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The Best Ofs

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  • biceeichler
    I don t tend to buy a lot of Best Of CDs, but here are the ones that got sorted to The Best Of alphabetically... Roy Wood, The Best Of & the Rest Of Roy
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 26, 2006
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      I don't tend to buy a lot of "Best Of" CDs, but here are the
      ones that got sorted to "The Best Of" alphabetically...

      Roy Wood, The Best Of & the Rest Of Roy Wood and Wizzard -
      another cheap-o prog festival vendor find. Got this one for
      $4, and it's surely worth at least half that much. I don't
      know what the deal is with Roy Wood - I like his stuff with
      the Move and the first ELO album, but his post-ELO material
      doesn't do much for me. Yet I keep finding these "Best of
      Roy Wood" CDs and can't resist buying them. Adding to the
      problems on this one is that the sound quality is fairly
      muffled and bad throughout. One of the better tracks, an
      instrumental called "The Thing Is This", obviously comes from
      a vinyl source and is ruined by so much popping and crackling
      that it makes it unlistenable. The other "Best of Roy Wood"
      that I bought (coming up soon in the alphabetic list) is also
      not that great, but it's a lot better than this one.

      Steve Miller Band, The Best Of 1968-1973 - another used CD store
      find. I initially bought it for the songs "The Joker" and "Shu
      Ba Da Du Ma Ma Ma Ma" (anyone else remember the latter being a
      minor hit song? I used to hear it on classic rock stations
      about once a month, but it seems to have dropped out of favor.
      Haven't heard it on the radio in years). Anyway, I was
      initially surprised at how different this music was from
      Miller's more popular Book of Dreams / Fly Like an Eagle
      period. His early stuff was much more blues-based, didn't
      have all the synthesizers and wasn't as slickly produced. I
      didn't like it at first, but this music has grown on me to the
      point that I've considered getting some of Steve Miller's early
      albums. The liner notes of this disc make "Sailor" sound like
      a good choice; its "Song For Our Ancestors" track is on this
      compilation and it's downright proggy - long running time, use
      of sound effects, very Floydish instrumental build-up (sounds
      like Miller listed to "Echoes" more than a couple times).
      Anyone have any early Steve Miller recommendations?

      Don McLean, The Best Of Don McLean - picked up in a used CD
      store for $7, and guess which song I bought it for. Everyone
      needs a copy of "American Pie" (the song, not the lame movies).
      My college friends used to annoy bartenders by requesting that
      bands play that song as the last song of the night. And if the
      band wouldn't (or couldn't) play it, my friends would sing it
      themselves until they either got to the end or got thrown
      out because it was long past last call. Sometimes they'd
      even get other drunk students to sing along, and no one ever
      got through the whole thing without having to stop and say
      "OK, which verse comes next?" at least once. I'm kind of
      surprised that the song is under nine minutes long - it seems
      so much longer than that. I was also surprised to find that I
      knew the song "Vincent" (for those who don't recognize the
      title, it's the one that starts out "Starry, starry night...")
      Actually, Vincent is probably the better song of the two, if
      you have a high tolerance for maudlin lyrics. The rest of
      the disc is just sort of there. Most of it is a little too
      sensitive singer/songwriter, folky type of stuff for me,
      although the song "Driedel" is neat in the way it slows
      down towards the end to sound like a driedel spinning down,
      and the song that ends the disc, "Prime Time", actually
      rocks surprisingly hard.

      Foghat, The Best of Foghat - several summers ago, I went to
      see a triple-bill concert of Foghat, ELO and Kansas (at least I
      think that was the line-up...this was probably 10 years ago or
      so). The sum total of my Foghat knowledge was having heard
      "Slow Ride", "Fool For the City" and their cover of "I Just
      Want to Make Love to You" on the radio. So I went out and
      bought this CD. My first discovery - there's a short version
      of "Slow Ride" and unfortunately it's on this CD. It chops off
      the whole accelerating instrumental frenzy at the end, which to
      me is the whole point of the song. So that was kind of a waste.
      My second discovery was that if you've heard "Slow Ride", "Fool"
      and "I Just Want" on the radio, you pretty much already know
      everything you need to know to attend a Foghat concert. The
      rest of the songs on this "Best of" disc sound very similar to
      those - same slide-guitar dominated boogie rock, just with
      different lyrics. Variations on the same song. Fortunately I
      like that song, so I can enjoy this disc. But the only other
      Foghat CD I was ever motivated to buy was "Live", just for a
      long version of "Slow Ride". That's all the Foghat I need.

