ALL about… their Greatest & Best

You know it’s the holiday season when bands start re-releasing their albums or, in a last effort to make a quick buck, a greatest hits CD. For the most part, the CDs often seem rushed to get out before Christmas. So while you’re fighting the crowds on Black Friday, these are some greatest hits or deluxe edition CDs released this year that may or may not be worth picking up.

Greatest Hits

Cee-Lo Green

Closet Freak: The Best of Cee-Lo Green The Soul Machine

Includes: Hits from his debut album, Cee-Lo Green and His Perfect Imperfections, such as “Closet Freak,” and his second offering, …Is the Soul Machine such as “I’ll Be Around (featuring Timbaland)” and the Neptunes-produced “The Art of Noise.”

Is it worth the buy? This is simply a collection of his solo hits as well as some hits from his days in the rap group Goodie Mob. Nothing new to stimulate his fans because most of his recent effort is going into Gnarls Barkley, his collaborative with Danger Mouse. You can hear the beginnings of Gnarls if you listen closely, but it is by no means a substitute for St. Elsewhere.

Stater rating (Out of five): ???1/2

– Madelyn Otcasek


Stop The Clocks

Includes: Oasis’ singles such as “Supersonic,” “Morning Glory” and “Acquiesce” spanning from their debut album Definitely Maybe to their more obscure, recent albums Standing on the Shoulders of Giants and Don’t Believe the Truth as well as huge hits “Wonderwall” and “Champagne Supernova.”

What’s New: Stop the Clocks is Oasis’s first collection of No. 1 singles and B-sides. The band members personally chose the songs that are on the album. There are two versions of this collection: a two-disc collection and a special edition two-disc set that includes a DVD.

Is it worth the buy? It is perfect for those who do not already have a wide collection of Oasis albums. It gives a nice overview of the band’s 12-year time span.

Stater rating (Out of Five): ???

– Alicia Boulton


U2 18 Singles

Includes: Popular singles such as “Walk on,” “Sunday Bloody Sunday” and “Sweetest Thing.”

What’s New: Very little. 18 Singles is one of several greatest hits albums the band has released. On the upside, there are two new tracks “The Saints Are Coming” featuring Green Day and “Window in the Skies.” There is also a special edition version of the album which contains a bonus DVD combination with live footage from a 2005 concert in Italy .

Is it worth the buy? Unless you are a die hard fan of U2 and feel the need to collect all their albums, don’t spend the money. It is not worth the price of an entire album for the two new songs.

Stater rating (Out of Five): ?? 1/2

– Alicia Boulton


Greatest Hits

Includes: Hit singles such as “It’s Been Awhile,” “So Far Away” and “Right Here” spanning from their major label debut Dysfunction to their most recent album, Chapter V.

What’s New: Acoustic covers of Alice in Chains’ “Nutshell,” Tool’s “Sober,” and Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb.”

Is It Worth the Buy? Like the angry, hard-rock phase of the late ’90s and 2000, Staind’s music bears very little relevance today, as shown on this disc. What were meant to be heartfelt songs such as “It’s Been Awhile” and “Right Here” now seem like dull, overplayed power ballads and the live version of “Outside” still induces laughs every time Fred Durst intrudes into the song with profanity-laced banter. A few bright spots exist in the angrier “Mudshovel” and “Price to Play.” Though they may have been popular six years ago, this CD is best meant to be grouped with similar greatest hits CDs from P.O.D. and Limp Bizkit as reminders of why the Nu-Metal died a slow, painful death.

Stater rating (out of five): ??

– Andrew Gaug

Foo Fighters

Skin and Bones

Includes: Recorded live on the band’s acoustic tour, Skin and Bones includes reworked, popular songs such a country-tinged “Big Me” from their self-titled debut, more expansive versions of “Everlong,” “Times Like These,” and “Next Year” as well more obscure, songs like “February Stars” and “Friend of a Friend.”

What’s New: Two unreleased songs, “Marigold” and “Skin and Bones,” get the full-orchestrated live treatment.

Is it worth the buy? Not exactly a greatest hits CD, the album includes more ambient versions of the songs that made them popular as well as the fan favorites that were never released as singles. While an acoustic version of “Best of You” seems to be a misstep on the CD, the band does a good job of offering more than just another throwaway live album that most bands release around this time of year.

Stater rating (out of five): ??? 1/2

– Andrew Gaug

Deluxe Editions

Gnarls Barkley

St. Elsewhere

Includes: The full-length St. Elsewhere plus a DVD and 92-page flip book.

What’s New: No new tracks, but the DVD features four incredibly creative videos such as the oldies throwback video “Smiley Faces,” the Rorschach test video for “Crazy” and the bug-loving-humans video “Gone Daddy Gone” as well as two live tracks of a slowed-down version of “Crazy” and “Gone Daddy Gone”

Is it worth the buy? If you’re a fan of Gnarls Barkley and their eccentricities, the Deluxe Edition only heightens it. For $10 more than the regular CD, the DVD is pretty bare bones, but the music videos are inventive enough to make it worth the buy. Casual fans are probably better sticking to just the regular CD.

Stater rating (Out of five): ???

– Andrew Gaug

Tenacious D

The Pick of Destiny

Includes: Cardboard packaging containing the album, a mini-poster and a “Pick of Destiny” guitar pick.

What’s New: Besides the album, not much.

Is it worth the buy? For the extra $10, you get the CD in a different packaging and a guitar pick. For what is considered a deluxe special edition, this is neither deluxe nor special. Though the CD is unimpressive, if you’re into Tenacious D, it’s probably best you just get the regular CD.

Stater rating (Out of five): ? 1/2

– Andrew Gaug


Oh No

Includes: The full-length album plus a DVD.

What’s New: A DVD containing all of OK Go’s videos from its debut album to the dancing-on-treadmills video for “Here It Goes Again” from Oh No. Also included on the DVD are Public Service Announcements, a documentary on making the album and a compilation of people recreating the music video for “A Million Ways.”

Is it worth the buy? One of the few deluxe editions worth the second buy, the bonus DVD alone makes it worth the while as it features the two videos the made the band famous – “A Million Ways” and “Here It Goes Again”- as well as some hilarious bloopers of them making the video and performing it on the MTV Video Music Awards. The documentary goes a little deeper into what it was like to make the album and the rest of the extras. Although some are disposable, they make the extra money it costs worth the price.

Stater rating (Out of five): ????

– Andrew Gaug

Panic! At The Disco

A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out (Collector’s Box)

Includes: The album, a concert DVD, a poster, phenakistoscope, certificate of authenticity, tour program, newspaper, pictures, diary and lyrics cards.

What’s New: Outside of the album, everything is new including the packaging for the CD. A bonus DVD chronicles the band’s rise to fame with interspersing clips from their summer tour. It also includes the choice to watch the full-length concert with no interruptions.

Is it worth the buy? Whether you love them or loathe them, the Fever Collector’s Box shows how rewarding a special edition can be. In coordination with the band’s burlesque, ’20s throwback style, everything included is made to look like it came straight out of the early 1900s, and does so admirably. For fans, this is worth the extra $30. While on-the-fence listeners may be amazed at how much content is contained in one box, they might want to save their money if they’re not too amazed at the band’s Moulin Rouge-like style.

Stater rating (Out of five): ????1/2

– Andrew Gaug