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Greatest Hits For These Bands?

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Five bands who should never have had greatest hits albums released

1) Blind Melon. The band had one hit and then next thing we know the lead singer is dead. If they were Sublime I could understand putting out 3 more albums post-death but Blind Melon?

2) The Motels. You have got to be kidding. They had their 15 minutes – or less – and now when they should just check out they have greatest hits album.
I hear people fighting at Motels who are more entertaining..

3) Missing Persons – I have a personal beef with them. I grew up about 90 minutes from Los Angeles. And each time I’d drive through the area inevitably KROQ would play ‘Nobody walks in L.A.” and I’d be like, um, am I nobody? Who the — you calling nobody? And yes, “What are words for?” Not for you since the lyricist sucks.

4) Talk Talk – Ok, It’s My Life was a great song and had a video but everyhing else they did was not a hit – it was just an annoyance.

5) Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – I give them a demerit just based on that atroicious spelling alone and the fact they were mostly known from being on movie sondtracks is not exactly something to brag about.

Runner-ups: Flock of Seagulls (You remember the hair but can you name any of their songs besides I Ran), Simple Minds, Quarterflash, Animotion and Berlin.

Ok,I challenge you to name more than one hit – ok, two hits – from each of these bands.

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About Scott Butki

Scott Butki was a newspaper reporter for more than 10 years before making a career change into education... then into special education. He has been doing special education work for about five years He lives in Austin. He reads at least 50 books a year and has about 15 author interviews each year and, yes, unlike tv hosts he actually reads each one. He is an in-house media critic, a recovering Tetris addict and a proud uncle. He has written articles on practically all topics from zoos to apples and almost everything in between.
  • I don’t see what you have against THEM. They were a fine band with some of the greatest hits of the 60s. You can’t beat Gloria and Here Comes the Night, not to mention all their excellent blues covers.


  • MT

    Great bands shouldn’t only judged by their hits. Did the Velvets, Iggy, MC5, NY Dolls, Grateful Dead, ever have a hit? What about sensibility, pont of view, influence?

  • My bad. I didn’t realize there was actually a band called THEM.

    I’m going to go change the title from
    “Greatest Hits for THEM” to “Greatest Hits for thes bands.”

  • “Best Of” and “Greatest Hits” have become interchangeable on retrospectives. I guess they shouldn’t be, technically speaking.

    Record companies will never stop re-packaging though.

  • Yeah, it’s all about packaging and trying to milk more sales from old catalog material. A greatest hits CD from a band that had one hit is always good for a chuckle.

  • I started out ranting about Blind Melon having a greatest hits cd but when I checked Amazon they listed some as retrospective.

    But still, do we really really need a greatest hits of Animotion?

    MT, I never said any of those bands shouldn’t have retrospective or greatest hits.
    (Actually I even own a Best of Velvet Underground cd)

    It’s a matter of bands of low quality AND low hits that I’m questioning.

    That’s a whole nother issue than whether, say, Fugazi should have a greatest hits album or Bad Religion.

  • Well, I happen to love Talk Talk, but that’s neither here nor there; they sure as Hell didn’t have any more than two hits.

    One that’s always confused me is the fact that I once saw a cassette labeled Dr. Hook and the Medicine Show’s Greatest Hits, Volume 2. How many songs by Dr. Hook does anyone even remember?

  • >>My bad. I didn’t realize there was actually a band called THEM.<< There have actually been three bands called THEM. One did bad rap, one did bad heavy metal and the first and greatest was the band that Van Morrison fronted in the 60s. Dave

  • Shark

    Bukti: “…My bad. I didn’t realize there was actually a band called THEM.”

    um, then the value of your opinions having anything to do with rock and/or music is somewhere between GREATLY REDUCED and FUCKING WORTHLESS.

    You have the right to an informed opinion, which means you need to unplug your keyboard.


    The Management

  • Baronius

    I completely agree with your premise.

    I remember three hits, or at least songs that got airplay, from A Flock of Seagulls. I Ran, Telecommunication, and Space Age Love Song (the best of the three). Thing is, they were on the same album. If you want them together, you don’t need a greatest hits album.

    I own The Best of Split Endz. I liked this band for pretty much one album, and Best Of has the songs I liked from that one album. (I bought Best Of instead of True Colours because it was on sale.)

