Tag Archives: greatest hits compilations

“Gold” (remaster) by KISS

Artist: KISS
Title: “Gold”
Label: Mercury/Universal
Release Date: 1/25/2005
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 8/10

When you look it up online there really seem to be a lot of KISS “Greatest Hits” albums to choose from. They start at “Double Platinum” and run until “Gold” and when tallied up there are nine such releases to choose from plus the career-encompassing boxed set. Included among this number are Mercury/Universal’s two different “Masters” collections and honestly those are more for the beginner or best served as gifts to those that are for some reason still clueless to the bands impact. With “Gold” however one is able to get a “cream of the crop” collection of the best material from self-titled “KISS” until their album “Killers” which is an import best-of that featured 4 new songs that many KISS fans have not had exposure to. Essentially more of an Anthology package the 40 songs presented here really do give both the KISS fan and the casual listener a great amount of music to enjoy. There are some differences between this and other hits releases by this one making sure that it not only features a handful of live recordings but also a track from each of the members solo releases. Overall this is a very well-rounded package and while it omits any music past the “Killers” album there really is a lot of music to sate ones appetite. “Gold” essentially becomes a worthy collection of music from the beginning in 1973 until 1982. Perhaps “More Gold” or “Gold 2” will see the light of day and give focus and attention to the fifteen albums that will come from the band.
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“Best Of (Chapter One 1997-2004) by Sevendust

Artist: Sevendust
Title: “Best Of (Chapter One 1997-2004)
Label: TVT Records
Release Date: 12/27/2005
Genre: Heavy Metal
Rating: 7.5/10

Sevendust is a band that has crossed over from the “Nu-Metal” label very well. Originally produced by Twisted Sister’s own Jay Jay French, the band released several albums on TVT Records. This CD collection entitled “Best Of (Chapter One 1997-2004) gives you a healthy sample of the bands work on the label; and for those that were not followers of the band the release surely gives you a chance to see what you might have missed. I admit that I was not a fan of the band but it was more due to not being informed about them. As I listened to the album, I found a great number of songs, such as “Enemy” and “Face To Face”, which especially showcase the dramatic style of Lajon Witherspoon’s voice. Overall, the guitar work in Sevendust is solid and the whole band is held together by drummer Morgan Rose, who is proving to be one of the better Metal drummers in the business. Morgan also provides some backing vocal, which is not always seen in the Metal groups of today. I also found myself enjoying some of the included B-Sides that make up tracks 13-16 of the CD. The CD also includes their previously unreleased take on Alice Coopers “School’s Out”. Given the version by Sevendust is so different from the original, it might intrigue some people. Covers continue with the Marvin Gaye classic “Inner City Blues”. The enhanced CD also has a video for “Praise”. As far as Best Of compilations go, this was an album that did not disappoint and featured enough quality material that might prompt you to look deeper into the bands other releases. The fold out booklet features album art from the releases and singles. There are limited liner notes and no band photos.
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“The Definitive Collection” by Whitesnake

Artist: Whitesnake
Title: “The Definitive Collection”
Label: Universal Music
Release Date: 2/7/2006
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 8/10

“In the still of the night I hear the wolf howl honey”!!!!! I remember the day I first flipped on MTV and heard David Coverdale belt out that line. It would become one of the most powerful Hard Rock tracks to hit the airwaves in a long time and with its full musicality showed the world that Rock was far from dead. The song was featured on the bands self-titled album, which was a powerhouse of Hard Rock mixed with some killer power ballads. Now with “The Definitive Collection” Whitesnake fans around the world get the chance to be bitten again by some of their very best material. Coverdale himself had a hand in the production of this piece to make sure that nothing you expected would be left out. It includes an ample amount of tracks from “Whitesnake” tracks (the self-titled has its three biggest tracks showcased), but there is also the best stuff from “Slide It In”. If you have not yet snared this album this should be a great means of introducing you to what it contains. Other albums represented are “Slip Of The Tongue” as well as tracks from “Lovehunter” which was never available in the US. A fine representation of the entire catalog with 18 songs on this single CD collection. Essentially there is something for everyone here. The CD also includes a track from the Coverdale Page album which is a definite tip of the hat to Led Zeppelin and should have led to a reunion of some sort with Coverdale at the helm (yes, it was that close). Hard core fans might gripe about some songs being omitted but there are 18 songs of course and this covers quite a few albums from a large hit making group. It is never easy to do this on a single CD collection. The CD also comes with a few great photos of the most popular lineup as well as an essay and liner notes on the songs.
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“Rocked, Wired & Bluesed: The Greatest Hits” by Cinderella

Artist: Cinderella
Title: “Rocked, Wired & Bluesed: The Greatest Hits”
Label: Mercury/Universal Records
Release Date: 1/25/2005
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 8/10

The release of this CD by Cinderella comes to us 7 years after their last hits compilation. Most of the material is the same with the exception that this piece also adds a couple of tracks from “Still Climbing” the bands last studio effort. As someone who always enjoyed the Blues Rock styling of the band it was nice to see a new collection with a couple of more tracks be released. I also felt that this one sounded a little cleaner on the production end with the songs sounding more in your face than before. There is a chance that this is a bit remastered but I did not see anything to note that. Cinderella was a terrific group who showed that not all of the bands that came to be in the “Hair Metal” 1980’s were jokes. The music was well constructed and the choruses often memorable. When they first surfaced there was a big AC/DC reference to them and personally I never quite saw that. Perhaps a certain aspect of Kiefer’s voice led this to be the case. They were a staple on MTV at the time and gave the audience hit after hit. Tom Kiefer was not only a great songwriter but also a kick ass guitarist. His voice was soulful and rugged and brought a unique style to the bands music. The lineup has remained the same with Eric Brittingham, Jeff LaBar and Fred Coury and perhaps this is another one of the reasons they come across so well after so many years.
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“20th Century Masters: Millennium Collection 1 by KISS

Artist: KISS
Title: “Millennium Collection: Best Of KISS v.1”
Label: Mercury/Universal Records
Release Date: 8/5/2003
Genre: Hard Rock
Rating: 5/10

KISS has released a number of Greatest Hits packages in their career and with “The Millennium Collection” series by Mercury/Universal Records you get a standard sampling of some of their best songs. This CD focuses on the years from the 1st album “KISS” to the “Dynasty” album and with only 12 tracks proves to be a real disappointment. The CD only runs about 41 minutes leaving over 35 available that could have been used correctly and given you additional tracks from these particular years. However, this is the record label move as all of the “20th Century Masters: Millennium Collection” editions are limited in the music they give you. It does come with a nice foldout insert that showcases some good photos of the band in full makeup from these years as well as liner notes that also cater to the era by Jeff Kitts. As a KISS fan I end up grabbing every release over time but the limited number and scope of this piece made me wait. Some highlights are of course “Strutter” and other early numbers yet “Hard Luck Woman” could have been omitted for tracks like “Shock Me” or “I Stole Your Love”. These songs had a greater impact on the band musically and should have been represented on this type of piece.
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