10 More Artists Who Deserve A Hits Album

Previously, I wrote about 10 performers who I felt had all earned the right to release a CD of their hits.  I’ve since discovered that there are even more artists out there who deserve that opportunity.  Here are 10 more music makers who I believe are ready to release a greatest hits package.  As before, I present them in alphabetical order.
 
AC/DC
 
These Australian rockers have been delivering the goods for 4 decades now and incredibly, they’ve never slowed down long enough to put together a hits package.  There have been box sets, live records, even reissues of studio releases but never a compilation of their singles. 
 
I think I have the best solution.  Why not issue separate hits albums each devoted to a particular era?
 
Obviously, the first hits package should feature nothing but singles from the 1970s.  In other words, the Bon Scott era.  What belongs on such a release?  How about Baby, Please Don’t Go; High Voltage; It’s A Long Way To The Top (If You Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll); TNT; Jailbreak; Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap (great title); Let There Be Rock; Whole Lotta Rosie; Highway To Hell; Sin City; Problem Child; Ride On; Big Balls and, as a bonus, Can I Sit Next To You Girl (the band’s first single which featured their original vocalist, Dave Evans (and no, that’s not The Edge from U2))?  If there are any other hit songs I’ve missed from this period, throw them on, too.
 
The second greatest hits album should focus on the 1980s and it should feature the following:  Back In Black; Hell’s Bells; You Shook Me All Night Long; Let’s Get It Up; For Those About To Rock (We Salute You); Flick Of The Switch; Who Made Who; Heatseeker; That’s The Way I Wanna Rock ‘n’ Roll; Shake Your Foundations; Guns For Hire; Rock And Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution; Danger; Sink The Pink; Put The Finger On You and any other songs that I’ve missed.
 
The third and final greatest hits CD should get us up to date from 1990’s The Razor’s Edge to 2000’s Stiff Upper Lip.  These songs should make up the track listing:  Thunderstruck; Moneytalks; Are You Ready; Big Gun; Hard As A Rock; Stiff Upper Lip; Cover You In Oil; Safe In New York City; Satellite Blues; Hail Caesar; Highway To Hell (Live); and Dirty Eyes.
 
Or better yet, why not issue all three as a box set of hits?  Something to think about for next Christmas, guys.
 
Christina Aguilera
 
Britney Spears has one.  Ditto The Backstreet Boys.  So how come this lovely Latin vocalist (and Best New Artist Grammy winner), who became a star in 1999, hasn’t released her greatest hits package?  Already, in less than a decade, she has accumulated enough hit singles to justify a compilation of her own.
 
The following songs need to be on such an album:  Genie In A Bottle, What A Girl Wants, I Turn To You, and Come On Over Baby (All I Want Is You) (all from her self-titled debut); The Christmas Song (from My Kind Of Christmas); Nobody Wants To Be Lonely (her duet with Ricky Martin); Lady Marmalade (her collaboration with Pink, Mya, Lil Kim and Missy Elliott from the Moulin Rouge! Soundtrack); Dirrty, Beautiful, Fighter, Can’t Hold Us Down, and The Voice Within (all from Stripped); Ain’t No Other Man and Hurt (from the current double release, Back To Basics).
 
Add any other hits I might have forgotten and you can see the makings of another successful album.  What fan wouldn’t want all her hits on one CD? 
 
Catherine Wheel
 
Led by Rob Dickinson, the cousin of Iron Maiden’s Bruce Dickinson, this UK outfit succeeded in the music business on their own terms and yet, I’m sure many of their fans and supporters have wondered why they were never a bigger name worldwide.
 
Regardless, they have enough familiar songs to warrant the release of a singles compilation.  When that album inevitably surfaces, these are the numbers that should be featured on it:  I Want To Touch You; Black Metallic; The Spirit Of Radio (their version of the 1980 Rush song); Heal 2; Waydown; Judy Staring At The Sun (featuring Tanya Donelly); Crank; Delicious; Sparks Are Gonna Fly; Balloon; Shallow; 30 Century Man; Show Me Mary; Ma Solituda; Broken Nose; She’s My Friend; Painful Thing; and let’s even throw in the Pink Floyd cover, Wish You Were Here, as a bonus.
 
With the band on an indefinite hiatus, a release like this might motivate them to get back in the studio again.
 
