Music News: “Greatest” Hits? Plus The Smiths, Sam Taylor-Wood, The Smiths, P!nk, Take That, Lady GaGa


GuestbloggerRobbie Daw presents a weekly pop music update here on Towleroad! Robbie runs his own site called Chart Rigger.

Holiday season typically sees a slew of “greatest hits” and “best ofs” released by record labels. This year is certainly no exception. By January compilations from the following will have been released: Christina Aguilera, The Smiths, Celine Dion, Hilary Duff, Enrique Iglesias, Anastacia, Sarah McLachlan, Dave Koz, Mariah Carey, Goo Goo Dolls, Rascal Flatts, Celtic Woman, Jump5 and Boyzone, as well as a Best Of Bond theme collection and a 10-disc Motown box set.


And, sure, in the case of Duff, Iglesias and McLachlan, an artist will usually contribute two new songs if they’re actually participating in the label’s decision to put the collection out. But in the case of Mariah’s The Ballads, not only is nothing new included, but thanks to this being slapped together by her previous label Sony, there aren’t even selections from her last three albums.

A Mariah Carey ballads compilation with no "We Belong Together"? Hmmm.

Of course, in the digital age, how necessary is a greatest hits set anyway? On the one hand, fans of a band or singer probably own all the tracks already—and can whip up a better playlist in three minutes than any corporate exec could after undergoing five setlist determining marketing meetings. But then there are always newer generations of fans to consider; ones who don’t already own every album, single, European B-side and unreleased Sarah McLachlan rarity.


At any rate, two to consider:

The Smiths, The Sound Of The Smiths:
  Both Morrissey and Johnny Marr were involved in the song selection and mastering. The single disc edition contains all the singles, while the "Deluxe" edition has a second disc of rarer tunes (on American shores, at least) like "Wonderful Woman," "Jeane," "I Keep Mine Hidden" and "Money Changes Everything." Also included are live versions of "London," "Handsome Devil" and "What’s The World." (November 11)

Motown: The Complete No. 1’s:  This 10-disc box set is arranged chronologically and goes all the way from the Miracle’s "Shop Around" (1961) to Erykah Badu’s "Bag Lady" (2000). There are 191 tracks total, and the title is apparently justified by grabbing #1 singles from every major international chart and genre. Incidentally, January marks Motown’s 50th anniversary. (December 9)   

road.jpg  A few music clips for the week:

1. Sam Taylor-Wood, "I’m In Love With A German Film Star": The London-based contemporary artist pairs up with her pals the Pet Shop Boys for a cover of the Passions’ lone hit.

2. Take That, "Greatest Day": Shot in L.A., this is the official video—unlike the audio-only clip I posted two weeks ago—for the lead single off the four-piece’s upcoming U.K. album The Circus.

3. T.I. featuring Rihanna, "Live Your Life": Recently became Rihanna’s fifth chart-topping single in two years.

4. Hilary Duff, "Reach Out": One of two new songs off her upcoming Best Of…


P!nk’s fifth album Funhouse, featuring her #1-charting hit "So What," and production from Max Martin, Danja, Billy Man and Tony Kanal.

Lady GaGa’s debut The Fame, which was already released in many countries throughout August and September.

The Cure’s thirteenth studio album, 4:13 Dream, containing 13 tracks.

Snow Patrol’s A Hundred Million Suns.

New singles from David Archuleta ("Angels"), Usher ("Hush"), Sam Taylor-Wood & Pet Shop Boys ("I’m In Love With A German Film Star") and Taylor Swift ("You’re Not Sorry").


  1. Tom S. says

    I hope everyone goes and gets Lady Gaga’s album. She really is the future of pop music–she’s glitzy, edgy, fierce, tough, and above all: very Pop.

    She’s lovin’ with her muffin’!

  2. Paul R says

    So what is this, like the 20th Smiths best of? It’s offensive from a band that used to mock such greed (“repackage, repackage…”).

    If they have new stuff to offer to US fans, put than on its own disc. It’s sad to see them sink to the level of Bowie and other personal icons who are soaking their fans for every penny.

  3. RP says

    Hilary, Fiona Apple and Lindsey Lohan called. They want their music videos back. Oh, and Depeche Mode called too. They said, “DON’T EVER BUTCHER ONE OF OUR SONGS EVER AGAIN!”

  4. Strepsi says

    He may have the voice of a small fuzzy animal, but Enrique Iglesias is all kinds of adorable! And so gay-friendly! After his great interaction with gay fans I downloaded some songs — very catchy.

    Will I get his greatest hits album? No, but I’ll look at the cover again…..

    Ah…. Enrique……

  5. says

    For the record, the only reason that Hilary is releasing the “Best Of” album is to fulfill her contract with Hollywood Records so that she can end it and have artistic control over her music.

  6. whateverdude says

    I’ve never posted here before and I hate to start with something negative, but…
    The Take That clip was utter crap! Don’t get me wrong, they’ve always been crap, but at least they usually have a semi-decent pop hook. I’d even forgive the teen journal/hallmark card lyrics if there had only been a hook (and since there wasn’t, well you know). All that build up for nothing. Ugh. Sorry I just really hate that kind of atmospheric build up when it goes nowhere. And this is the lead single(?), yuck, a definite pass.
    Now compare that to the Lady GaGa disc which I’ve listened to a few times in the past couple of weeks and while certainly not the future of music, it’s still catchy, hooky, disposable pop…like Take That used to be.
    The Snow Patrol is more of the same, which I guess isn’t a bad thing, just not really new. I loved the last 2 albums and I’m sure this one will grow on me too but at this point it seems to similar to the last couple.
    On the other hand I really don’t mind The Smiths re-releasing their stuff again as there’s a whole new generation out there to introduce to it. Thankfully they’ve included a few tracks that haven’t been readily available before for those of us who were around for the initial album releases.

    Not a good week for music releases overall.

  7. says

    Hey man! First off, big fan of your site – I check it out regulalry and love what you are doing! :)

    Second, regarding your comments about the Mariah Carey ‘Ballads’ album: Reason there is no ‘We Belong Together’ (an Island/Def Jam track) is because ‘Ballads’ is a Sony BMG release – so only her tracks from when she was at Columbia will be on there. And she left Columbia in the late 90s for Virgin and her one-album release there, ‘Glitter.’

    Columbia must be hurting for coin to pimp out Mariah tracks that, at their most recent, are now over 10 years old. And I agree with you on hits collections in modern times – seems pointless.

    My blog, the MUZOPHILE BLOG, is a music-centric blog and has more info on her ‘new’ album, if you like:

    Thanks again! :) Muzo

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