Unless you’re a record label looking to cash in on an artist’s success or an individual unsure of what to get your extended family for holidays, “Best Of” and “Greatest Hits” compilations are, for the most part, unnecessary catalog padding.
Often when artists release compilations of previously released material, whether they be contractually obliged to do so or it is done for posterity, there is an attempt to sweeten the deal with additional tracks that are unavailable elsewhere.
While the digital age has allowed any wanting individual to purchase or stream a single track of their choosing to be played to their heart’s content, this luxury has not been existent for much more than a decade and a half and has yet to become the universal means of acquiring music.
For those who recall those times and those who still purchase physical copies of music, here are seven songs that almost make their entire source compilation worth the cost.
Album: Greatest Hits
After the Red Hot Chili Peppers made waves in 1989 with their cover of Stevie Wonder’s Higher Ground and hit their commercial stride two years later with the release of Blood Sugar Sex Magik, the band underwent a decade-long evolution best represented by 1999’s Californication.
Not long off the heels of By the Way, the Chili Pepper’s 2003 Greatest Hits release combined 14 of their more notable hits from 1989 to 2002 (if you wanted a compilation of songs focusing mostly on pre-1989 material, What Hits!? was your album).
With this compilation came two previously unreleased tracks, Fortune Faded and Save the Population, which were reported to have been selections from a total sixteen tracks that were intended for an unreleased album.
The former was pushed as the release’s primary single and is their standard fodder; however, its overlooked accompaniment is far superior as it more effectively encompasses everything the band had become by that point, with the highlight of the track being some of the best instances of the symbiotic nature of Anthony Keidas and John Frusciante’s vocals.