The Dixie Chicks
 
I have to be honest.  I was never a Dixie Chicks fan.  There are few country performers that I really enjoy listening to.  (The exceptions are Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson, two performers whose catalogues I’d love to delve into more.)  But after all the bullshit they’ve had to put up with for the last 3 years, I’m willing to give them another shot.  (I’ve always admired how they’ve conducted themselves, and goddamnit, they’re lovable broads.)  Maybe a greatest hits package would be a good place to start.
 
Originally, The Chicks were a traditional bluegrass outfit.  (For their first two albums, they were a 4-piece.)  But after a couple of departures, another flop album and the recruitment of non-country fan Natalie Maines, the trio (rounded out by sisters Emily Robison and Martie Maguire) would go on to be one of the most successful acts in music history.  I think a proposed greatest hits album should just feature the stuff with Natalie.  Here is what should be on that release:  Wide Open Spaces, I Can Love You Better, There’s Your Trouble, You Were Mine and Tonight The Heartache’s On Me (all from Wide Open Spaces); Ready To Run, Cowboy Take Me Away, Goodbye Earl, Cold Day In July, Without You, If I Fall You’re Going With Me, Heartbreak Town and Some Days You Gotta Dance (all from Fly); Long Time Gone, Landslide (the Fleetwood Mac song) and Travelin’ Soldier (all from Home); and Not Ready To Make Nice (from Taking The Long Way). 
 
Although they have released more singles than this, these were the ones that were actually successful.  Stick to these 15 and you’ve got a decent compilation.  
 
Econoline Crush
 
One of the many bands named after a car, this was one of those groups that became more successful once they altered (some might say, softened) their approach.  Led by Trevor Hurst (an underrated singer), they started out with a heavy, industrial sound and then joined the alternative revolution during the latter half of the 1990s.
 
The band hasn’t released anything since 2001 and their former singer now leads a band called Hurst.  I wonder what happened there.  At any rate, these songs should be on their greatest hits package:  T.D.M. (from their EP, Purge); Wicked, Nowhere Now and Close (from Affliction); All That You Are, Home, Sparkle & Shine, Razorblades And Bandaides, and Surefire (Never Enough) (from The Devil You Know); and You Don’t Know What It’s Like and Make It Right (from Brand New History).
 
It’s too bad these guys stopped making albums.  They had some good songs.  Their greatest hits album would attest to that, if they ever bother to release one.
 
Garbage
 
I’m very surprised this band didn’t release their own hits package this year.  With singer Shirley Manson ready to release a solo album in 2007 and the band pretty much on a longterm break at the moment, it’s going to be quite a while before they return to the music scene.  Therefore, it makes a lot of sense to put out a single disc overview of their greatest hits.
 
Let’s start with their self-titled debut.  That record spawned Vow, Queer, Stupid Girl, Only Happy When It Rains and Milk. 
 
Then, there was the Grammy-nominated Version 2.0.  That album gave us Push It (not the Salt N Pepa song), I Think I’m Paranoid, Special, and When I Grow Up.  Already we have a pretty decent album shaping up here.
 
We mustn’t forget the singles from album #3, Beautifulgarbage.  On that CD, we got Androgyny, Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!), Breaking Up The Girl and Shut Your Mouth (all Top 40 hits in Britain).
 
Their most recent studio effort, Bleed Like Me, featured 3 more hit songs:  the title track, Why Do You Love Me and Sex Is Not The Enemy.
 
Throw in their two soundtrack hits, The World Is Not Enough (the theme from the 1999 Bond feature), and #1 Crush (from William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet) and there’s your album.
 
Goo Goo Dolls
 
The name was chosen as a joke.  (It was found in an ad inside a comic book.)  But after a while, as they started to make a name for themselves, they were saddled with it.  In truth, there are worse names than Goo Goo Dolls (Toad The Wet Sprocket, anyone?) but at least the band has had enough hit songs to lessen their self-consciousness.
 
Before the success of A Boy Named Goo, these Buffalo, New York natives slowly started getting some radio airplay.  Their hits compilation musn’t exclude There You Are (from Hold Me Up) and We Are The Normal (from Superstar Car Wash), their first two modern rock radio successes.
 
Then came the big album.  These songs also need to be on that compilation:  Only One, Naked, Long Way Down and, of course, Name. 
 