  • I think Simple MInds may have had enough for a greatest hits. Maybe. Although I couldn’t name more than 2 of their songs off the top of my head. Perhaps you have a point…

  • As for Simple Minds, having hits which suck ought to disqualify you from having a greatest hits album AND from ever doing a reunion tour.


  • Let me guess – the only song you know by Simple Minds is “Don’t You Forget About Me”. Pleeeease – don’t be an amateur critic by mistaking chart success in the US with artistic credibility. They were huge in Europe and on the college scene here. Go out and get yourself a copy of SM’s “New Gold Dream” or “Sparkle in the Rain”. You’ll thank me.

  • Yes, I’m familiar with the other songs you mention. Godawful generic New Wave crap. Indistinguishable from a dozen other bands. I actually heard Colours Fly and Catherine Wheel on the radio today on ‘flashback lunch’ and I was torn between two reactions, the first being “which horrible early 80s band is that” and the second being how to change the station as quickly as possible.

    But in honor of your comment I went and listened to portions of my wife’s CD of New Gold Dream, and although I could only stand a few minutes of it, I was completely confirmed in my conviction that they should be put in a blender with A Flock of Seagulls, Talk Talk and Modern English and then someone shot hit ‘puree’ and put an end to them all.


  • Hmm, so that begs the question – if they were put in a blender and poured out who would they most sound like.

    – Maybe Sugar Ray (God they annoy me) ?

  • Was thinking about this today, what kills me are the bands that have like one album and then there’s a greatest hits or an unplugged album.

    Seems like you need to work a bit longer before you should get that treatment.

    Or am I just being a grumpy music fan when expecting that?

  • Over at the “most overrated thread, uao wrote:

    Comment 71 posted by uao on October 4, 2005 01:26 AM:

    McLaren lost control of the Pistols anyway. He didn’t manufacture Johnny Rotten, as much as he wanted to. John Lydon outsmarted him, and manufactured Johnny Rotten himself.

    I agree with that but we then diverge on what this means.
    As far as I’m concerned Lydon’s actions led to the dissolving of the band and he went on to do Public Image Limited.
    Which is why I consider Sex Pistols overrated (they seemed more focused on these types of fights and media exposure than on creative musical work) but Public Image Limited underrated.

    So why am I mentioned that here?

    Because the Sex Pistols are a good example of a band where I question whether there really needs to be multiple greatest hits/compilation albums considering their low musical content?

    I mean doesn’t thi

    seem somewhat redundant?

  • er, that should have just read:
    “I mean, doesn’t this seem somewhat redundant” and it links to all the Sex Pistols compilations.

    I still listen at least once a year to Clash’ London Calling AND one of their compilations, which is more than I – at least personally – can say for the Ramones or the Sex Pistols.

    For me there are only a few greatest hits albums which I’ll listen to straight through and those are ones by Velvet Underground, the Clash, Bruce Springsteen and Crowded House. Yeah, I know, an eclectic bunch but oh well.

  • Oh and an exception to the rule is this Son Volt’s complilation I’m listening to. I read a good review of it in No Depression asking if a band with only two or three albums to its name deserves a compilation but that this time it ooes because of hard to find good stuff on it.
    More so, than, say, the Uncle Tupelo complilation which is a bit weaker.

  • Just so I don’t sound negative and bitchy in my topics on bands in the other music threads I want to say I think Wilco is hyped and many would call them overrated but they meet the hype in my opinion.

    Put simply I think they are the best, most original band around.

    And if THEY had a greatest hits cd I’d buy it.

  • Scott Butki

    I thought of this item today when I saw that the name of the new Anthrax compilation is “No Hit Wonder.”

  • focused

    If you read the title of the Blind Melon CD, it’s the BEST OF… consisting of their 3 albums, an unreleased track and live tracks. I think it was needed, no one looks past their one song, but when you hear this CD, you’re completely enthralled for 19 songs straight. After being pigeon holed by a single radio hit, they prove that the CD is well worth it. Besides, when was the last time you heard two lead guitarists show so much individual talent without stepping on eachothers toes? Or hear a mandolin played on an album (with integrity) since Grateful Dead’s American Beauty? If anything, you should have that Hillary Duff bitch on here.