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Slanted towards the new(ish) stuff - 50%

OlympicSharpshooter, September 3rd, 2004

So, there are three different tracklists on this thing, huh?. Well, the UK one is the obvious loser right off the bat, replacing the metallic firestorm "Foolin'" and the solid balladeer "Miss You in a Heartbeat" with two terrible tracks from Adrenalize (the worst album I've heard of theirs) and "Action", a fairly obscure cover of a Helix song, a deep album cut from one of the real darkhorses of the catalogue. The US version is the opposite of what I just described, while the Japanese drops the two additional UK Adrenalize tracks in favour of another punchy Pyromania classic and another lame ballad. Well, Japanese version wins I think.

So, the normal logic would be to simply import the Japanese version, but that's ridiculous. This record covers five albums, three of which are highly recommended. So really, if you want these songs, buy the real albums for the price of the import. Obviously I say this every time I do a compilation review, but that's my warning.

Anyway, track selection. Five from Hysteria, one song for every three million buyers I guess (do the math). They really have to be here because that record basically took the charts hostage for months with single after single, in fact, the lead-off single "Women" not even included here. That song is better than "Hysteria", although I could see the inclusion of the live version of that song (no really, the song is quite good live).

Astoundingly only three from Pyromania (US), "Rock of Ages", "Photograph", and "Foolin'" being obvious inclusions, although one would think that they are no more obvious that the superb "Too Late for Love" or fan favs like "Stagefright" and "Rock Rock 'til You Drop" (I know, Japanese version), but whatever. Really, if you like hair at all you should own that one already.

Three from Adrenalize, three more than you need. Next.

Two from Retro-Active, and both of them ballads. Bah.

One from High N' Dry, an insult to the album. Arguably three of the songs from this one became sizeable hits, so it's a little baffling why these were ignored.

Zero from On Through the Night. Totally ridiculous.

Here is yet another compilation that ignores all but one section of the catalogue, and it ain't a band like Rainbow where that's a good idea. It has some interesting thoughts from the band on each track, but the cover art is pretty blase too. This thing is yet another cash-in, and it worked well as it's moved a good four million copies to date.

2008 Note: And hey, it's way better than the more recent compilation the band has since released.