successful videos. Chrissie Hynde arrived in the UK in 1973, and after a period as the "Loud Yank" NME journalist, she realised her dream of putting a band together. "Stop Your Sobbing" was a terrific first single for The Pretenders, debuting a voice that defied comparison or description. Naturally it's included here. Chrissie hated the early videos for her songs, especially "Brass in Pocket", which was one of the very first shown on MTV. She relays this sort of information to camera in the terrific documentary, "No Turn Left Unstoned", featured on this DVD. Comments come in from Rosanna Arquette, ex-managers, Elvis Costello, Bono, and her oldest friend.
The very idea that Manfred Mann, perhaps Great Britain's longest running rock band - other than the Rolling Stones - would have "hits" in the 21st century is rather odd and inaccurate (perhaps "hits according to who?" is the question). This set nonetheless features two CDs and 36 tracks. Virtually every single from the earliest Manfred Mann band is here, including "Do Wah Diddy Diddy," "Mighty Quinn," "5-4-3-2-1," "Sha La La," "Hubble Bubble (Toil And Trouble)," as well as wild covers of the hits of the day - because after all, Manfred Mann were, more than anything else, a cover band - "Fox on the Run," "Handbags and Glad Rags," "Just Like a Woman," "If You Gotta Go, Go Now," and of course, the tracks that put retirement money in Bruce Springsteen's bank account…
The Pretenders' 1987 collection, The Singles, did a fine job of assembling most of the group's finest tracks up to that point in their career, so after another decade passed, their record company felt it was necessary to compile a more "updated" collection, 2000's Euro-only release Greatest Hits. Although it contains a total of 20 tracks, Greatest Hits ultimately fails to improve over its predecessor, for the simple fact that the early '80s was the Pretenders' artistic and commercial peak, and Greatest Hits contains too much latter-day material. Whereas it would have been a wise move to showcase such oft-overlooked classics as "Tattooed Love Boys," "Mystery Achievement," "Precious," "My City Was Gone," or "Birds of Paradise" (all of which weren't included on The Singles), Greatest Hits includes such not-as-strong selections as "Night in My Veins," "Breakfast in Bed," and "Human" instead. Although there are quite a few gems included ("Brass in Pocket," "Message of Love," "Talk of the Town," "Kid," "Back on the Chain Gang," etc.), Greatest Hits leaves out far too many prime selections to be considered truly definitive.
Greatest Hits is a lean yet complete overview of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' biggest singles from their first prime. Sure, it's possible to pinpoint a few great songs missing, but the group had a lot of great songs during the late '70s and '80s…
A straightforward summary of the Shadows' first three years of habitual hit-making, opening with the pounding flurry of "Apache," then tracing through the next eight smash singles, with a handful of attendant B-sides (and one EP cut, the title track from The Boys) to round the package out. There is no denying the sheer brilliance of this early sequence. Hits like "Wonderful Land," "FBI," and "Man of Mystery" utterly rewrote the guitar's role in rock, not only musically, but culturally as well. Unquestionably, the Shadows' importance and impact diminished as the years passed, but at the outset of their career – the period documented here – they were untouchable. It is for that reason that The Shadows' Greatest Hits is still regarded in some quarters as the finest Shadows album of them all, an accolade which no other compilation (and goodness knows, there's been enough of them) has ever been able to dismiss. Even the sleeve screams "masterpiece."
This collection, remastered for SACD, covers the Zombies' short and tasteful career, spanning their 1964-1967 years for Decca Records, and their single album, the classic Odessey & Oracle, for Epic Records in 1968. Two versions of "She's Not There" are included here, one the so-called "stereo underdub" version that lacks the snappy drum overdub that gives the superior single version its crisp, edgy feel. There are also two mixes of "Time of the Season," the familiar version and an alternate mix that features a little more organ in the verse sections.