Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Are Greatest Hits Albums Just Great Filler?...

In this day and age of digital music, My Life, Made Possible by Pop Culture doesn't understand the need for "Greatest Hits" albums anymore. Do you?


Hear me out: years and years ago when I was a kid and toting my portable CD player to and from school on the bus everyday, it used to be cumbersome to carry a handful of CD cases with me to have options for my hour-long trip from door to door. But times, they are a-changin', as the infamous Rose Lindsey of General Apparel West would say!

Back then, we even got to the point where we could make our own mix CDs. The last compilation album I purchased was Eminem's "Curtain Call". And in all honesty, that was only for the "When I'm Gone" new track and album artwork. Besides, most of the songs listed were the ones that did the best with a mainstream audience and sold the most copies-- not necessarily the ones that were lyrically the strongest or the ones that spoke to me, personally. Therefore, I much preferred to just create my own playlists.

Besides, considering people don't even want to pay for songs once over anymore, why would they want to pay for them
again?

Well, some artists and record labels think offering extras are enticement. For example, new songs packaged in an album of old (but popular) singles was a way to get diehard fans to run out and buy the new CD. But these days, you can just buy the new songs individually. And I do.

P!nk, who is one of my favorite pop stars, released her "Greatest Hits...So Far!!!" album on Tuesday, and that is exactly what I did: I already had all of the previously released tracks on their original albums, but I wanted her three new singles. And thankfully iTunes didn't have them as "Album Only" so I was able to add them to my regular Tuesday order of glee songs. The record label's loss is most certainly my gain.

So what exactly is the motivation to release such album these days, other than to meet some sort of quota per artist/genre? If an artist only has three to five new pieces of material to release, why tack them onto old songs just to release something "new"? Whatever happened to releasing EPs? Everything else just seems like unnecessary filler.

Do you purchase "Greatest Hits" albums? Do you even purchase albums at all anymore? Sound off in the comments below!

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