Must-have compilations

Partly because we touched upon Best of and Greatest Hits albums in our recent discussion about file-sharing, mostly because Elvis Presley’s 30 #1 Hits started a two-week run at the top of the UK album chart on this day in 2002, a copy of which every household should own, I say…

Which, in your view, are the absolute must-have compilation albums? They can be an individual act’s retrospective, or, if you prefer, comprise of an assortment from different sources, but please try to list no more than ten.

In the US, the Greatest Hits of the Eagles and Billy Joel have amassed the most sales (platinum 29 and 21 times respectively). In the UK, it’s Queen and Abba.

Here are a few that I’d recommend:

– The Beatles, 1962-1966 (The Red Album)
The Best of Sam Cooke
– The Hollies, Greatest Hits
– Michael Jackson, Number Ones
– John Lennon, Lennon Legend
The Essential Roy Orbison
The Very Best of Prince
My Way: The Best of Frank Sinatra
– U2, The Best of 1980-1990
– Neil Young, Decade

Then there are the myriad, money-spinning, over-excited series, such as The Best X Album in the World… Ever! (The Best Air Guitar Album in the World… Ever! The Best Gregorian Chant Album in the World… Ever! The Best Sixties Love Album in the World… Ever! The Best Party Mega Mix Album in the World… Ever!) and Now That’s What I Call Music! (although, to be truthful, much of it falls some way short of matching my loose definition of what music is, but that’s just me).

Go on, browse your favourite online retailer, see if they’ll let you hone in on Compilations, and search by Most Popular or Best Sellers. You’ll be amazed at the catchy, if not sometimes nauseatingly dire titles that need an exclamation mark to make them sound interesting. In spite of the corny titles and over-use of bright colours, many contain three discs and, I feel, offer excellent value for money.

Take Elvis and his 30 #1 Hits, for example. A definite steal at £4.98 from Amazon UK – either on CD or as MP3s. 31 tracks, each priced at 69p. That’s a total of £21.39 should you be mad enough to miss the obvious way of making a saving.

Should complacent record labels lazily focusing on compilations share responsibility for falling profits with the widely-condemned practice of illegal downloading? At the same time, aren’t these bargain albums the ideal, cost-effective and above all, legal introduction to an artist’s career? A good case for cheaper individual downloads, perhaps… even if I can’t think of many things that you pay for once, keep forever* and enjoy again and again for the moderate sum of 69p, can you? Consider just how many albums you’d have to purchase – including the often obligatory filler – to get that same collection of tunes (lots in the case of Elvis – both albums and filler), and how much downloading each one on a track-by-track basis to build an identical compilation would cost.

* I know, I’ve also lost the right to play songs that I paid for fair and square.

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

121 thoughts on “Must-have compilations”

  1. First of course:

    Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) by The Eagles – best-selling album of all time so far for the US.


    This Woman’s Work by Kate Bush – what do you think?!

  2. Compilations are not something I have really gone for – maybe more so when I was younger.

    I really can’t stand these endless reissues of Best of albums, Bowie is a particular example – how many Best of albums does he have? (To be fair he has a lot of music that is very good.)

    You always seem to end up with the same old songs on these albums though, and I don’t know if you have noticed but a lot of the ones aimed at us younger folk, Best R n B Collection Summer Vibes June to July 2009 in the World…. Ever Until the Next Sngle from Rhianna, seem to be a rehash of the last album, but with one or 2 new songs on, which definitely seem to take advantage of people who want to buy those new songs, being forced to pay for a whole album.

    I am very impressed that PF have so far stuck to Echoes. Which I think is probably the best compilation. But of course I would say that.

    I have to disagree with you fed and say the Beatles blue album is better than the red one. The red one is the very first Beatles recording I heard an old tape which survived the 20 odd years to about 1988 when I first got into them.

    I’ll just whizz through the few compilations I own:

    Essential Bob Dylan
    Best of Bowie
    Cream of Clapton
    Fleetwood Mac – Greatest Hits
    Voodoo Child – Jimi Hendrix Collection
    Lennon Legend
    Once More with Feeling – Placebo
    Decade in the Sun – Stereophonics
    Forty Licks – Rolling Stones
    Radio 1 Established 1967 – Various

    1. I’m glad you mentioned Jimi Hendrix. I was browsing through my CDs last night, thinking I must replace one of my ten with Hendrix’s The Ultimate Experience from 1992, which also has a great cover (but just 20 tracks, making your suggestion a better one).

      If I had to pull one of my choices as listed up top, it would be The Very Best of Prince.

      Can’t imagine why my mind was wandering throughout the football…

    2. I am very impressed that PF have so far stuck to Echoes. Which I think is probably the best compilation. But of course I would say that.

      I thought that PF had three compilation release: Relics, Collection of Dance Songs, Echoes. Am I missing any? Echoes is certainly the best of the three but…

      A few years ago a friend of mine said that it is a disgrace to listen to the music of PF on a compilation release. PF is an album band and you should experience each album not a compilation. Kinda kills the radio play then doesn’t it?

      If you think about it though, he is right to a degree. Although you can enjoy individual tracks from various PF albums, it is a different experience when you listen to the whole album. Wish You Were Here is a great song with a message on its own but when you listen to the album Wish You Were Here its totally different.

      Does that make sense?



    3. If you think about it though, he is right to a degree. Although you can enjoy individual tracks from various PF albums, it is a different experience when you listen to the whole album. Wish You Were Here is a great song with a message on its own but when you listen to the album Wish You Were Here its totally different.

      Does that make sense?

      Perfect sense. Echoes doesn’t work for me, although I like every song that’s on it.

