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> The best Greatest Hits albums
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dandy*
post Feb 17 2021, 03:56 PM
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Greatest hits albums are gradually going out of fashion, well as new releases anyway, but once upon a time they were a very successful extra chance at making money from the same songs - or in some cases provided great sales for acts who had rarely sold as much before.

I firmly believe there is an art to making a great one of these though and whilst some are excellent, quite a few often miss the mark. But for this thread let's focus on the ones that do hit the target spot on... so I'm asking you, which greatest hits albums are essential for you and what is it about them that make them so very good?

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dandy*
post Feb 17 2021, 04:18 PM
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I'm going to start with the first compilation from the Pet Shop Boys as I think it's one of the absolute best examples of how to do a greatest hits album. You get all the singles in chronological order up to 1991, something I really prefer in these albums as it documents the journey that the band have gone through up until that point in their career. Plus you get a couple of new tracks for good measure that feel like part of the journey, rather than just tagged on left overs.

In this case it helps that pretty much every one of this singles is essential, with imo only Was It Worth It not really hitting the mark. Their later attempt 'Pop Art' is also pretty great but it doesn't quite have the same level of consistent standard that this has. It's a record that shows what a fantastic band they were and I believe that pretty much every song on here still stands up so well today - from the pinnacles of OTT pop that was It's a Sin and Always On My Mind through to more thoughtful classics such as Being Boring and Rent. It's got absolutely everything I could want.

I also really like the way they give you stats in the album notes about the success of the tracks (or not!) and there is a snippet from Neil about each song that provides an extra little bit of connection to the experience - I particularly love the note about Where The Streets Have No Name where he mentions that Bono asked "What Have I Done To Deserve This"???

10 West End Girls
08 Love Comes Quickly
09 Opportunities
10 Suburbia
10 It's a Sin
10 What Have I Done To Deserve This?
10 Rent
10 Always On My Mind
10 Heart
09 Domino Dancing
10 Left To My Own Devices
09 It's Alright
10 So Hard
10 Being Boring
07 Where The Streets Have No Name
10 Jealousy
09 DJ Culture
05 Was It Worth It
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Liam.k.
post Feb 17 2021, 04:23 PM
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Madonna's 'The Immaculate Collection' for the same reasons you state!

I ought to check out that collection from Pet Shop Boys, I like their big hits and I've been revisiting 'It's a Sin' a lot lately.
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dandy*
post Feb 17 2021, 04:29 PM
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You should definitely take a listen Liam, I really think you'd enjoy it. It is very comparable to The Immaculate Collection in the way it's structured, you get the first big hit followed by a lesser hit and then gradually a constant climb in terms of popularity and creativity, then a more serious and reflective side... in fact even down to the two bonus tracks - with both showing a different side to them, DJ Culture being more low impact but rewarding and Was It Worth It being more of a precursor of where they would go in the 90s

The Immaculate Collection is great as you know - but I'd possibly say that Discography manages to be ever so slightly better ohmy.gif
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gooddelta
post Feb 17 2021, 04:34 PM
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I think I personally prefer PopArt as far as PSB collections go, they have so much great stuff from especially the Very and Billingual albums that obviously came after Discography, and I like the way the two discs separated the poppier side and the less commercial side of their music. Granted there are some fillers on it, but it's to be expected of a two-disc set.

Ultimate Kylie from 2004 was also excellent, I liked the split between the two well defined elements of her career up to that point and while it wasn't chronological, the tracklisting made a lot of sense, especially all the big hits kicking off the second disc.
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dandy*
post Feb 17 2021, 04:51 PM
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Oh there's definitely a lot of excellent to be had from PSB after the Discography compilation was released - although I do think it has more low points without a doubt too. A little off the top of my head but I'm particularly fond of the following and I'd have them as a second best of album with no hesitation...

