A plethora of greatest hits collections punctuates this week’s (inexcusably tardy) record store report. Take a look:


They always deserved a great deal more commercial success than they managed to achieve, and this week, Jakob Dylan’s acclaimed ’90s band The Wallflowers receive their first career-spanning best-of set with the new 16-track Collected: 1996-2005. Everything you’d expect to be here is, from the band’s terrific breakthrough smashes “6th Avenue Heartache” (which features a heartbreaking, song-making harmony vocal from head Crow Counter Adam Duritz) and “One Headlight” (which, in retrospect, set a bar of triumph they’d never be able to clear again) to great lesser-known later singles like “Sleepwalker” and “When You’re On Top.” (And if you pick this up at Best Buy, you get a bonus DVD of Wallflowers videos.)

He’s a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for both his iconic work as one of the four Beatles and for his breathtaking solo work, and this week, the late, great George Harrison has all of his hits assembled on one disc, Let It Roll. The gamut is run here, from his legendary tunes “My Sweet Lord” and “Here Comes the Sun” to his late-’80s comeback smashes “Got My Mind Set On You” and “When We Was Fab.” His final single, 2003’s haunting “Stuck Inside a Cloud,” is sadly not included — go find it on iTunes, it’s killer — but if you’re looking for an easy entry point into Harrison’s second act as a musician, this is as good as it gets.

They blew onto the scene at the turn of the century with a pop crossover smash called “Drive,” and while none of their ensuing output has reached those same commercial heights, they’ve assembled one of the decade’s most interesting sonic oeuvres, and this week, Brandon Boyd and the boys of Incubus cherry-pick the highlights from it to assemble the two-disc retrospective Monuments and Melodies. Things to pay attention to here if you’re not intimately familiar with this band’s discography: the post-9/11 hit “Wish You Were Here”; the fascinating 2005 rock radio staple “Talk Show On Mute”; and, closing the second disc, a brave and previously unreleased live cover of Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy.”

Give or take a tune or two (but only that many!), every song on The Very Best of Don Henley was a major hit in its time; from his breakthrough 1983 solo smash “Dirty Laundry” to his wrenching 1990 masterpiece “The Heart of the Matter” and right up through his revelatory work on 2001’s profoundly inspiring “Everything is Different Now,” the magnificent Henley has had his finger on the pulse of quality music as long (and as masterfully) as any of the peers whose chart runs he has effortlessly eclipsed. There’s nothing new from Henley on this collection, and this collection doesn’t need anything new anyhow. These are fourteen tracks of pure top-shelf brilliance.

Also noteworthy this week:


  • Lines, Vines and Trying Times, the latest from those pop wunderkinds The Jonas Brothers. (Because this thing contains a duet with my beloved Miley Cyrus, what are the odds I’ll get sucked into buying it when I do my CD shopping this weekend?)

  • Jazz’s latest wonder boy covers Billy Paul, Nina Simone, and Queen in his latest live set, Michael Buble Meets Madison Square Garden.

  • Hank’s prodigiously gifted granddaughter Holly Williams is up with her sophomore effort, Here With Me.

  • My favorite Irish chanteuse, the incredible Maura O’Connell, is back with her latest, Naked with Friends.

  • At long last, Spinal Tap is Back from the Dead.

  • With Chess in Concert, Josh Groban, Idina Menzel, and Adam Pascal breathe life into an obscure 1984 concept album (which later spawned an infamous musical) from Tim Rice and the guys of ABBA.

  • At long last, The Complete Second Season of the beloved WB series Everwood finally makes its way to DVD.


Comments are closed.