    4. Yes, I would concede I have forgotten those. What I was trying to say is they have now produced Echoes – and that seemingly is that.

      No more compilations to come (maybe a 50th anniversary reissue box set). Unlike other bands who have not produced any new material for some time, yet have a new compilation out every year.

      I also think that Echoes flows very nicely and can be listened to in its own right.

      I don’t subscribe to this ‘they’re an albums band’ nonsense, sounds like something someone says when they want to look like they ‘know’ about music. I can sit and listen to a great deal of their tracks individually without thinking, Hmm, Comfortably Numb doesn’t sound right unless I listen to the entire Wall side 2 (or the whole of the Wall).

      Know what I mean?

  3. There are many albums I’ve yet to hear. So should the cash be available I can see myself purchasing a load of them after getting everybody’s take on this. But here’s a list of my 10 most listened to or liked albums. At least the one’s I’ve been exposed to over the years in no particular order.

    Elvis – Platinum Collection
    BEATles – Abbey Road
    Rush – 2112
    Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon
    David Gilmour – Live in Gdansk
    Tom Petty – Damn the Torpedos
    Prince – Very Best Of
    Moody Blues – Days of Future Passed
    Leonard Cohen – Essential
    George Harrison – All Things Must Pass

    There are many more, but these are probably the ten I like the best, that I grew up with.

    I would like to mention Forty Licks by the Rolling Stones as well.

    Thanks, FEd for such a thought provoking and memory laden topic. This really brought back memories of the good ole’ days before the bad ole’ days which preceded the good ole’ days again… which I’m in the middle of right now. Hope to make chat this week as well. Thanks again!

    1. Gotta mention Glen Campbell, Greatest Hits is a masterpiece. IMHO. It’s one I won’t part with, anyway.

  4. I own a lot of ‘best of’ and ‘greatest hits’ albums. I even own a few soundtrack-type albums.

    Sometimes this is just so I can get a track or two which aren’t available on regular albums like, oh, I don’t know, “Arnold Layne” and “See Emily Play”. Yeah, despite all the PF albums I have I also have Echoes. I’m not sorry. The Who have done this as well… I wanted “Join Together” and “Real Good Looking Boy” both of which are to be found on ‘best of’ compilations and nowhere else. Sometimes compilations are the best I can do because the original albums are out of print. Sometimes those cheesy “Great (some arbitrary theme) songs of this decade” albums are the only ones which feature songs I love by artists whose albums disappeared. How else am I gonna have some wicked one hit wonder type songs?

    None of this explains why I will buy a ‘best of’ or ‘greatest hits’ album without rare tracks when I already own darn near every album the artist has made. I fear I may be a completist; that’s the only explanation for why I own three Bruce Springsteen Best Of kind of packages.

    Still, you’re never getting my Best of The J. Geils Band album from me, because it’s all the early stuff I love.

  5. Hi FEd,

    I’m not a fan of compilations, I rather prefer a “normal” album, but I do own a couple of them because I couldn’t find the original records anywhere. The only one I can suggest is “Burning Ambitions (A History of Punk)…

    Best regards

    1. Yes, Sleeper Catcher by Little River Band (I have the LP) has a song, “Sanity’s Side” that I’m crazy about… but that song doesn’t exist on any of their greatest hist compilations. I’m just lucky I have the LP and I agree with you.


  6. Hey Fed,

    Slightly off topic but just got back from Greece and it was as good as ever.

    Now back to the topic at hand. Here are a couple I would suggest:

    1) The British Invasion: History of British Rock any volume… Rhino
    2) The Hits… Dave Clark 5
    3) If you love New Wave stuff…. Any of the Hardest Hits or Classic Alternatives compilations released by SPG in Canada… now out of print but available on you-know-where 😉
    4) Frampton Comes Alive… yes, I know not strictly a compilation, but it was his greatest hits up till then
    5) Soundtrack from the USA TV show Thirtysomething… out of print and if you give it a listen not quite the strange choice as it may sound
    6) Endless Summer – The Beach Boys

    Cheers, Howard

    1. just got back from Greece and it was as good as ever.

      Glad to hear that you had a good time, Howard. Welcome back.

      Every home should have something by the Beach Boys. Capitol’s The Best of the Beach Boys is my choice, partly because it takes me back to a great time and to great memories…

      And now I need to find a way of discovering if Stuart, who lent me his copy, ever became a marine biologist.

  7. Yes, you’re quite right. I have ‘lost’ the right to play hundreds of songs I had previously and legitimately bought and downloaded. Why did I lose the right to play them? Because I had the simple ‘audacity’ to change the make of my MP3 player, a player that didn’t ‘directly’ support the DRMs that came with all those downloads. I refused to go back in simple disgust…

    I also agree that at the moment a far better and certainly more economical way to build up a decent and rounded music library is to ‘take advantage’ of all the fantastic deals or ‘steals’ that are available by buying CDs out there. The shops and even online stores seem desperate to sell them.

    One unexpected advantage of this, “buying a mass of CDs” is that I have found myself listening to music I would never have ‘normally’ gone out to buy. I am a technical art and illustrator by trade, and I like to have music playing while I am working. This approach has certainly widened by musical interest, and indeed taken me to musical destinations I would never have believed.

    Lastly… Thank you, David. You have made the quality of my life richer, opened my ‘musical ears and eyes’, and your music has had a huge and profound effect on my attitude to music in general.


    Griff Wason

  8. I´m not such a fan of compilation albums but I used to give “Echoes-The Best of Pink Floyd” as a present to my nieces and nephews. A try to give them an understanding of this wonderful music.

    The last compilation I bought for me (and my car) and also very recommendable was Led Zeppelin, Mothership.

