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The Way To Do 'Best Of' Albums - 85%

erickg13, November 9th, 2006

For a band like Soundgarden, whose sound changed continuiosly over the years, making a good ‘Best Of’ may be incredibly difficult, but A-Sides pulls it off fairly good. It does the smart thing and include the strongest songs. But there is ways that it could have been made better. One is including rarer songs, such as covers or live songs (like something from “Somms”). Though it does include the unreleased “Bleed Together”, which is a nice treat for longtime fans. Also making this a 2cd and adding a few lesser known songs (“Drawing Flies” or “Fourth of July” maybe?) would help introduce new fans into more than just the hits.

With all that said, it has no weaknesses, there is no song on here that makes you scratch your head on why it was included.

The chronological order of the track list is absolutely the way to go. It helps ease the changes from the early punk-metal alloy into the more thrashy “Badmotorfinger” era stuff and finally into the most well known “Superunknown” material. This also eases the changes of Chris Cornell’s voice from the yelling shriek to the mild crooning, but it is solid throughout. Also the change from being riff-centric to melody driven by the rhythm section would be uneasy to get over if it wasn’t arranged in the way it was.

I really have no complaints about ‘A-Sides’, to put it simply it does its job, by introducing new fans into their music, and providing a very good career retrospective.

Overall, A-sides, is a winner for new fans, but for longtime fans the only real reason to get it is the rare “Bleed Together” (which can only be found on import singles, besides here).