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I have three free selections remaining with BMG, and I don't know what to pick. I've whittled it down to the following list. However, most of you are far more knowledgeable of popular/non-classical music than I am. Thus, I am soliciting your help.

Pretend for a moment that you have none of the albums on the following list. (Some of you will have to pretend harder than others.) You can choose three of the following to add to your collection. Which would you choose? Which others, not chosen, were the hardest to leave off the list?

[Some of the albums contain 2 or 3 CDs. I've indicated those with a digit inside curly braces.]

  • Pat Benatar -- Anthology {3}

  • Bon Jovi -- Cross Road (Greatest Hits)

  • Boston -- Greatest Hits

  • Harry Chapin -- Greatest Stories Live

  • Jimmy Cliff -- The Harder They Come (Deluxe Edition) {2}

  • Dire Straits -- Sultans of Swing: The Very Best of Dire Straits

  • Roberta Flack -- Softly with These Songs: The Best of Roberta Flack

  • Foreigner -- Complete Greatest Hits

  • Amy Grant -- Greatest Hits

  • Guns N' Roses -- Appetite for Destruction

  • Heart -- Greatest Hits (1975-1983)

  • Heart -- Greatest Hits (1985-1995)

  • Journey -- The Essential Journey {2}

  • Alicia Keys -- Songs in A Minor

  • Bob Marley -- Legend

  • Mr. Mister -- Best of Mr. Mister

  • Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers -- Greatest Hits

  • Prince -- The Hits/The B-Sides {3}

  • REM -- Automatic for the People

  • REM -- Out of Time

  • Red Hot Chili Peppers -- What Hits?

  • REO Speedwagon -- The Hits

  • Sade -- Best of Sade

  • Seal -- Seal (1994)

  • Tears for Fears -- Shout: The Very Best of Tears for Fears

  • Tenacious D -- Tenacious D

  • Toto -- The Essential Toto

  • Wham -- Make It Big

  • Whitesnake -- Greatest Hits


( 25 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 24th, 2005 01:13 pm (UTC)
Although I own a few, as a rule I dislike "Best of" "Greatest" and "Essential" albums. Which trims down your list a lot.

So, I'd say absolutely, positively Appetite for Destruction (I love, love, love just about everything recorded by Guns & Roses with Axel Rose, and this really is a great high-energy pain album), one or both of the REM, then maybe the Bob Marley.

I'm not familiar with "Anthology" but as a 3 CD collection it probably avoids some of what I dislike with Greatest Hits etc., and she's a great performer so that wouldn't be a bad choice (except it probably counts as more than 1 selection, right?)

If you choose REO Speedwagon or Wham, then I just don't want to hear about it, because that stuff is so not my kink and it'd totally gross me out.
Mar. 24th, 2005 01:18 pm (UTC)
Yes, the albums with 2 or 3 CDs count as 2 or 3 selections, respectively.

I don't generally like "Best of" albums with classical, jazz, or salsa. However, I generally don't know a lot of stuff by these artists, so "Greatest Hits" albums gives me a nice overview. I can always get specific albums later if I like. Besides, not all groups are album-driven, like Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin. Many are singles-driven, for which "Essential" collections are appropriate.
Mar. 24th, 2005 02:10 pm (UTC)
I have some opinions about this, but not the time/energy to write them out coherently. But my preference for albums that aren't "Greatest/Best of" (I admit "Essential" albums are more likely to be composed in a way that they do present material in a way I like) isn't just because some groups are "album-driven"; it's a preference that holds even aside from that.

Re what hyoun has suggested: Prince, heck yes if you don't mind a collection of Hits (that there are B-sides there is possibly a good thing). Tears for Fears, don't go with Greatest Hits; if you're going spring for just one TfF, go with Songs from the Big Chair. Sade, I don't own any (but I still want to make out with people) but she's got a really great sound that is fabulous for some kinds of mood setting, so again, if you really want a Best of, well you could do far worse than pick Sade.
Mar. 24th, 2005 02:15 pm (UTC)
BTW, I wrote what I wrote about TfF before I saw pheromone's similar comment. This could be a great minds think alike moment.

Mar. 24th, 2005 02:19 pm (UTC)
This could be a great minds think alike moment.

Except for the "Wham" anomaly!
Mar. 24th, 2005 01:13 pm (UTC)
Sade, because everyone should own a Sade album. Not owning Sade is like never wanting to make out with anyone again.

Prince, because he was a talented motherfucker.