  9. I’ve got a fair few compilation albums for the simple reason that there are quite a few artists who have made lots of reasonable albums but not many great ones… in fact there are few artists – PF, Radiohead, The Beatles – that I come close to having a complete set.

    I am seldom inspired to play albums that contain duff tracks for the sake of a couple of good ones… although I also accept that compilations can also lack “soul” and too often fail to throw in good “album tracks” as well as the obvious singles.

    A cunning compromise is of course the “live album” which often serves the greatest hits purpose whilst adding something on the top. It’s the best way to listen to ACDC / Black Sabbath / Deep Purple / Thin Lizzy and so on.

    Favourite straight Best ofs would be the U2 and Queen ones mentioned. Led Zeppelin remastered (or probably Mothership) also. The Jimi Hendrix Voodoo Child collection has a snorting second disc of lives tracks. Madonna’s Immaculate Collection and Abba’s Greatest Hits are probably the best way of picking the bones out of those artists. Bowie, Presley, the Stones, Simon & Garfunkel are all represented in this way.

    And I claim a certain partiality for that air guitar series… :v

  10. Hi Fed,

    Thanks for mentioning Roy Orbison. What an amazing talent.

    I listened to a CD on the weekend, pulled it out for a great listen. His album is 88 Elmira St., where he grew up in Washington. Danny Gatton was discovered when he was 12 years old.

    He passed away somewhat similar to Roy Buchanan. So sad. He played guitar with so much emotion.


  11. Browsing through my collection, here are my top 10 favorite compilation/best of releases:

    Syd Barrett, Wouldn’t You Miss Me
    David Bowie, Sound and Vision I, II, III
    DEVO, Greatest Hits
    Elvis Presley, 2nd to None
    Hank Williams, Lost Highway
    King Crimson, The Compact King
    Bob Marley, Legend
    Ohio Players, Gold
    Queen, Greatest Hits
    Sly and the Family Stone, Anthology


  12. Dear FEd,

    Can’t say the past two blogs have not been interesting but a bit of a bummer when all you do, think and feel is music. Not sure I can take much more of the ‘being responsible with your music’ saga. Just kidding, does make one think a little more about the impact it has on our musicians.

    The essentials, and may I add, a favorite in my household are as follows:

    The Essential BOB DYLAN, everyone must have. 🙂

    The Essential Simon and Garfunkel
    The Best of the Hollies
    The Best of the Doors
    The Best of Moody Blues
    The Best of Johnny Cash
    The Best of Eddy Arnold
    The Essential Michael Jackson
    Clapton Chronicles – The Best of Eric Clapton

    Cities ’97 Sampler Vol.3, Wish I could share this one with all of you. Put out by one of the Minneapolis radio stations in order to make people aware of saving the earth. Great Stuff! Great messages.

    I’m already at 10 and have only scratched the surface. 🙁

    Do we really have to think so hard about buying compilations? Do the artists not receive royalties from these also? I do think it is the answer to downloading.

    Do you think after this posting we can go back to just enjoying music? You’re making me feel guilty at times and I just want to rock and roll. Just kidding. Topics that are well deserved the attention.

    Love to the World.

    1. Just trying to get some thoughts from you, Judy, should you wish to share them. You’re free to dip in and out of the blog whenever a topic appeals to you.

      Artists certainly receive royalties from compilations. My point, if there was one, was that compilations follow on from our file-sharing discussion quite nicely: a good way of being heard, reasonably priced, advertised well, yet perhaps the time and money that goes into releasing them could be spent on promoting new talent, and perhaps they don’t bring in enough money.

      By the way, I remembered that this was an interesting article: ‘Morrissey tells fans to boycott new box set reissues’.

    2. Dear FEd,

      Please let me rectify. I truly was just kidding. Your thought provoking subjects keep retirees like me from growing stagnant and becoming senile. You will probably be partially responsible for me not getting Alzheimers.

      To reiterate; I thank you for what you do and think you do it very well.

      That said and done, I believe I have an Elvis song to look up. 😉

      Love to the World.

    3. No need to rectify, Judy, but thanks.

      We must continue our Elvis discussion in the next chat.

      Must find out which songs are on the compilation mentioned in Comment #22, too… 😉

  13. I do not have many compilations. Tend to listen more to albums as they were released.

    However the ones I do have…

    The Beatles – 1 (covers all non album singles)

    Pink Floyd – The recent 2 CD best of (just love the way all the tracks join together)

    Porcupine Tree – Stars Die (2 CD compilation of early and non album music)

    The Pineapple Thief – 3000 Days (2 CD compilation of early music all remastered and sounding so superior to the originals)

  14. I think the trick might be buy the ones with ‘Essential’ in the title…

    Essential Leonard Cohen
    Essential Bob Dylan
    Beatles, Red and Blue
    Kate Bush – The Whole Story
    Stereophonics – Decade in the Sun
    Jools Holland – Best of Friends (it’s got David and Kelly Jones on it – heaven)

  15. Don Henley – Actual Miles
    John Martyn – Anthology
    Steely Dan – Best of
    Eric Clapton – Crossroads
    The Eagles – Selected Works (This has a nice live CD from 1999 featuring Don Felder on guitar before it all went pear shaped again… I notice he has a book coming out in November which should be a good read.)

    Cheers from Munich… home on Friday!!!!!!!


    1. Good call re: Steely Dan. I missed that one when I was going through my library to make my picks. Unfortunately, my copy is in terrible shape and won’t download onto my mac.

  16. I like compilation albums and own far more than 10 of them! I’ll get back to you with my favourite ones when I get home from work.