      Kansas, The Best of Kansas - I've owned four different copies
      of this album. The guitarist in the garage band that I hung out
      with in college was a HUGE Kansas fan, and insisted on giving me
      a cassette with Leftoverture recorded on one side and Point of
      Know Return on the other. After listening to that a few times,
      I went out and bought an official cassette of "Best of Kansas".
      That lead to purchases of the rest of the catalog, mostly on
      cassette at first and eventually on CD. I even upgraded my
      tape of this "Best Of", just for completeness sake because it
      had the otherwise unavailable (and completely wretched) "Perfect
      Lover" on it. So that was copy #2. Then when I was in Florida
      and went to see Steinhardt Moon, I wanted to get Robby's
      autograph on something if possible, so I bought copy #3 of this
      on CD and got him to sign it at the show. Finally, they
      re-release the CD, adding the live "Closet Chronicles" that was
      dropped from the Two For the Show CD release to make it fit on
      one disc. So I had to buy it again...but they dropped "Perfect
      Lover"! So now I have to keep two copies in my collection.
      Granted, it's a really crappy song, but what was the point of
      dropping it from the album? There was plenty of room on the
      CD for it. When you add bonus tracks you're not supposed to
      REMOVE songs that were originally on the album, especially if
      they're not on any other CDs. Oh well, I'd have had to keep
      both copies anyway, since the old one had Steinhardt's
      autograph ("To Bob, Happy '96! Robby Steinhardt, Keep on
      Rockin'!!!") on it. Just irritates me is all. Anyway, if
      you're just a casual Kansas fan, this is the one CD to get.
      It has all the vital tracks - "Carry On Wayward Son", "Point
      of Know Return", "Dust in the Wind" and "Song For America".
      Plus some of the later, minor hits - "Hold On", "Play the
      Game Tonight" and "Fight Fire With Fire". And a few choice
      album cuts like "The Wall", "The Pinnacle" and the live
      "Closet Chronicles". Pretty strong bunch of songs, actually.

      The Band, The Best of The Band - great drinking music, and
      great driving music (but not at the same time). I think the
      drinking association comes from my first experience as a
      serious barfly. The semester I turned 21, I hung out in
      Zenos in State College a lot. I mean, A LOT. I was working
      on a passport, which is their clever way of getting people to
      buy 80 imported beers to get a t-shirt that says "I Went
      Around the World in 80 Beers". Pretty much every day that I
      could work it into the schedule, I'd spend the afternoon or
      early evening in Zenos working on my passport, before the
      place got crowded at night. And the bartender who had the
      afternoon shift loved this album and played it nearly every
      day. So I always associate "Best of the Band" with sitting in
      a bar in the afternoon. I'm not sure how the driving thing
      got started, but I usually take this disc along on road trips.
      Good music to sing along to. I'm still kicking myself for
      leaving a concert early and missing the Band - I was there to
      see the opener, Kansas, and after they were done the Band was
      supposed to go on. But a half-hour changeover turned into an
      hour, then turned into two, and I got so fed up that I left.
      As I was pulling out of the parking area, I heard them start
      playing. D'oh. I should have stuck around. In case there's
      anyone wondering who the heck The Band is, they're the ones
      who do songs like "Up On Cripple Creek" and "The Weight" ("Oh,
      you don't know the shape I'm in"), sort of a rootsy, bluesy,
      nearly countryish rock band. Good stuff. Just listening to
      it now makes me thirsty for a nice Belgian beer.

      The Best of the Big Bands - a few years ago my parents found
      out that I kind of like big band music (although I had only
      ever bought 1 CD of it - Glenn Miller's "In the Mood"), or
      maybe they just found this cheap somewhere, but that year
      for Christmas they gave me this 3-disc boxed set (along with
      a 3-disc set of old blues recordings). This set is all
      "original recordings", which means the sound quality is
      somewhat shakey, but given their age, they're actually not
      that bad. Disc one is all Glenn Miller tunes, and disc two
      is all Benny Goodman. The last disc is a mix of various
      big bands, including those two plus Duke Ellington, Count
      Basie and Woody Herman. Somewhere along the line I also
      picked up a couple ultra-cheap (and fairly poor sounding)
      discs of Ellington and Basie, and the wife bought a couple
      discs of big bands doing Christmas music one year. So that
      brings my big band collection to a total of eight discs.
      Which is probably more than I'll ever need. I like big band
      music, but I'm not fanatical about it.