01 Can You Forgive Her?
02 Go West
03 I Wouldn't Normally Do This Kind Of Thing
04 Before
05 Se a Vida é
06 A Red Letter Day
07 I Don't Know What You Want But I Can't Give It Any More
08 You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk
09 Home And Dry
10 I Get Along
11 Flamboyant
12 Minimal
13 Integral
14 Love etc
15 The Way It Used To Be
16 Leaving
17 Vocal
18 Love Is a Bourgeois Concept
19 The Pop Kids
20 Burning The Heather
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fiesta
post Feb 17 2021, 04:55 PM
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I bought more greatest hits albums than studio albums. I have by these acts
Queen (1 & 2)
Inxs
Simply Red
Beatles (no .1s)
Michael Jackson (essential)
U2
killers
Pet Shop Boys (discography)
Paul Weller
Creedence Clearwater revival
Crowded house
Kinks
Bruce Springsteen
Tina Turner
Oasis
Wham (final)
George Michael
The Who
Eurythmics
Texas
Bon Jovi
David Bowie
Wings
Supertramp
Roachford
Spencer Davis Group
Billy Joel
Alison Moyer
Small Faces
Sugababes
Stevie Wonder
Erasure
10cc
Robert Palmer
Robbie Williams
Eagles
James
Bryan Adams
Jamiroquai
Thompson twins
Mike & mechanics
Duran Duran
Prince
Electric Light Orchestra
Monkees
Elton John

Queen is the best imo


This post has been edited by fiesta: Feb 17 2021, 04:59 PM
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Popchartfreak
post Feb 17 2021, 05:24 PM
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Pet Shop Boys Popart is amazing apart from the Non-Chronological thing which really really bugs me on hits compilations, but I love them throughout their career, right up to recent stuff. I may be biased.

The only acts to compare in my affection are Abba and The Beatles, in which case the single hits albums aren't enough (Gold & 1) it has to be Abba Thank You For The Music boxed hits collection and the Red & Blue albums for the Beatles with a preference for the Blue album if I'm forced to pick.

Outside them, Bee Gees, ELO, Monkees, Beach Boys, Bowie 4 CD or 2CD packages, T.Rex, George Michael, Motown hits, zillions of others obviously. I prefer later Madonna hits albums cos I like the single versions not remixes, but I'm still waiting for the definitive Madonna collection cos she's so bloody-minded that True Blue among others still haven't appeared on them. So, as I always take a strop when artists don't do EXACTLY WHAT I WANT tongue.gif I don't buy the albums till I catch them in bargain bins or charity shops for next to nothing. laugh.gif

If I was streaming, which I'm not, I'd make up my own hits Playlists - I pretty much have done that on CD's for the car for a decade now, cherry-picking current tracks I love so I get exactly what I want.

Hits collections still waiting for: KLF. Rihanna. Katy Perry. Gaga. De La Soul. Among many.
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Chez Wombat
post Feb 17 2021, 05:38 PM
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The Immaculate Collection is great as you can clearly see the progress she makes and how mature and experimental her music gets over the years. Ending on 1990 with Justify My Love was a great way to show she was still very much on top of her game. The Beatles' 1 also shows a similar pattern, granted it only works as a retrospective but it's great seeing their progress from standard bubblegum pop-rock to some of the most adventurous and distinctive music of all time.

ABBA's Gold is great as well mainly as they are an absolutely incredible singles band and the tracklisting is good as it spreads out the hits so you're not quite sure what's coming next.
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Simon.
post Feb 17 2021, 05:42 PM
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My personal favourite is Eternals wub.gif
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Jade
post Feb 17 2021, 05:52 PM
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That Pet Shop Boys Greatest Hits is a fab shout, Dandy. As you know I've recently added it to my record collection! I also second the nods to ABBA's Gold and the 'Red' and 'Blue' Beatles ones - those really show off what they're all about a whole lot more than '1', as such an ever evolving group with iconic album tracks too.

My go-to greatest hits is Basement Jaxx 'The Singles' which doesn't have as clean a structure as mentioned here but is still peppered with some thought. For example, you can easily identify that it begins with their biggest hit and ends with their least well known song. 'Good Luck' and 'Oh My Gosh' are then as high as they are due to their recency when it was released and hit status. But I do still think it fits together pretty well sonically and there are so many wall-to-wall bangers.