    But FEd, I would definitely choose Hendrix: The Ultimate Experience ahead of The Very Best of Prince!

    Some thoughts:

    1. When the prices are as reasonable as your example (Elvis), there should be no need for illegal downloads… or individual downloads, in fact.

    2. I still think 69p is too much for one song. 50p would be better. And the album should cost whatever 50p multiplied by the number of songs on the album is.

    3. I don’t agree that the CD should cost the same as the album download. What about musicians pretending to be carbon neutral?

    1. I still think 69p is too much for one song. 50p would be better. And the album should cost whatever 50p multiplied by the number of songs on the album is.

      But should a three-minute song really cost the same as one that lasts 13-minutes? Wouldn’t it be better to charge the same price for all albums and decide the cost of each track by dividing the album’s flat rate by the number of its tracks?

      Entirely impractical, of course.

    2. But should a three-minute song really cost the same as one that lasts 13-minutes?

      Logically you can also establish a per minute price. In other words, divide the cost by the number of minutes. Then the price for each song is the number of minutes multiplied by the cost per minute.

      OR. Why not have a tiered approach? Songs under 5 minutes cost X, songs between 5 and 10 minutes cost Y and songs over 10 minutes cost Z.

      This is probably too much for the execs to figure out.

      The big problem I have is that in many cases you can’t buy that long song without buying the whole album.



    3. I wonder which artists would be willing to compromise their creativity in order to keep their song to a certain length so as to keep its cost as low as possible.

      The one I have in mind is the rain-against-the-windows introduction to ‘Marooned’, which is beautiful and, I feel, adds much; but if its inclusion would bump up its price, would such nuances be sacrificed for the sake of prospective sales, do you think?

    4. I wonder which artists would be willing to compromise their creativity in order to keep their song to a certain length so as to keep its cost as low as possible.

      A true artist will throw caution to the wind and create what they feel is right. I think the question would fall to the business side people/executives. Those are typically the ones that are trying to squeeze every penny into the coffers.

      American Pie by Don McLean is a song that executives never thought would be successful because it was so long. Don stuck to his guns and what a huge hit it turned out to be. I remember the 45 single was released as two sided, half the song on one side and then you had to flip it to hear the rest of the song.

      The reality is that many pop artists of today stick to a formula anyway. Do you really think that Britney Spears, Jonas Brothers or Katy Perry will write a song that is any longer than 3 1/2 minutes? Or do you think that any of them would ever cover a song like Neil Young’s “Down by the River?”



  17. De Capo ~ Renaissance
    David Bowie ~ Sound and Vision I, II, III
    Beatles ~ Red and Blue
    Pink Floyd ~ Echoes
    Joni Mitchell ~ Court and Spark (Tell me this isn’t a greatest hits record?)
    Creedence Clearwater Revival ~ Chronicle, Vol. 1: The 20 Greatest Hits
    Mott The Hoople ~ Greatest Hits
    Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers ~ Live Anthology (to be released in November, this is gonna kick ass)

    Fed ~ Props for your Neil Young~Decade. 🙂

    1. The only song missing from Decade is “Out On The Weekend”.

      “Cortez The Killer” has always been a fav.

  18. For me it is as follows:

    Pink Floyd – Relics
    Pink Floyd – A Collection of Great Dance Songs
    Roger Waters – Flickering Flame
    Nirvana – Nirvana
    Blues Brother Soul Sister Volumes 1, 2 & 3
    Gary Numan – Exposure
    Chemical Brothers – Singles 93 – 03
    Dick Dale & His Del-Tones – The Best of
    The Beatles – Love Album
    Johann Strauss Jnr – The Strauss Collection
    We’ll Meet Again – 20 War Time Classics
    Motorhead – No Remorse


  19. Queen – Greatest Hits I
    Queen – Greatest Hits II
    Phil Collins – Hits
    The Police – Greatest Hits
    Kate Bush – The Whole Story
    Abba – Gold
    The Beatles – 1
    The Moody Blues – The Very Best of The Moody Blues
    Eurythmics – Ultimate Collection
    Pink Floyd – Echoes

  20. I love the compilation albums if but to get a sampling of what you might enjoy in long playing LPs (oooops, sorry… bad habit… I meant CDs! :)) ). I’ve often used “best of” cds before delving into any artist.

    Here are some of my favorites:

    * Aerosmith’s Greatest Hits
    * The Jam – Snap (how could anyone NOT have this in their collection!?)
    * Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits (of course, the Peter Green era best of!)
    * Jimi Hendrix – Kiss the Sky (no doubt one of the many posthumous releases)
    * Flogging a Dead Horse – The Sex Pistols (kinda funny when you consider that they only had one LP).
    * The Essential Class
    * Coolwalkingsmoothtalkingstraightsmokingfirestoking: The Best of Pete Townshend
    * The Best of the Dregs: Divided We Stand
    * Decade – Neil Young
    * Best of Van Halen, Vol. 1

  21. In the opposite direction, I also have a compilation called Elvis’ Greatest $hit, full of all kinds of soundtrack turkeys. The worst of the worst. 😀

    1. Better not send you this on Sunday then Fed!

      I will send you and Anthony this today (again).

      I might have a surprise for you tomorrow.


  22. Best of the Monkees – Amazing how many fabulous songs they released other than the well known ones.

    Cocteau Twins – Lullabies to Violaine – mainly because it has just about everything they have ever done on it.

  23. I have many of the ones previously listed so I’ll try to list some of the ones that I have that did not receive a shout out.

    – Chicago – The Very Best of: Only the Beginning
    – ZZ Top – Greatest Hits
    – Cheap Trick – The Greatest Hits
    – Van Halen – The Best of Both Worlds

    Chow Everybody.

