The Story Behind Original Albums

I hate Greatest Hits albums!

Firstly: I’m a collector. If I like something, I like to have everything that revolves around that subject. So as a music lover, I am picky. I don’t like too many artists but when I finally get around to liking them, I really, really like them! Naturally this translates into me owning memorabilia and going to their shows and waking up with their songs stuck in my head. It also means that I have all of their albums. Each one individually shelved with its own set of memories attached. Then someone ruins this with a Greatest Hits Album.

Fifteen years ago this wouldn’t really have been a problem as I would have just rearranged my cassettes (we didn’t have CD’s yet when I was 8) but now I buy an album; download it onto my laptop and give the CD to one of my cousins or aunts who don’t have their own computers. So far it’s all good but as soon as I start playing music or trying to organize my folders I come across the problem of duplicates. In some cases hearing the same song play twice in a matter of minutes, is actually pretty awesome but the fact that this song sounds exactly alike and is basically just a waist of my memory drives me a bit loopy.

So do I keep the original stored under the original albums heading or do I opt for the new Hits album cover? This is exactly what I’ve been trying to determine for the last hour! I’m going insane. I don’t want to destroy my original albums and leave gaps in their numbering; I don’t want to delete most of the new album I just bought because truth be told, I find the cover interesting and new [it’s my logic, no need to be concerned if you don’t quite follow] and so I have 17 songs that are all duplicates and I have to delete.  I could just keep both but eventually theses 17 songs from one artist will turn into 170 songs from 10 artists and I really don’t feel like wasting that much space.

Obviously it makes more sense to delete the ones in Greatest Hits because I can still mark the songs to reference Greatest Hits and at least that way I only end up ripping to shreds one album instead of all 5. Annoyingly this will leave me with an album that only has 4 songs on it…

Secondly: I’m not stupid, I know which songs are good and which aren’t. Besides sales figures can’t determine if they are hits; making more money doesn’t make me like the songs any more or less. I know which songs I prefer and with a Greatest Hits album it is rare to find a story.

What I mean by this is the art of designing a good album. It’s not just throwing a bunch of songs onto a disc; posing for a photo and calling it a masterpiece. It’s carefully planning the message you want to share and showing your audience how you learned those lessons. Basically taking them step by step through your thought process and allowing them to share in your experiences so by the time the album is through, they feel like they shared an entire journey with you not just a bunch of random thoughts.

Maybe I’m making more out of this than I should but I have always been drawn to artists who can share their development instead of just doing what some producer and PR Manager think best. I’m one of those people who only use shuffle when I want to listen to several artists, not when I’m listening to one single album. Because what’s the point of having a track order if it is meaningless?

With Greatest Hit albums they usually put the tracks in chronological order or in order of profit margins. This doesn’t tell me anything I want to know… I want to feel closer to the musician that is why I buy their albums. I don’t just want to listen to their music, I want to understand it. With Greatest Hits CD’s I just feel the magic is missing…

It’s still sort off ok if they only put old songs [songs that are on other albums] on the Greatest Hits album. At least then I don’t have to buy the album because I’ll already own all of the songs in their original capacity. But no, everyone needs to add new songs on that they wish to release. That’s the biggest problem I have with Hits albums.

I get it, I really do: they have some spare songs that are pretty awesome but didn’t quite make it onto their last album for one reason or another and they don’t have enough of them to release a full new album so they just use their old hits as filler and try to sell the idea that the new tracks are actually a bonus. Well guess what: it messes with my system!

I don’t expect anyone to agree with me on this; it’s just simply an expression of my irritation. I like things my way [slight OCD] and Greatest Hits never seem to add anything to the experience. I prefer the original albums, including all the songs I love to hate.

As always: it’s just my opinion,

AM

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