Their next big smash was Dizzy Up The Girl.  From that album, there was Slide, Black Balloon, Dizzy and Broadway.
 
On Gutterflower, there was Here Is Gone, Big Machine, and Sympathy.
 
And on the latest release, Let Love In, there were these singles:  Better Days, Stay With You and the title song.
 
Also worthy of inclusion are their soundtrack contributions – Iris (from City Of Angels), Lazy Eye (from Batman & Robin) and I’m Awake Now (from Freddy’s Dead: The Final Nightmare) – and their live cover of the Supertramp song, Give A Little Bit.
 
Yes, this band has already released a compilation of their past material.  (2001’s What I Learned About Ego, Opinion, Art & Commerce)  But that’s not really an album of hits.  True, there are some hit songs on there but the band seemed to have gone out of their way to not include their biggest successes.  That is why I hope in the future they release a proper greatest hits album with the songs that I’ve singled out.  It’s hits or nothing at all, people.  How about it?
 
I Mother Earth
 
This was one of the most successful Canadian alternative metal acts of the 1990s.  Like Van Halen, they have had their internal squabbles with their vocalists.  (Eddie Van Halen likes to call it LSD (Lead Singer Disease).)  But despite a controversial line-up change after only two albums, the band remained successful right to the end of the decade.  (However, after their last album in 2003, they have been inactive.  Since all the members are busy working on other things, it looks like we’ve seen the last of I Mother Earth.)
 
Again, I’m surprised that there hasn’t been a greatest hits package forthcoming from a band that deserves one.  There’s been a rarities album (2001’s Earth, Sky & Everything In Between) but no hits CD. 
 
At any event, these songs belong on that future compilation:  Rain Will Fall, Not Quite Sonic (the album version, please), So Gently We Go (the full-length version is preferable), and Levitate (from Dig); One More Astronaut, Another Sunday, Used To Be Alright and Raspberry (from Scenery & Fish, the last record to feature original singer Edwin); Summertime In The Void, All Awake and When Did You Get Back From Mars? (from Blue Green Orange); and Like The Sun and No Coma (from The Quicksilver Meat Dream). 
 
Because the band were so fond of writing long songs, they should have no problem filling one disc with all their hits.  So, where is it, guys?
 
Sarah McLachlan
 
This Canadian chanteuse has been very successful right from the beginning, even before exploding internationally in the mid-to-late 90s, first with her music and then with her highly successful Lilith Fair package tour.  She’s been in a Kate Bush phase for a while where raising her family has become more important than her career (which is fine) but she returned this year with a Christmas record.  Wouldn’t it have been a better idea to have released an album of hits instead?  She’s got enough of ’em by now.
 
From her first album, Touch:  Vox and Steaming (a US Dance hit).
 
From her second album, Solace:  Drawn To The Rhythm, Into The Fire and The Path Of Thorns.
 
From her third album, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy:  Possession, Good Enough, and Hold On.
 
From her fourth album, Surfacing:  Aida, Building A Mystery, Angel, I Love You (another dance chart success in America) and Sweet Surrender.
 
And from her most recent studio effort, Afterglow:  Fallen, and World On Fire (yet another smash on the US Dance chart).
 
Throw in two versions of I Will Remember You (the studio session from The Brothers McMullen Soundtrack and the live cut from Mirrorball), When She Loved Me (the Oscar-nominated song from Toy Story 2), and any other hits I might’ve forgotten, and there’s your hits package.
 
You’re welcome.
 
Treble Charger
 
And finally, we have yet another unlikely Canadian success story.  These guys were originally called NC-17 (named after the infamous American movie classification) but incredibly, another band had dibs on the name.  So, they changed it to Treble Charger.  It worked out well for them during their 14-year run.  And so did these hit songs:  Red (original version); 10th Grade Love; Even Grable; Morale; Friend Of Mine, Red (re-recorded version); Ever She Flows; How She Died; American Psycho (which is all about Courtney Love); Brand New Low; Business; Hundred Million and Don’t Believe It All.
 
A pretty good run of hits for a band that started out on an indie label based in my hometown.  We’re not just about steel and donuts, you know?
 
Dennis Earl
Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Sunday, December 10, 2006
8:30 p.m.
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Published in: on December 10, 2006 at 8:49 pm  Leave a Comment  

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