  24. Another observation from my perspective is that I have all the individual records/CDs of artists that I care about so I rarely need to buy a Greatest Hits collection.

    Cheers, Howard

  25. Jimi Hendrix,
    Steely Dan,
    Unicorn (with “There’s No Way Out of Here”),
    Jim Capaldi.

    The last weeks from one of my fav bands;
    Mostly Autumn; a 3 disc remastered songs, with 3 moods.

    Anyway keep Rockin’,
    all the best.

  26. The two compilations that spring to mind as offering good music and a large number of tracks are “30 Years of Maximum R&B” by The Who and Tangents by Tangerine Dream.

    The former has 95 tracks, whilst the latter has to make do with a mere 59 (despite having one more CD).

    I know i might be stretching the meaning of the word compilation, but if you look here and scroll down to compilation, you’ll see that wiki agrees with me. And if wiki says it, then it can’t be wrong. Can it? :!

    Incidentally, I noticed that both these box sets were released in 1994, as was The Division Bell. It looks like 1994 might have been an island of good music in the middle of the sea of rubbish now known as “90s music.”

  27. First and foremost Pink Floyd “Echoes”

    Bad Company, “10 from 6” (musical bliss)
    Depeche Mode, “The Best of Vol. 1)
    Don Henley, “Actual Miles: Henley’s Greatest Hits”
    The Doors, “The Best of the Doors”
    The Eagles, “Greatest Hits: 1971-1975”
    The Eagles, “Greatest Hits: Vol. 2”
    Elvis, “30 #1 hits”
    Eric Clapton, “The Cream of Clapton”
    Fleetwood Mac, “The Very Best of Fleetwood Mac”
    Foreigner, “Complete Greatest Hits”
    Genesis, “Platinum Collection”
    Green Day, “International Superhits!”
    INXS, “The Best of INXS”
    Jimi Hendrix, “Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix”
    Korn, “Greatest Hits Vol.1”
    Led Zeppelin, “Early Days: The Best of Led Zeppelin Vol.1”
    Led Zeppelin, “Latter Days: The Best of Led Zeppelin Vol. 2”
    Live, “Awake: The Best of Live”
    Nirvana, “Nirvana”
    Pearl Jam, “Rearviewmirror: Greatest Hits 1991-2003”
    Peter Gabriel, “Hit”
    The Police, “Every Breath You Take: The Classics”
    Queen, “The Platinum Collection: Vol. 1-3”
    R.E.M., “The Best of REM: In Time 1988-2003”
    R.E.M., “And I Feel Fine…The Best of the I.R.S. Years 1982-1987”
    The Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Greatest Hits”
    The Rolling Stones, “Forty Licks” (if you can still find it anywhere)
    Steve Miller Band, “Greatest Hits 1974-78”
    Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, “Greatest Hits”

    I’m running out of space here but collections by Styx, Supertramp, and Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, both U2 collections, The Who Ultimate Collection and 311’s Greatest Hits are all worthy investments.

  28. “The Essential Leonard Cohen”
    Stevie Wonder – “The Definitive Collection”
    Yes – “Yesterdays”
    Laura Love – “Puttamayo Collection”
    Assorted Artists – “Two Rooms: The Songs of Elton John and Bernie Taupin”
    Assorted Artists – “Soundtrack: Sam I Am” (Beatles songs)
    R.E.M. – “Dead Letter Office”
    Beatles – “Rarities”
    Stones – “Through The Past, Darkly”
    Kate Bush – “Whole Story”

  29. My favorite compilations of bands/artists:

    The Eagles – The Very Best of The Eagles (2-CD best of which in the UK is known as Complete Greatest Hits)
    Pink Floyd – Echoes : The Best of Pink Floyd (2-CD set, well done)
    Genesis – Turn It On Again, The Hits 2007 Tour Edition (2-CD set)
    The Who – The Ultimate Collection (2-CD set)
    The Beatles – Red and Blue (both 2-CD sets)
    Queen – The Gold Collection (2-CD set)
    Rush – Rush Gold (Retrospectives 1 and 2 re-issued)
    Styx – The Singles Collection (European A&M 2-CD set)
    Supertramp – Retrospectacle
    Black Sabbath – Symptom Of the Universe 1970-1978 (2-CD best of)
    Kansas – The Ultimate Kansas (2-CD set)
    The Rolling Stones – Hot Rocks, 1964-1971
    The Doors – Legacy: The Absolute Best (2003 2-CD best of)
    KISS – KISS Gold, 1974-1982 (2-CD set)
    Steve Miller Band – Greatest Hits 1974-78
    Led Zeppelin – Remasters (2-CD set)
    Van Halen – Best of Both Worlds (2-CD set)
    Judas Priest – Essential Judas Priest (2-CD set)
    Iron Maiden – Best Of the Beast (1996 2-CD limited edition version)
    Journey – Essential Journey (2-CD set)
    Paul McCartney – All the Best
    John Lennon – Lennon Legend
    George Harrison – Dark Horse : The Best of 1976-89
    Black Sabbath – The Dio Years
    Emerson Lake and Palmer – Essential ELP
    The Cars – Just What I Needed (2-CD set)
    Foreigner – The very Best and Beyond
    Kansas – Essential Kansas (2-CD version)
    The Police – Self Titled 2-CD retrospective

  30. Echoes From Pink Floyd and Platinum Collection by Queen are some of the best compilations out there.

    This topic… :/ I sense a David Gilmour Best of in the neighbourhood. 8)

    With one or two new songs, hopefully from the barn sessions with Rick.

    One man can dream.

