Well, here it is. A bit premature, but Sevendust are releasing their first "Greatest Hits" collection just eight years after releasing their excellent self-titled debut album. But here's the catch: This collection is being put out by TVT, the record company that Sevendust used to call home, until they switched to the Universal imprint, Winedark, this year for their fifth album "Next." Now, you know right off the bat that the band had absolutely no say in this, and that they are probably getting shafted on royalties as well (they obviously left TVT for a reason). I mean, they just released "Next" two months ago. Why interfere with their progress by putting out a "Greatest Hits" package?
If you are a faithful Sevendust listener, you most likely own all of their albums (the material on this only reaches as far as 2003's "Seasons" album), so the only reason to pick this up is for the rare, hard to get bonus tracks. Songs like "Coward" and "Rain" and the covers of "Inner City Blues" and "School's Out" (originally done by Marvin Gaye and Alice Cooper, respectively) are no doubt hard to track down, but by sniffing around a few Sevendust fansites, I found these songs with ease. The Tom Lord-Alge Mix of "Waffle" is nothing too special, as it is basically the same song, with very slight variations that only someone who has heard the song hundreds of times could discern. As for the overall selection, it really doesn't capture Sevendust at their best. Yes, it's all fantastic material, and the classics like "Black," "Denial," "Angel's Son" and "Enemy" are all here, but other singles like "Broken Down," "Licking Cream," "Terminator" and "Live Again" are not only among the band's best work, but definitely show the many sides and dynamics to this group that this collection ignores.
It seems like someone who barely knows this group blindly chose 12 songs to throw in, and then tacked on 4 b-sides to hope it sells. If they really wanted to sweeten the deal, how about a bonus DVD with the videos that have come out since "Retrospect" or some live material (which is where this group really shines). I'm usually not a critic of "Greatest Hits" albums, as they rarely please everyone anyways, but this is an exception. TVT obviously put this album to cash in on Sevendust's past successes, and it's really a lazy job at that. I love the band, I respect these guys so much for what they do. They work harder than most bands, and they deserve a "Greatest Hits" package, but this just doesn't do them justice. Plus, if it ain't supporting the band, why fatten someone else's wallet by purchasing material you already own?