During the '80s, Thompson Twins arguably produced the finest synth-pop singles, and Greatest Hits recollects their industrious years with Arista in clear, digitally remastered sound. Numerous collections exist in the Twins' catalog and nearly equal their studio albums, but Greatest Hits prevails as the most essential as it offers a definitive chronology from 1982's infectious debut "In the Name of Love" through 1987's reflective "Long Goodbye." Featuring 16 tracks, this brimming retrospective recalls MTV's formative years ("Lies"), those unforgettable Dr. Pepper commercials ("Doctor! Doctor!"), the anti-Apartheid movement ("The Gap"), and countless other '80s pop culture memories.
It’s been a long 16 years since Bon Jovi was last compiled, when Cross Road arrived for the holiday season of 1994, two years after Keep the Faith capped off a near-decade long run of dominance for the Jersey rockers. As it turned out, it was the first act of Bon Jovi’s career. A subdued second act followed in the ‘90s, with Jon Bon Jovi flirting with a solo career once again before returning to the fold late in the decade, with the band setting out for a decade of professionalism, sometimes cresting into the charts – usually with the assist of a canny country crossover – sometimes not. Greatest Hits condenses the highlights of this journey in a mere 16 songs, just two longer than Cross Road – its simultaneously released cousin, Ultimate Greatest Hits, adds a disc with 12 additional songs – and two of those are new tunes that are unlikely to show up on any subsequent best of.
Richard Marx's Greatest Hits performs a valuable service for his fans, collecting all of his hit singles – "Don't Mean Nothing," "Should've Known Better," "Endless Summer Nights," "Hold on to the Nights," "Satisfied," "Right Here Waiting," "Angela," "Children of the Night," "Keep Coming Back," "Hazard," "Take This Heart," "Now and Forever" – on one disc. For both the casual and the longtime fan, this is a blessing, since Marx's albums were usually uneven, featuring a few strong cuts surrounded by filler. Greatest Hits cuts away the chaff, leaving behind on the best cuts, resulting in an ideal career summary of this popular MOR pop/rocker.
A Slight Case of Overbombing gathered together material from goth merchants the Sisters of Mercy's three major-label releases. That fact immediately sets the stage for complaints from longtime fans desiring their indie music. However, for the listener more familiar with the band's mid- to late-'80s college radio tracks, this is a very good collection. The lyrics are rather pointless and Andrew Eldritch's vocals lack dynamics, but his singing has personality that overcomes his limitations. It's the edgy, hard gothic rock of the music that is their strength. There's an undeniable pull to songs like the galloping "This Corrosion" or the epic "More" (both produced by Jim Steinman). There's also a mix of "Temple of Love," featuring Ofra Haza, and an unreleased track, "Under the Gun." Not essential, but a good record for the casual fan (although more extensive liner notes would have been nice).
It should come as no surprise that Enrique Iglesias' 2008 Greatest Hits begins in 1999, when he made the leap from the Latin market into the mainstream. All his very successful '90s albums on Fonovisa are bypassed, written off as prehistory, so the spotlight shines only on his English-language singles of the new millennium: the club tracks and syrupy slow songs that gave him a significant number of crossover hits. With the exception of a couple of minor blips on the charts like 2000's "Sad Eyes," all these are here, starting with 1999's "Bailamos" and "The Rhythm Divine," running through 2000's "Be with You" and 2001's "Hero," stopping for 2004's "Not in Love," winding up with 2007's "Do You Know? (The Ping Pong Song)" and wrapping up with two new duets, "Away" with Sean Garrett and "Takin' Back My Love" with Ciara. While this approach may lop off half of his career, it also does exactly what hits collections should do: it gives the casual listener the hits they want to hear and nothing else.
Despite being renowned in certain parts of the world (especially in Italy and their hometown of Paris), the space-age outfit Rockets remains largely obscure – even though they arrived on the scene at almost he same exact time as Kraftwerk and prefaced Devo by several years. The multi-membered outfit originally formed in 1972, under the name Crystal, performing on-stage in their regular street clothes. But by 1974, Crystal had evolved into Rocket Men, issuing a debut self-titled single, while its members began to assume the identities of aliens; complete with silver makeup covering their skin, grey contact lenses, space suits, and bald heads. It was also around this time that the group hooked up with producer Claude Lemoine, who would remain behind the studio boards until the early '80s. Over the next year, the group went through another name (Rocketters), before finally settling on Rockets, and issuing further singles, including such titles as "Rocket Man," "Future Woman," and "Samurai."