    1. If there is one in the pipeline, I don’t know about it and this post has nothing whatsoever to do with it.

      Just out of interest, would you want one if there were no new songs on it?

    2. Just out of interest, would you want one if there were no new songs on it?

      I would not want one as there are only 3 releases and I already have all of them. It’s pointless if you ask me.

      What would be interesting is if David released a CD of rarities. Taking some of his one off performances maybe some demos from over the years and put them on a CD. Things like the Comfortably Numb demo or performances where he was a special guest like at Live Aid. That could be a cool collection of material to release and maybe better now while he still has creative control than later when the estate may do what they want.



    3. Well, I’m not a fan of “Best of”s but a Gilmour one would be fine, especially if some work (hard to find) with other artists is included.

      A plus would be a bonus CD with some instrumental stuff from “Ruby Takes a Trip”, “The Colours of Infinity” and others.

      Yep… I think I would only care about a “best of” if some extra stuff is included.

    4. If there is one in the pipeline, I don’t know about it and this post has nothing whatsoever to do with it.

      Just out of interest, would you want one if there were no new songs on it?

      Yeah, how about a David Gilmour Collaboration album?

      Here’s a few tracks for starters:

      David Bowie – Arnold Layne
      Mica Paris – I Put A Spell On You
      Richard Wright – Breakthrough
      BB King – Eyesight To The Blind
      Rod Stewart – In A Broken Dream
      Bryan Ferry – Is Your Love Strong Enough
      Seal – Hey Joe
      Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill
      Numerous Luminaries – Smoke On The Water
      OAI Troupe – Island Jam
      OAI Troupe – (Acoustic) Echoes
      OAI Troupe – Barn Jam 121
      Paul McCartney – No More Lonely Nights
      Pete Townshend – Love On The Air
      Alan Parsons – Return To Tunguska
      Jeff Beck – Hi Ho Silver Lining
      David Bowie – Comfortably Numb

      I’m sure there’s plenty more out there to make at least a triple album. 8)

    1. Love it, FEd. 😉 :))

      Hope you have a Happy Birthday on Sunday. 😉

      And Happy Birthday to Anthony today…

    2. Thanks, Ken; in spite of the obviously bitterly disappointing football result, I did. I even found myself chuckling at Drogba’s endless and increasingly pathetic theatrics, which is encouraging.

      A belated Happy Birthday to Anthony. I hope you had a good day.

  31. My Top Ten albums of all time:

    1- Electric Ladyland by Jimi Hendrix
    2- Mr. Wonderful by Fleetwood Mac
    3- Happy Trails by Quicksilver Messenger Service
    4- Saucersful of Secrets by Pink Floyd
    5- Chunga’s Revenge by Frank Zappa
    6- Mr. Fantasy by Traffic
    7- The Velvet Underground and Nico(Self-Titled)
    8- Fresh Cream by Cream
    9- A Space in Time by Ten Tears After
    10- Carnival of Life by Lee Michaels

    Take Care,

  32. Hey Fed, just seen this – a late entry perhaps, but still a contender for best cover version.

    Surprising guitar work from Prince at the end!

  33. Compilations/Best Of are not my cup of tea (well, ma tasse de café plutôt 😉 ) as I think they lack soul and atmosphere, which we can enjoy much more in albums, above all ‘concept albums’ like PF’s.

    In fact, it depends on whether you’re a ‘die-hard’ fan or a newcomer.

    Best Ofs can be a good and cheap way to experience new artists (ex, I enjoyed very much ‘The Essential Leonard Cohen’ this year, as I did with ”Celui Qui Chante – Michel Berger a few years ago).

    As for ‘die-hard’ fans, I think they will always be disappointed (loss of soul, tracks being edited/shortened, etc…) but the problem is that they will buy them anyway – just precisely because they are – greedy ‘diehard’ fans. So stupid. (I include myself in the ‘stupid’ club as I bought ‘Echoes, The Best Of PF’… Echoes: 16 mn, Marooned: less than 2 mn, parts missing in SOYCD and HH, etc…)

    And I can’t help thinking about all the Compilations/Best Of/Very Best Of/Ultimate Collections… that will no doubt come out by the end of the year before Christmas. That gets on my nerves! (Sorry Bob, I won’t buy your ‘Christmas Songs’ album!)


  34. Hi FEd,

    My very favorites are Echoes, Fleetwood Mac and The Eagles.

    The Pink Floyd, Echoes, is the last compilation that I bought and I was pleasantly surprised how well it was put together. 🙂

  35. Hey, FEd and DG Irregulars. 🙂

    My list of must-have compilations consists of the ones that I already own ~ my head would explode if I were to delve into a huge list of other possibilities!

    1. Echoes: The Best of Pink Floyd
    2. The Beatles Anthology
    3. Lennon Legend: The Very Best of John Lennon
    4. The Essential Leonard Cohen
    5. Portrait of a Legend: Sam Cooke
    6. Bob Dylan: Greatest Hits Vol. 1-3
    7. Genius: The Best of Warren Zevon
    8. Kinks: The Ultimate Collection

    I’ve been trying to keep current with the DG Blog, usually catching up on my reading late in the evening. Unfortunately, I haven’t found the time or energy to do much participating via posts or chat recently. I can usually muster up enough brain power to generate a list of musical favorites, just not enough to offer any articulate discussion of the more meaningful topics. Call me shallow… or, maybe, just exhausted. :!

    My best to everyone ~ I miss y’all.

    Peace ‘n’ Love!

