True, this 1973 vintage best-of album covers a ridiculously slim wedge of time in the blues king's long career. Yet this period was quite significant, for it marks the crest of B.B. King's initial entry into the pop music mass market – and this album surfs succinctly, if not comprehensively, over the high points of his turn-of-the-decade winning streak. There's a potent slice of King's triumphant Live at Cook County – one of his sassiest "How Blue Can You Get?" on records – the huge hit "The Thrill Is Gone" extracts from his surprisingly pleasing early excursions into pop/rock territory on In London and Indianola Mississippi Seeds, and plenty of flavorful electric blues ("Sweet Sixteen," "Why I Sing the Blues") at full length. There are some quirks – "Caldonia" is shortened because one of the unnamed participants on the session demanded the cut, and the "compatible stereo/quad" sound on the LP has some details drastically mixed down when it's played back in ordinary stereo.
Having never made a completely satisfactory album, in part because many of their songs sound somewhat similar,
"…Besides: A Collection of B-Sides and Rarities is in the best sense a loving gesture for the fans – the loud stuff is louder and the quiet stuff is quieter than what this band usually had to offer, but every cut here rings clear with heart and soul and offers a splendid reminder of why this band matters. In short, not for everyone, but if you're any kind of a fan, you'll find plenty here to love."
The Very Best of Howard Jones is a collection of Howard Jones's biggest hits from 1983 through 2003. It also contains one new track, "Revolution Of The Heart", in its original form. It would later be altered and featured on his 2005 album, "Revolution Of The Heart". The Very Best Of Howard Jones also came with a bonus disc of b-sides. The two-disc set featuring 36 synth-pop hits includes "New Song", "Everlasting Love", and the Phil Collins-produced version of "No One Is To Blame".
ZZ Top closed out their tenure with London Records in late 1977 with The Best of ZZ Top, a basic but terrific ten-song retrospective of highlights from their first five albums (well, four, actually, since the underwhelming Tejas is ignored).
For All The Cats - The Best of Marc Bolan & T. Rex is the definitive 2CD / 49 tracks Marc Bolan collection featuring 20 Top 50 Hits including 4 Number 1 singles plus a generous helping of B-sides, key album tracks and rarities plus a new essay by Alexis Petridis, 20 page booklet featuring label photos and liner notes.
Globally, Clegg is probably best recalled for "Scatterlings of Africa," understandably the leadoff track here. If not his manifesto (which was established long before his international fame), it makes his point, the mixing of rock and Zulu music, quite succinctly and wonderfully – and he was doing it long before it became fashionable (indeed, while it was illegal under South Africa's apartheid laws). (…) Johnny Clegg & Savuka were always about more than the music, however; they put it together politically, too, a huge act of defiance that was reflected in the lyrics and sound. As the man said, think and dance.