Artist: Motley Crue
Title: “Greatest Hits”
Label: Eleven Seven Music
Release Date: 11/17/2009
Genre: Hard Rock/Heavy Metal
While the release bears the same exact title of a similar one from 2003, Motley’s Crue’s “Greatest Hits” package of 2009 has a number of tracks taken from that original version and swapped them out with stronger numbers that make this a truly kick ass compilation. This time around the release pays homage to the bands debut with only that recordings title track and then it’s straight into “Shout At The Devil” for three numbers before it touches lightly upon “Theatre Of Pain” with the two most known from the release. So far, so good, if you ask me – even if I was annoyed about their omitting some truly bona fide classics that as a long time fan of the band I cannot fathom the absence of on something that is designed to celebrate the bands “best” material. A double dose of “Girls, Girls, Girls” comes up next and then we find the albums strongest concentration focusing on their “Dr. Feelgood” recording. The good Doctor makes a house call with no less than five numbers and that makes perfect sense when you realize that the band is currently touring in celebration of that albums 20th anniversary. I didn’t mind this actually considering that recordings overall strength and continued positive impact on the band. The compilations of the past offer up their exclusive tracks with the new release and give us the numbers from both “Decade Of Decadence” and “Red, White & Crue”. It’s safe to say that if you have not yet purchased those releases and were planning on it to have those songs that you no longer need to do so and can just get this one to serve both ends. The group bypasses the Corabi effort entirely and drops in with something from “Generation Swine” and also leaves “New Tattoo” alone and feeling neglected. An observation might lead the casual viewer of the release to think that the band is bypassing any release that does not feature the original four members and instead just dishing out that which they had worked on. Perhaps this will lead us to a compilation release that presents everyone else who worked with The Crue on drums or vocals at one time or another. We close up with two from the bands most recent recording “Saints Of Los Angeles” with its title track and one more number which I felt was not among that albums best in and of itself. I would have opted for “Mutherfucker Of The Year” if I needed to pick one or maybe even “White Trash Circus” since those were better tracks.
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Artist: Night Ranger
Title: “Night Ranger’s Greatest Hits”
Label: MCA Records
Release Date: 6/1/1989
Genre: Hard Rock
If you are one of those tried and true eighties Hard Rock fans then you are bound to remember just how it was when a band you enjoyed first hit you, and how hearing some of their signature tunes managed to take you back to a certain point in your life just a little bit. Such is the freedom of music and its powers over the human psyche and of course the feeling might not be exclusively relegated to that decade but for me it is since Metal was really growing and recieving a lot more media attention during this time. The twelve tracks presented on this Night Ranger collection are a great way to enjoy a band that was one of the genres shining stars when it came to Melodic Hard Rock that one would hear on a wide range of radio channels and during that time this meant a little more because you had clearly defined stations with Country, Rock and Commercial stuff. There were some dedicated to Talk and Disco but no real Rap focused stations to speak of yet and to the rockers it was a big deal to find a rocking tune over on a more mainstream Top 40 station. As a band I always found something special in the stuff that Night Ranger was dishing out. We had learned about their guitarist Brad Gillis from his short tenure as one of Ozzy’s guitarists as he is featured prominently on the “Speak Of The Devil” live CD if you wanted to look into that one. Yet the group he formed with Jack Blades would be slightly different because while heavy at some points, it was done on a more commercially acceptable level and really focused on the melody and catchy song structure. The riffs were great and we found this in tunes like “You Can Still Rock In America” which for its 1983 release year was also a pretty cool statement about how much freer a music fan was in the States.
The bands ability at composing a hit melodic track gave us a warm track from “Dawn Patrol” with “Sing Me Away” but it wasn’t until the song “Sister Christian” from “Midnight Madness” that the group would reach the stratosphere with their tunes. The song was a very personal one and written and sung by drummer Kelly Keagy about his younger sister. The song became the benchmark for Power Ballads going forward and has remained a popular track since. “When You Close Your Eyes” was a great tune that found Jack Blades reflecting on life and the “what could have been” as he muses aloud about a long lost person in his love life whom he wonders if he is still on the mind of. The tune was another popular one and I think that its premise was something that everyone of us is guilty of at one time or another as life moves forward. In the eighties I followed the bands first three albums and while the first one was the heaviest of the lot, the second one was my overall favorite and that made me happy to find the four tracks that appealed to me most included on this compilation. If you need to pick up any single release by the band that is not a compilation then please direct your focus on “Midnight Madness”. “Seven Wishes” is also touched upon here with three tracks and while “Sentimental Street “ is nice, it was a little too sappy for me, and I preferred the way in which “Goodbye” flowed instead. The bands core has remained at Keagy, Blades and Gillis in today’s music world but Jeff Watson (guitar) and Alan Fitzgerald (keyboards) have moved on to other adventures.
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Title: “Greatest Hits”
Release Date: 8/1/2006
Originally released in 1988, the Greatest Hits of Journey would see sales well into the millions causing the disk to achieve 14 times Platinum status. If you listened to a radio during the years of 1977 through 1986 then there it is very strong chance that most of the songs on this CD will come back to you and perhaps even have you recall a specific period of time. The band was formed by members of Santana (Schon and Rolie) and they built a solid Rock outfit that was borderline Progressive at first but never short on melody when it came down to it. When singer Steve Perry joined the group for the album “Infinity” a new direction was beginning for them musically and would lead to blockbuster levels of success as hit after hit made it to the airwaves. A few songs on the first Perry albums found radio acclaim like “Lights” and “Anyway You Want It” but when “Escape” and “Frontiers” were released the result did so well that they show units of over 43 million being sold when their catalog is reviewed. The CD finds its strongest representation from these two releases and sales numbers are growing more and more as time passes by. While in 2006 the band has found some membership changes over the years their die hard supporters have never let go of their love for the music. This is the kind of Greatest Hits package that I prefer because it does not feature a batch of new tunes that are often an unwelcome presence on a compilation like this. Too often we find bands giving fans a new song that was leftover, and sadly usually for a good reason. It takes away from the inclusion of an additional hit for the release and I really find them forgettable. This is a high recommendation and the perfect CD for your music player or collection in general.
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Title: “Greatest Hits”
Label: Wind-Up Records
Release Date: 11/23/2004
Creed was one of the few nu-rock/nu-metal bands that always seemed to get a large amount of airplay on most stations that featured rock as its format. It also seemed like any fan of rock music, all knew the songs of Creed. There were those folks who griped that there was too much Eddie Vedder in Scott Stapps voice, and of course that was bound to happen since the Seattle Sound gave way to that being a standard in modern rock music. The band had an illustrious and interesting career from their first record “My Own Prison” to their last piece “Weathered”. Each CD the home of numerous songs that not only became hits on the radio, but also became staples in the clubs as well as in many local band repertoires.
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