When I was growing up, I used to love a series of albums called Solid Gold Hits. They were compilations of the hits from the year gone by, and they came out just in time for Christmas shopping. The first one I owned, if I remember correctly, was Volume 11 – and it had Bad, Bad Leroy Brown by Jim Croce on it, which kind of dates me. I was six years old.
I came to like compilations, and gravitated towards ‘Best Of’ albums as I grew older. I wore out my copy of Queen’s Greatest Hits (the first one with their good songs) and even today in my jazz-loving older years, I love a well-curated collection of best tunes from a scene, an era, a label or a single artist.
So in the tradition of the industry whose activities I describe and discuss, and like every good mid-career artist, I’ve decided to compile a greatest hits album.
The purpose of a Greatest Hits is to do three things:
1) to encapsulate and summarise the highlights of a career to date and provide a benchmark document that celebrates past successes;
2) to provide an entree for new fans by collecting together a representative sample of work that has proved popular and thereby give a user-friendly way into exploring the back catalogue;
3) to save the effort of having to come up with any new stuff for a bit.
So, using PostRank.com as my guide, and with a bit of judicious executive producing, what follows is my greatest hits collection, complete with brief liner notes. It’s not a top-10 list and I haven’t ranked them in any order. Think of this as a compilation track listing, and imagine – if these were songs on an album, this is the order in which I would suggest ‘listening’ to them.