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A Stellar Career Package
on January 20, 2006
Every band with any type of a recording career eventually gets the greatest hits treatment. Normally these packages come across as lame cash grabs that seem to be pointless for long-time followers. Many times I have seen songs included that I don't remember as hits for the artist and album favourites never make the grade even though they might be more liked then some of the singles.
Yer Favourites by the Tragically Hip had the same feel for me when it was first released and as someone who had spent much hard earned income on many Tragically Hip records and concerts, I did not anticipate purchasing this collection. So why then did I and why am I now giving it five-stars? (If you check out my page I am proud to say I do not drool over every item I review for Amazon).
The reason for the high praise is that after one look and listen Yer Favourites is revealed not to be some pre-packaged cash grab to throw a few more bucks Gordie and company's way (although I am sure it will). Instead, this collection is an honest representation of the highlights of the Hip's recording career.
The story goes that the Hip let their fans chose the songs via an online poll, hence the name. The resulting collection contains the tunes that best represent the Hip to its fans, not to the record company. Songs such as Greasy Jungle, Silver Jet and It Can't Be Nashville Every Night are not included in the package despite the fact each had videos made for them. Album cuts such as Escape Is At Hand For The Traveling Man are included, which was a total surprise for me when first checking the track listings.
Also, the Hip's less then stellar recent album sales in Canada actually aid the package, as tunes from In Between Evolution, In Violet Light and Music & Work do not suffer from massive over exposure on Canadian radio. As a result there is a nice mix of fresh tunes (new song No Threat, recent single from last album Vaccination Scar), Canadian classics (Little Bones, Blow At High Dough) and friendly reminders of great tunes that are a just a little bit removed from classic status (Scared, Fireworks).
Therefore, if you are a true and blue Hip fan don't view this album as a greatest hits collection, instead think of it as the best collection of Hip songs every made available on CD. For a new listener I would also advise giving this a go as every song on this collection passes with flying colours even if you have to pay some cash to get it.