Tears for Fears because they're my favorite of what's left.

This was not a hard decision for me at all.

Mar. 24th, 2005 01:20 pm (UTC)
Of course, if I got the Prince (or the Benatar), I couldn't get anything else, since it counts as three selections. Otherwise, those two would be no-brainers!
Mar. 24th, 2005 02:09 pm (UTC)
Well, I'd have voted for for Purple Rain if it'd been on the list.
Mar. 24th, 2005 02:18 pm (UTC)
It's not available through BMG. Besides, I like so much of Prince's stuff (thanks to Keya, who adores him and dragged me to the Prince concert at the Fleet Center) that The Hits/The B-Sides is probably preferable.
Mar. 24th, 2005 01:32 pm (UTC)
I find it amusing that Bob Marley is the only one of these artists I'm the slightest little bit familiar with.

I'd be interested in your "top ten classical albums every literate person should own" list, if you can come up with one.
Mar. 24th, 2005 01:34 pm (UTC)
I'll think about it over the weekend.
Mar. 24th, 2005 02:12 pm (UTC)
I found it amusing that Alicia Keys and Seal were the only artists whose names I didn't recognize.
Mar. 24th, 2005 02:15 pm (UTC)
Alicia Keys is the beautiful woman with the soulful voice who sang the tribute to Ray Charles at the Super Bowl.

Seal sings that catchy "Kissed by a Rose" song.
Mar. 24th, 2005 02:17 pm (UTC)
Seal sings...

Ah, that song. It's catchy but I don't like it.

Mar. 24th, 2005 02:08 pm (UTC)
Good friends we've had, and good friends we've lost...
I believe I recently read that Bob Marley's Legend is the top-selling greatest-hits album ever. There is good reason for that.

For some of these artists, I have enough regular albums that I wouldn't feel the need for a greatest hits. But if I didn't already have it, REM's Automatic for the People, yeah. Man, I *love* that album.

Regarding Tears for Fears, I'd probably get Songs From the Big Chair over Greatest Hits, but that's dating myself, maybe. But if I had to pick a third RIGHT NOW! Um.. Okay, the Wham.
Mar. 24th, 2005 02:16 pm (UTC)
But if I had to pick a third RIGHT NOW! Um.. Okay, the Wham.

Don't let treacle_well see that!
Mar. 24th, 2005 02:18 pm (UTC)
But we're in agreement about TfF so I guess that cancels out the bad Wh** taste.
Mar. 24th, 2005 02:24 pm (UTC)
Just more opinion.

If I were to pick a Heart GH, I'd go with the 85-95 one, because I don't like any of their }Rock/Pop Career-Phase I" stuff. Vocals are pretty incredible in both though.

Mar. 24th, 2005 02:47 pm (UTC)
Yes, they have incredible vocals!
Mar. 24th, 2005 04:10 pm (UTC)
The Prince collection is very good, although at least 2 of the discs are available individually so it's not necessary to get a 3-disc set unless you really like Prince.

I would personally go for some variety and get Legend, Appetite for Destruction and Automatic for the People.
Mar. 24th, 2005 06:58 pm (UTC)
Alas, the two-disc set of the Prince is not available through BMG.
Mar. 24th, 2005 07:12 pm (UTC)
But you could get something else through BMG now and pick up the Prince discs another time if you were so inclined. Or are you planning to make BMG your exclusive supplier of popular music?
Mar. 24th, 2005 07:29 pm (UTC)
No, of course not. Of course I could always get the Prince later from a different source. I'm just thinking with tunnel vision right now.
Mar. 24th, 2005 07:32 pm (UTC)
Other people have mentioned Automatic For The People so I continue to feel cool for liking it. Yay!

And I agree that Greatest Hits compilations can be really lame, but if you're not familiar with Tom Petty you could do worse than start with the Greatest Hits CD. I liked Wildflowers better but that's probably because I'm female.

And yeah.. leaving Sade off the list hurt a little.

Mar. 25th, 2005 06:18 am (UTC)
A few lifetimes ago, I was riding an escalator in the London Underground, and saw a poster advertising Legend. The poster said simply, "Everybody should own a Bob Marley album." At the time, I wondered who this Bob Marley was, and why I should own his album. I paid no more attention to it for several years.

Then I heard a track from Legend, and wanted to hear another. And another. Before you know it, I (finally) owned a Bob Marley album.

Pay attention to that poster - it was right!!

( 25 comments — Leave a comment )