Having never made a completely satisfactory album, in part because many of their songs sound somewhat similar, this short but sweet 9-track “best-of” culls the most essential songs from the band’s first five studio albums and neatly sums up a damn good singles band.
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".
Before the arrival of the deluxe, double-CD reissues that restored Marillion's entire discography to glory in the late '90s, 1988's B-Sides Themselves was the only source for Fish-era fanatics to experience the many rarities of the colorful progressive rockers' career. Sure enough, no time is wasted with subtlety here, as the monumental "Grendel" opens this collection with 18 minutes of over the top pomp and grandeur. Less challenging, but equally entertaining nuggets like "Charting the Single" and "Three Boats Down From the Candy" follow, but the clear highlights are contained in the songs previously heard on the band's live albums; first single "Market Square Heroes" and the exquisite "Cinderella Search" were featured on 1984's Real to Reel, while the punchy "Freaks" was first heard on 1988's The Thieving Magpie…