Wednesday, November 15, 2006

U 218 Singles

On the front cover the "2" and the "1" are suspicously close together, so it looks like you're getting 218 singles for about $15. Which would be a good deal.

Instead, you're getting eighteen songs, sixteen of which you've already heard far too frequently, and which have already been packaged and re-packaged ad nauseum in various Greatest Hits configurations. For $15. That's not such a good deal.

I hate when bands do this, even if they are led by the Messiah. I like Bono. I respect what he has done in terms of AIDS and African debt relief. But I would respect him more if he and his bandmates would stop repackaging their music and doling out the new stuff in pitifully small doses. This is an album nobody needs, and it will probably sell gazillions of copies. Maybe, on the bright side, all the profits will go to African debt relief. You think?


mg said...

it is a needless GH package. however for a few dollars more you can get the limited edition cd/dvd package which has 10 songs from the vertigo tour in milan.

plus there is a dvd release as well of the 18 singles. it will be the first time the videos from the 80's is available on dvd.

plus 'the saints are coming' is a great collaboration with green day.

so, it's needless but i'm still going to get it. here's hoping a brand new release with all new songs will be heading our way in a years time.

mg said...

more thoughts....

4 of the 16 singles that you've "heard ad nauseum" have not been on any greatest hits packages:

- vertigo
- sometimes you can't make it on your own
- walk on
- elevation

these are especially nice for the dvd release as i do not have these u2 videos in my dvd collection.

Andy Whitman said...

Yeah, but they're still just shuffling around old songs. This is now the third U2 Greatest Hits package in the last six years. And to get the two new songs, you have to pay for the other sixteen songs. And just in time for the holiday season.

Like I said, I hate this. It's a time-honored practice in the music industry, but it still screws the fans who just want to hear the new music. It's good for U2, Interscope Records, and for the bank accounts of all the involved parties. It's not so good for the millions of fans who already own 90% of the songs on this album and who just want to hear the new music.

mg said...

i agree. i've said the same thing on my blog here:
and here:

i suppose the upside to it is that if you just want the 2 new songs on the collection, you can buy them for $0.99 each on i-tunes.

it is unnecessary, but i'm trying to see the positives of it as they are my favorite band. i'm glad they are offering fans the live dvd package combo to make up for it. it also is a GH package that covers their entire career to date and not one that is limited to decades. i suppose it is geared towards the non-fan or the casual listener. and i also suppose u2 is trying to maintain a presence in the musical world until their next album comes out.

suffice it all to say, i do hope they don't start making a habit of doing this, following up a regular release with a GH release.

e said...

It could be worse.

It could be a K-fed and Bono duet Christmas album.

Mark K. said...


This brings up a question that I've had. Is there a difference between an "greatest hits" and a "best of" album?

I've always thought that greatest hits were just that, determined by sales, while "best of" is a collection of songs that the artist thinks are the best, hit or not.

Andy Whitman said...

Mark, I think the terms are used more or less interchangeably. Technically you're correct, but the definition of "hit" is so nebulous that it can mean almost anything, and could represent, I suppose, any record sales greater than One.

I have "Greatest Hits" albums from The Undertones and NRBQ. Were any of those songs really hits if 98% of the population has never even heard of the band, let alone any of their songs? Apparently the bands think so.

C's Mom said...

On a different topic, how scary is the world if Bono has been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize like 3 times? Don't get me wrong, he does many admirable things...but...really??

Maybe I'm just bitter about the mullet back in the '80s.

HCJoel said...

I like to think that the band has nothing (or almost nothing) to do with such drivel. I'm in full agreement with you, Andy. Any band with one hit and disbands after their unfortunate sophomore album gets a 'greatest hits' disc. When you've got a pile of hits, you get a pile of such albums. What are the odds that Bono, Edge, Adam and Larry are at the mercy of their label, who insisted on releasing a full disc instead of just a single? I know, I know, that would probably fit better with a smaller-name band who will take any release their mega-label will allow but I like to think U2 aren't the money-grubbers that this sort of thing suggests.

Adventures with Us said...

What I wish U2 would do is go back and remaster and re-do all of their albums up to and including Achtung Baby including a 2nd disc of all of their B-sides that I had at one point on vinyl (45's that is). That would be much more valuable than this cash grubbing excuse for a cd release. Ok, venting over....

Andy Whitman said...

Gar, both Greatest Hits packages (one from the '80s, one from the '90s) come with an additional disc full of B-sides/rarities from their respective decades.

I'm not normally a fan of Greatest Hits compilations, and in the case of U2 I already owned the hits anyway, but those two compilations are worthwhile because of the additional B-sides. Some of U2's best material never appeared on the officially released albums, and the Greatest Hits comps rectified that situation.

Adventures with Us said...

Hey Andy,

Yeah I have both of those packages and they do a pretty good job, but there are still a bunch of B-sides out there that would be real nice to hear again after all this time.

ps. also enjoyed your top ten list.