    1. I spaced out Jimi and Roy! 😮


      Experience Hendrix: The Best of Jimi Hendrix
      The Essential Roy Orbison

      Now what I’d like to do is to put them all on, hit shuffle, close my eyes, and pretend that I’m on an island. 😛

    2. Thanks, Erin!

      Your bump is looking good, BTW! How’s Marcus holding up? Morning sickness for him yet? :))

      Take care, sweetie!

      Love to you and yours. 🙂

  36. I have quite a few Greatest Hits albums. Some that I play often are:

    Sandy Denny: The Best of
    Gordon Lightfoot : Complete Greatest Hits
    Pretenders: The Singles
    Simon & Garfunkel: Best of
    Dan Fogelberg: Something Old, New, Borrowed and Some Blues
    Eagles: Greatest Hits
    Bob Dylan: Greatest Hits (Vols. 1-3)
    CSN: Greatest Hits
    Jackson Browne: Best of
    Steve Winwood: Chronicles
    Paul Carrack: The P.C. Collection
    Pogues: The Essential Pogues
    Byrds: 20 Essential Tracks
    Eric Clapton: Timepieces
    Four Tops: 19 Greatest Hits
    Allman Bros.: A Decade of Hits (1969-1979)
    Aretha Franklin: Aretha’s Gold
    Hollies: 30th Anniversary Collection
    Paul Young: From Time to Time
    Peter Gabriel: So

    I bought a lot of albums just to get one song. I have the Buddah Box compilation, which includes a lot of really bad music, just to get Brother Louie by the Stories. (It wasn’t available on CD anywhere else at that time.)

  37. Most of the good ones have already been mentioned, however haven’t seen any mention of Hawkwind yet. They have many so I’ll just randomly mention…

    Hawkwind – Epoche Eclipse 30 Year Anthology.

    What a remarkable British band this is. Started at about the same time as Pink Floyd playing the same style of music, being psychedelic space rock, but never really had the same commercial success. Why that is dumbfounds me. I kind of regard them as Britain’s Grateful Dead.

    Put on a Hawkwind album or even better, go to one of their concerts and hang on for the ride! You’d have to give them a listen to know what I mean.

  38. I would like to add: Best of CCR from Polytel. Great collection.

    There is a song missing that’s my all time fave. “Ramble Tamble”. 🙁

  39. Here are a few of the compilations that I have been listening to lately.

    Bob Seger – Greatest Hits
    The Eagles – (Box Set)
    Blue Oyster Cult – Workshop Of The Telescopes
    The Doors – No One Gets Out Of Here Alive
    MC5 – Purity Accuracy (Box Set)
    Hawkwind – Epoch Eclipse: 30 Year Anthology


  40. Dear F.ed.,

    off topic… hoping you are going to have a great weekend, and remembering that Sunday the 4th it’s an important day for you: Happy Birthday! Cheers! Have a lovely time, I wish you all the best and as you make your Birthday wishes, I wish they all come true!

    And this (wonderful poem) is for you:

    Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting (from Ode, Intimations of Immortality by William Wordsworth)

    Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
    The Soul that rises with us, our life’s Star,
    Hath had elsewhere its setting,
    And cometh from afar:
    Not in entire forgetfulness,
    And not in utter nakedness,
    But trailing clouds of glory do we come
    From God, who is our home:
    Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
    Shades of the prison-house begin to close
    Upon the growing Boy,
    But He beholds the light, and whence it flows,
    He sees it in his joy;
    The Youth, who daily farther from the east
    Must travel, still is Nature’s Priest,
    And by the vision splendid
    Is on his way attended;
    At length the Man perceives it die away,
    And fade into the light of common day.


  41. Hey FE’d,

    hope all’s well at DGHQ.

    congratulations on the Planet Rock Poll! that is some top 3, in fact I couldn’t think of a better top 3 if I tried.

    dare I mention Double Platinum by KISS? they were a good band, make-up aside, until after Destroyer then they went by the way side in to bubble gum pop and lost all respect.


  42. In general, I’m not a big fan of compilations. I usually buy them when I like a band or an artist not enough to be interested in buying each of his albums.

    That’s why I bought, for example, Queen’s “Greatest Hits” (1-2) and Placebo’s “Once More With Feeling”.

    But there are also some exceptions. For example “A Collection of Great Dance Songs” was the first Pink Floyd’s album I had. My music teacher played it at school one day and I liked it so much that I copied the title and asked my parents to buy it for me. It was just the first step, because, very soon, I decided that I would have liked to listen to every “real” albums.

    That’s why I’m still very fond of that Pink Floyd’s compilation, but I didn’t feel the need to buy “Echoes”, instead.

    As for “Works” and “Relics”, I bought them because of “Embryo” and “Biding My Time”, but I don’t listen to them very often.

    Leonard Cohen’s “The Best of” was also a revelation for me. After listening to it, I decided that I’d probably have liked to listen to his entire discography.

    So, I don’t like compilations very much, but sometimes they might be useful.

  43. Interesting topic FEd and some great comments. I’d just like to add one of own though…

    I’ve had both CDs of “Echoes” in my various cars for the past 5-6 years and play it all the time (along with OAI, DSOTM and a few others). What I like about Echoes is that I feel that after only a few hours I have played almost my entire PF/DG collection. Each track evokes the “feelings” experienced by their respective albums.

    It’s a very clever compilation, carefully crafted into an excellent album in its own right. It’s clearly the work of the artist and not some record producer bolting a few popular tracks together.

    Nothing special in my list of favourite compilations and I agree with the recent comment regarding “live” albums. Thin Lizzy “Live and Dangerous”, Classic!