      The Doors, The Best of the Doors - I'm not a particularly big
      Doors fan. Somewhere I read a review of them a long time ago
      that described them as the world's most overrated Vegas lounge
      act, and that's pretty much a perfect description as far as
      I'm concerned. Except that it fails to mention how vastly
      overrated Jim Morrison was as a "poet". I guess it all
      sounded deep and important if you were on acid. But I'm
      being overly harsh - I do actually *like* some of the Doors'
      music, I just don't share the opinion that it is "art...of
      the highest caliber" as stated in the liner notes. I can't
      remember how this 2-disc set even ended up in my collection.
      Probably has something to do with my brother being a big
      Doors fan. He might have given it to me as a Christmas
      present or something, or maybe just talked me into buying it.

      The Nice, The Best of the Nice - I forget where and when I
      bought this, but I remember it was cheap, and at the time I
      was just getting started as a prog collector. I had some
      vague notion that the Nice was related to ELP somehow, so I
      bought this CD. It's obviously a very cheap production - the
      liner notes are a one-page summary of the band's history and
      a couple band photos. The CD is in a slimline double CD case,
      but slot #2 is empty. Odd. The release information is all in
      German, which makes me wonder if this is a bootleg. The track
      selection is pretty good - things like Rondo, America, the
      Thoughts of Emmerlist Davjack, Brandenburger, etc. It served
      it's purpose of introducing me to the band. I just wonder
      what the story is behind this CD.

      Van Morrison, The Best of Van Morrison - Is there anyone who
      *doesn't* like the songs "Moondance", "Brown Eyed Girl",
      "Jackie Wilson Said", "Domino" and "Wild Night"? Great,
      great stuff, even if Morrison usually sounds like he's at
      least half drunk while he sings. Even the filler tracks on
      this CD are pretty good. Back when I first bought this disc,
      I played it to death. That (plus hearing the above mentioned
      songs way too many times on the radio) has burned me out on
      Van the man, but I still enjoy this CD on the rare occasions
      when it gets a spin. And there's no better music for bar
      bands to cover. For some reason I still look for this disc
      in the "V" section of my CD collection, even though I know
      full well that "Van" is his first name. D'oh.

      B.B. King, The Best Of, 20th Century Masters, The Millennium
      Collection - yes, this disc has three titles. I think "20th
      Century Masters The Millennium Collection" was the name of a
      series, and this Best of B.B. King is one disc in the series.
      Anyway, this CD was an Xmas present from my parents a couple
      years ago, because they know I like music and my Mom (who does
      all the shopping) knows a little about blues and absolutely
      nothing about prog. I don't know that much about B.B. King,
      but this seems to be a decent overview of his work with
      recordings ranging from 1966 through 1985. It's mostly "old
      school" blues, with songs about love, drinking, sex and
      cheating spouses. Only in an old blues song could you get
      away with lyrics like "Now if you feel a little sick baby,
      and you know you're home all alone, I don't want the doctor
      at my house baby, you just suffer 'til I get home. 'Cause
      I don't want a soul hanging around my house when I ain't home".

