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Mike Reyes, aka Mr. Controversy, has considered himself a writer ever since he was a child. He wrote for various school publications from about 1995 until 2006, and currently runs both The Bookish Kind and Mr. Controversy, which is an offshoot of the regular column he wrote in High School. He's also authored several short stories such as "The Devil's Comedian", "The Devil v. George W. Bush", and most recently "Wait Until Tomorrow". He resides in New Jersey. Any inquiries for reprinting, writing services, or general contact, should be forwarded to: michaelreyes72@hotmail.com

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Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Rejected by Cracked!: A Buyer's Guide to Music, Part III: The "Very Best Of..." Album

I promised it, you expected it, and now here it is, The Buyer's Guide to Music, Part III!

The "Very Best of..." Album
When it works...: A "Very Best Of..." album is, in most cases, living proof that going back to the well is, frankly, a waste of fucking time and money. You've already plugged through all of, if not 98% of the singles that have made it onto the charts, and now you're reliant on two big assets, the last resorts of the record business: B-sides and Rarities. If your act is big, and I mean BIG, then you're going to have no problem getting people to buy this album. This album is for the fans who are truly obsessed with your work, and need to have EVERYTHING you've produced...which explains the entries that come after.

Example: The Eagles, "The Very Best Of..."
Now THIS is more like it. Yes, it does have all the prerequisites that an Eagles collection should have, but it also has songs I've never even heard of. As an added bonus, it's a 2 discer! With a wider sample of material, and two discs to contain it, this is what truly encapsulates a band's career. And look, they even added a live song and the biggest singles off of their two latest albums, one of which being a big 9/11 cash in but we're not going to talk about that now.

When it gets ugly...: This is another milestone in a musical career that has to be EARNED, and by earned I don't mean merely existing as a band for 23 years and not producing a new album in 15 of those years. It didn't work for Guns N' Roses, they're still stuck in the Greatest Hits category. But even when a band has plenty of material to work with, they can still get caught in a rut because the songs on the Greatest Hits album will always, somehow, in some shape or form, return on future compilations. Why? Because you like them.

Example: Aerosmith, The Devil's Got A New Disguise
With this collection, you don't even get any B-sides OR rarities, you just get two new fucking tracks. They're lame ones at that. I mean, c'mon, "Girls of Summer" sounds like something the goddamn Jonas Brothers would have shit in their sleep, and we're supposed to believe that this is as good as "Walk This Way" or "Dream On"?! The next thing they're going to try and sell you on is "I Don't Wanna Miss A Thing" should have won the Oscar. One would expect more after their much better greatest hits album "Big Ones".
Next time: The "Singles" album


minijonb said...

personally, i hate Live albums even more than Best Of albums. what does it make all the studio albums? the dead discs? it's all marketing bs.

Mr. Controversy said...

Yes, yes it is. It is a concept that works, but rarely to the public's advantage.

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