  44. Some great choices here, I would like to add –

    Essential Bruce Springsteen
    Essential Toto
    The Very Best of Tom Waits
    The Very Best of Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers


  45. How about a compilation of the Orb’s greatest work and Mr. Gilmour’s?!

    Oh wait. 😛

  46. Not a great friend of compilations, it’s quite a nice way to be introduced to an artist no doubt… but there´s nothing like listening to a whole and meaningful album. 🙂

    I’ve heard something about David working on a new album with Alex Patterson from the Orb… any information about this? 🙂

  47. Hey FE’d

    any truth in the rumour that Mr Gilmour is co-operating with Alex Patterson?

    any news on Gary McKinnon?

    I hope they are looking into the common law jurisdiction option. there’s this new book out that will be of great help by TheAntiTerrorist.


  48. Happy Birthday, FEd. I hope you’ll have a great day. 🙂

    Tomorrow I’ll leave for London, so, probably, I won’t read the Blog for some days.

    I’ll try to find a computer on BAD.

    Bye everyone. 🙂

    1. Hi, Alessandra.

      Oh, you are very lucky!

      I hope you’ll stay well in London.

      In early days of November I’ll come to London too!

      Maybe, one day I’ll live in this great and amazing City. Now I can only dream this… 😛

      Bye, Hydrea

  49. G’day FEd,

    Don’t know about “absolute must-have compilation albums” but here are a couple of odd ones I have on vinyl.

    Andrew Powell Plays the Best of the Alan Parsons Project
    Steely Dan Greatest Hits
    Lynyrd Skynyrd, Gold and Platinum
    Green Peace – Rainbow Warriors
    Pink Floyd Relics
    Pink Floyd Hits
    Bryan Ferry – The Ultimate Collection
    Eagles – Greatest Hits Volumes 1&2
    Buddy Holly – Legend

    I found that most of the multi artist LPs that came out in the 80s didn’t sound as good as the original versions on LP.

    The myriad, money-spinning, over-excited series, such as The Best X Album in the World… Ever!

    One of them would have to be The Best Beer Drinking Songs vols!!!! I’m waiting for it to be called “The Best Beer Drinking Songs EVER”, and then I may have to buy a copy.

    No doubt that some of them are good valve for money.

    I have been making my own compilations for years. I prefer to copy from vinyl onto CD, for personal use (cars).

    Thanks for the list, you’re got me thinking about buying a Blue Eyes LP.

  50. Herzlichen Glückwunsch zum Geburtstag lieber FEd!

    Hope you have a great day with lots of delicious birthday cakes.

    And you know: Age is relative, taking part is everything. 🙂


    1. I’m afraid I’m still waiting for some official word on that story. If there is to be any, I would imagine that it would be at the Latest News page before it’s here.

      Sorry I can’t comment on it further.

    2. By the way, a short piece is expected at Latest News concerning this story any time now, but it won’t add very much to what you already know.

      In a nutshell, it will confirm that David has done some recording with The Orb and producer, Youth. However, nothing is finalised and nothing has been confirmed, including any plans for a release.


    3. Hi FEd.

      Since Guy Pratt played and co-wrote previously for the Orb (I think it was him that invited Alex Patterson to remix the Broken China tracks for his father in law) maybe it was him who introduced David to The Orb’s work and “ignited” the collaboration?

      Do you know something about it?

    4. I’m afraid all I can say is that the inspiration behind the recording was Gary McKinnon and all that he’s been through in his fight against extradition.

      The update from DG Management is now under Latest News.

  51. Hi FEd and mates,

    Unfortunately I don’t like compilations at all! Thinking they’re just a way for a commercial business.

    For PF music I think it’s not possible to consider a single track out of the concept contest like a flower without smell or a dog without bark (a cat without miaow, if you prefer…)


  52. Happy belated birthday, FEd! I hope you had a wonderful weekend. 🙂

    My daughter gave ME a grand-daughter for YOUR birthday ~ wasn’t that nice of her? :)) A new little Gilmourette named Violet Grace.

    Peace ‘n’ Love,

    1. That’s not the way it’s supposed to work (I wanted a Trident Iceni), but congratulations all the same. 🙂

    2. If I’d known that, maybe I could have persuaded my daughter to name her Trident Iceni! :)) Would that have worked for you, FEd? Yeah, I know, it just wouldn’t have been the same. I don’t think she would have gone for it either!!

      By the way, what the heck is a Trident Iceni?? 😛 Maybe I should google it, eh?

  53. Happy Birthday Fed! I hope you had a great day and best wishes for a happy and health year! 😀


  54. Compilation albums are only a great buy from artists whose songs aren’t all of the same standard, so with a compilation album you just get the best of an artist.

    Never ever would I buy a compilation album from Pink Floyd or David Gilmour, as all their songs and albums are a strike of genius one doesn’t want to miss. And nowadays one can create one´s own compilation from all one´s albums to a MP3 player.

    I have to admit that I bought one compilation album from one of my fave artists, although I have all his albums, but just because a DVD with his greatest videos was added: The very best of Billy Idol. Otherwise I don’t own any compilation albums, so I cannot recommend any.

  55. Dear F.Ed.,

    The only compilation albums I bought in the past are some Top of the Spot, that is a funny collection of the best musics of commercial TV or radio advertisements. I really prefer to have the full edition of every work issued as album of an artist.

    Have a nice week end to all.


  56. Greatest Hit compilations:

    Beatles – 1 (although, it misses Sgt. Pepper)
    Best of Kansas
    James Taylor’s Greatest Hits
    Elvis – #1’s
    Pink Floyd – Echoes
    Chicago’s Greatest Hits
    Simon and Garfukel’s Greatest
    Rolling Stones – Hot Rocks

    Peter – Milwaukee, WI.

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