The Best Ofs
- 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
- 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.
From: biceeichler <eichler@...>
Sent: Sun, 26 Feb 2006 22:31:58 -0000
Subject: [ProgAndOther] The Best Ofs
- 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
> 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.
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 MorrisonHe'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.
> > Van Morrison, The Best of Van MorrisonI guess these old timers gotta start making their rocking chair money. I
> 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.
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.
- 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'tMiller, Fleetwood Mac, J. Giles Band all started as bluesy band. Gained popularity going more pop.
> have all the synthesizers and wasn't as slickly produced.
> 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.
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin
- "T. J. Higgins " <tjhiggin@...> wrote:
>On Sun, Feb 26, 2006 at 10:31:58PM -0000, biceeichler wrote:Now that you mention it, I think that's the version that I have.
> > 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!
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 MorrisonHmmmm, go see Van Morrison...or feed my family for a week or two.
>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.
Guess I'd have to go with the latter.
Jim B <waywardson98@...> wrote:
> > The Band, The Best of The Band -Yep, that was the show. I remember climbing up the ski slope and back
> > I'm still kicking myself for leaving a concert early and missing the >
>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.
down while waiting for The Band to get started.
>It wasn't the Band. You missed nothing. Richard Manuel had long sinceWell, it sucks that they put on a poor show, but I guess I'm glad I
>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
didn't really miss anything.