I also enjoyed how comprehensive Prince's '4Ever' Greatest Hits is - so many songs and the first-time inclusion of 'Batdance' for one of his Hits compilations.
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Tafty
post Feb 17 2021, 05:54 PM
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Does anyone have any favourite artists where one greatest hits is better that the other, despite not being TOO different (except including newer hits)?

For example, I think that Britney's 'My Prerogative' is stronger than 'The Singles Collection' & I low-key prefer 'The Sound of...' to 'Ten' by Girls Aloud and I don't understand why! laugh.gif They have the same tracks (bar a couple of exclusions, to make room for newer singles - which I enjoy just as much as the excluded singles etc..)

I low-key hate when a greatest hits isn't in chronological order lmao! I like seeing how much an artist has progressed and grown into the artists that they ended up being. It's my one pet-peeve about Kelly Clarkson's GH laugh.gif (but that's riiiight up there as one of my favourites) along with... The Saturdays 'Finest Selection'!
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Liam.k.
post Feb 17 2021, 06:07 PM
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QUOTE(Tafty @ Feb 17 2021, 05:54 PM) *
Does anyone have any favourite artists where one greatest hits is better that the other, despite not being TOO different (except including newer hits)?

For example, I think that Britney's 'My Prerogative' is stronger than 'The Singles Collection' & I low-key prefer 'The Sound of...' to 'Ten' by Girls Aloud and I don't understand why! laugh.gif They have the same tracks (bar a couple of exclusions, to make room for newer singles - which I enjoy just as much as the excluded singles etc..)

Yep I totally feel this! laugh.gif 'Lucky' not appearing on 'The Singles Collection' is infuriating! I wanted to buy it at the time but refused on that basis alone.

Also, you mentioning Kelly Clarkson's greatest hits reminds me that I hate when collections are tagged as "part 1", usually because you know there's no way they're going to have enough future hits to justify a "part 2".
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Tafty
post Feb 17 2021, 06:12 PM
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QUOTE(Liam.k. @ Feb 17 2021, 06:07 PM) *
Yep I totally feel this! laugh.gif 'Lucky' not appearing on 'The Singles Collection' is infuriating! I wanted to buy it at the time but refused on that basis alone.

Also, you mentioning Kelly Clarkson's greatest hits reminds me that I hate when collections are tagged as "part 1", usually because you know there's no way they're going to have enough future hits to justify a "part 2".
My mate literally said the same. He didn't buy 'Singles Collection' due to it not including 'Lucky' or 'Sometimes' laugh.gif

Oh the "Part/Vol 1" and "Part/Vol 2" stuff is definitely irritating laugh.gif
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Tafty
post Feb 17 2021, 06:27 PM
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OH MY DAYS!

I am SO sorry for hi-jacking this pre-2000's thread with post-2000's albums! I genuinely thought this was the lounge cry.gif
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Jade
post Feb 17 2021, 06:37 PM
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Oh yeah oops the Basement Jaxx one I suggested is from the 2000s too laugh.gif well... some songs on it are from the 90s? blush.gif
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Doctor Blind
post Feb 17 2021, 06:44 PM
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The Cure's Greatest Hits is a good example of a Greatest Hits done well, all chronological too - the middle run from “Just Like Heaven” is wub.gif
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dandy*
post Feb 17 2021, 06:46 PM
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I'm sure we can allow discussion of post 2000 greatest hits in here...

...but if I catch you discussing pre-2000s music in the rival retro forum then there will be serious consequences! kink.gif
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King Rollo
post Feb 17 2021, 06:47 PM
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When I first starting buying albums in the early 80s, two of the first ones I bought were Queen's Greatest Hits and 10cc's Greatest Hits. They were two of my favourite groups when I was growing up in the 70s so it was good to be able to listen to their singles in one place.
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Bjork
post Feb 17 2021, 08:27 PM
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not the biggest fan of Greatest Hits, I'd rather buy all the studio albums instead

funnily, when I thought what's a greatest hits that I really like, the first one I thought of was Basement Jaxx

The Immaculate Collection is great but don't think it's perfect, maybe if Dress You Up was there instead of Lucky Star
also miss True Blue and Who's That Girl

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