      Roy Wood & Wizzard, The Best Of - as this "Best of" section
      began, so shall it end - with a best of Roy Wood. I'm not sure
      why my inventory program sorted this one to the end - you'd
      think the title "The Best of" would have sorted to the top.
      Oh well. Amazingly, the two Wood "best of" CDs that I own have
      a total of 35 tracks between them, and there's only 3 songs
      that are on both. Either Wood has a LOT of material to choose
      from, or "Disky" has a very different idea of what constitutes
      a good Roy Wood song than "Action Replay Records" does. This
      is the "Disky" one, and I have to side with their choices.
      This is just a better collection all around. Better sounding
      recordings (no scratchy vinyl sources on this one) and better
      songs. "Rob Roy's Nightmare" is a catchy, proggy instrumental
      with a 50s feel to it, and "Bend Over Beethoven" is another
      good instrumental with an amusing title (I wonder if he was
      trying to imply that that song was the kind of music that ELO
      should have made - it sounds vaguely ELOish, with violins and
      cellos scraping away in the background). "Jolly Cup of Tea"
      (a tribute to tea, played and sung in military marching-band
      style) and "When Gran'ma Plays the Banjo" are fun novelty numbers.
      The rest ranges from so-so to pretty good pop music. Wood seems
      obsessed with 1950s rock and roll, as there are several tracks in
      that style. There are also a couple songs like "Green Glass
      Windows" that sound like rejects from the 80s. But the best ones
      have a 70s vibe to them, sounding more like the guy who was in
      the Move and ELO. Still, between the two lengthy "Best of" CDs,
      I'd be surprised if I could pick enough tracks to make a really
      good 40 minute CDR. As much as I like Wood's work with ELO and
      the Move, his solo stuff generally falls flat for me.

      -- Bob "Bice" Eichler
    • stevesly@aol.com
      ... I still think that American Pie ranks up there with the greatest songs ever written. I have a best of Don Mclean on vinyl too, (not sure if it is the
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 27, 2006
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        Bob wrote:
         
        >>Don McLean, The Best Of Don McLean<<
         
        I still think that "American Pie" ranks up there with the greatest songs ever written.  I have a best of Don Mclean on vinyl too, (not sure if it is the same as yours).  I like about half of it.  
         
        Foghat, The Best of Foghat -  .......My second discovery was that if you've heard "Slow Ride", "Fool"
        and "I Just Want" on the radio, you pretty much already know
        everything you need to know to attend a Foghat concert....That's all the Foghat I need.
         
        Now this band is one of my guilty pleasures.  I have always loved Foghat.  Their first live album ("Foghat Live") is killer from start to finish.  There second live album ("Road Cases") is good too.  For studio output "Fool For The City", "Stone Blue", "Boogie Motel" are all solid blues based classic rock.  I have seen this band live something like 14 times over the years in various incarnations and have always enjoyed them.  They are about as far from prog rock as you can get, but they struck a chord with me.  They actually have a "Best Of Foghat Volume 2" along with the disc that you have.
         
        >>Kansas, The Best of Kansas<<
         
        I have all of Kansas studio discs so I got rid of this one, but it is a pretty good compilation.

         
        -----Original Message-----
        From: biceeichler <eichler@...>
        To: ProgAndOther@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sun, 26 Feb 2006 22:31:58 -0000
        Subject: [ProgAndOther] The Best Ofs

         
      • T. J. Higgins
        ... There s one Best of Kansas out there that has a shortened version of Song For America. They cut out some of the instrumental right before Highways scar
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 27, 2006
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          On Sun, Feb 26, 2006 at 10:31:58PM -0000, biceeichler wrote:
          > Kansas, The Best of Kansas - [...]
          > Anyway, if
          > you're just a casual Kansas fan, this is the one CD to get.
          > It has all the vital tracks - "Carry On Wayward Son", "Point
          > of Know Return", "Dust in the Wind" and "Song For America".
          > Plus some of the later, minor hits - "Hold On", "Play the
          > Game Tonight" and "Fight Fire With Fire". And a few choice
          > album cuts like "The Wall", "The Pinnacle" and the live
          > "Closet Chronicles". Pretty strong bunch of songs, actually.

          There's one "Best of Kansas" out there that has a shortened
          version of Song For America. They cut out some of the
          instrumental right before "Highways scar the mountainsides..."
          Don't ask me how I know this...argh!


          > Van Morrison, The Best of Van Morrison

          He's playing the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville in a couple of
          weeks. I've never seen him, and was going to go until I found
          out the tickets are $140 apiece. JFC! Too rich for me.

          T.J.
        • rich mueller
          ... I guess these old timers gotta start making their rocking chair money. I can rest a lot easier knowing Van, David Gilmour, the Stones and Sir Paul won t
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 27, 2006
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            > > Van Morrison, The Best of Van Morrison
            >
            > He's playing the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville in a couple of
            > weeks. I've never seen him, and was going to go until I found
            > out the tickets are $140 apiece. JFC! Too rich for me.
            >
            > T.J.
            >

            I guess these old timers gotta start making their rocking chair money. I
            can rest a lot easier knowing Van, David Gilmour, the Stones and Sir Paul
            won't have to tough it out in their golden years.

            rich
          • Jim B
            Howdy Bice, I m gonna do alot of edited. Forgive me If I miss something and leave my comments out of context. ... XM Classic Tracks plays it occasionally.
            Message 5 of 6 , Feb 27, 2006
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              Howdy Bice,

              I'm gonna do alot of edited. Forgive me If I miss something and leave my comments out of context.


              > Steve Miller Band, The Best Of 1968-1973 - another used CD store> find. "Shu> Ba Da Du Ma Ma Ma Ma" (anyone else remember the latter being a minor hit song? I used to hear it on classic rock stations about once a month, but it seems to have dropped out of favor.

              XM "Classic Tracks" plays it occasionally.

              > His early stuff was much more blues-based, didn't
              > have all the synthesizers and wasn't as slickly produced.

              Miller, Fleetwood Mac, J. Giles Band all started as bluesy band. Gained popularity going more pop.





              > The Band, The Best of The Band -

              I'm still kicking myself for leaving a concert early and missing the Band - I was there to see the opener, Kansas, and after they were done the Band was supposed to go on. But a half-hour changeover turned into an hour, then turned into two, and I got so fed up that I left. As I was pulling out of the parking area, I heard them startplaying. D'oh. I should have stuck around. In case there's anyone wondering who the heck The Band is, they're the ones
              who do songs like "Up On Cripple Creek" and "The Weight" ("Oh, you don't know the shape I'm in"), sort of a rootsy, bluesy, nearly countryish rock band. Good stuff.

              Bice, we met at this concert at Tussey Mountain in Boalsburg, PA (Just outside State College--Penn State). In fact, I think I still have a very windy recording of the Kansas show in my closet that you gave me. It wasn't the Band. You missed nothing. Richard Manuel had long since passed away. Robbie Robertson wanted nothing to do with "The Band." The Band played all of Robertson's classics. Still, it was like seeing Kansas without Livgren, Walsh, and a violinist (Robby or Rags). Great songs poorly performed.

              Jim B.




              "Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin
            • Bob Eichler
              ... Now that you mention it, I think that s the version that I have. I heard the Best of version first, so the first time I heard the Song For America album
              Message 6 of 6 , Feb 28, 2006
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                "T. J. Higgins " <tjhiggin@...> wrote:

                >On Sun, Feb 26, 2006 at 10:31:58PM -0000, biceeichler wrote:
                > > Kansas, The Best of Kansas - [...]
                >
                >There's one "Best of Kansas" out there that has a shortened
                >version of Song For America. They cut out some of the
                >instrumental right before "Highways scar the mountainsides..."
                >Don't ask me how I know this...argh!

                Now that you mention it, I think that's the version that I have.
                I heard the "Best of" version first, so the first time I heard
                the Song For America album version, it sounded weird with the
                "extra" music in there. But I've heard both versions so many
                times now, I never notice the difference any more.


                > > Van Morrison, The Best of Van Morrison
                >
                >He's playing the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville in a couple of
                >weeks. I've never seen him, and was going to go until I found
                >out the tickets are $140 apiece. JFC! Too rich for me.

                Hmmmm, go see Van Morrison...or feed my family for a week or two.
                Guess I'd have to go with the latter.


                Jim B <waywardson98@...> wrote:

                > > The Band, The Best of The Band -
                > > I'm still kicking myself for leaving a concert early and missing the >
                > Band
                >
                >Bice, we met at this concert at Tussey Mountain in Boalsburg, PA (Just
                >outside State College--Penn State). In fact, I think I still have a very
                >windy recording of the Kansas show in my closet that you gave me.

                Yep, that was the show. I remember climbing up the ski slope and back
                down while waiting for The Band to get started.


                >It wasn't the Band. You missed nothing. Richard Manuel had long since
                >passed away. Robbie Robertson wanted nothing to do with "The Band." The
                >Band played all of Robertson's classics. Still, it was like seeing Kansas
                >without Livgren, Walsh, and a violinist (Robby or Rags). Great songs
                >poorly performed.

                Well, it sucks that they put on a poor show, but I guess I'm glad I
                didn't really miss anything.

                -- Bob
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