This is a phrase that the music industry uses to rehash old material originally recorded by rock bands and other music artists, repackage it and shove the same stuff down the public's throats as if it were new. This is ideal for fans who may have missed a couple albums or for people who aren't really fans but happened to like their most popular works. Often bands or vocalists will come out with a Best Of album and call it Volume One, without having enough material to insure they will have a Volume Two. Some equate this with faith. Others point that as yet another example of how the RIAA has the listening world by the balls and we, like sheep, will graze where they tell us to graze. Still others just scratch their heads. Most artists with a Best of, Volume 1 album who do not yet have a volume 2, actually don't have enough material to insure they deserve even one volume, much less the assertion that there will inevitably be more to come.

Diehard fans are often frustrated because on top of ten or twelve tracks in the CD, cassette, or vinyl record that a diehard fan already has in their own collection, the record company insists on including one or two tracks never before released, which is probably not one of the artist's best, but that a diehard fan has to have to complete their set so they end up buying an entire album for the one track. It is this consistent mentality among the music industry for the past half century which has caused most diehard fans of music to resort to tactics like use of Napster in a desperate attempt to reset the balance of common sense to an otherwise insane, greedy industry.

These are all audio CDs by the way, unless otherwise indicated. I don't know half these people, but some examples of 'best of' compilations, in no noticable or reverent order, include the following:

  1. The Billy May Orchestra - Best Of Billy May Volume I
  2. The Best Of Chic, Volume 1 & 2
  3. The Best Of UB40, Volume One
  4. Volume One: The Best Of Dick Gregory
  5. Best of Demon - Volume One (IMPORT)
  6. Silverchair - Best of Volume 1 (IMPORT)
  7. Stephan Sulke - Best of Volume 1 (IMPORT)
  8. Van Halen - Best Of Volume I
  9. Best Of The Doobies, Volumes 1 & 2
  10. The Smiths - Best, Volumes 1 & 2
  11. The Best Of Earl Klugh Volumes 1 & 2
  12. Best Of Kitaro Volumes 1 & 2
  13. So Far: The Best Of Susan Ashton Volume 1
  14. Ken Nordine - Best Of Word Jazz, Volume 1
  15. The Best of The Brothers Cazimero Volumes 1-3
  16. Rich Mullins - The World As Best As I Remember It, Volume 1
  17. The Best Of Con Funk Shun Volumes 1 & 2
  18. The Best Of Cameo: Volumes 1 & 2
  19. Best Of Foghat, Volumes 1 & 2
  20. Boxcar Willie - Best Loved Favorites, Volumes 1 & 2
  21. The Best Of Rod Stewart Volumes 1 & 2
  22. The Very Best Of Dick Haymes Volumes 1 & 2
  23. The Best Of The Seldom Scene Volume 1
  24. Palani Vaughan's Best: Volume 1
  25. Reggae Dancehall: Strictly The Best, Volume 1
  26. World's Best Praise & Worship Volume 1 & 2
  27. Best Of Techno Volumes 1-6
  28. The Best Of Motor city, Volumes 1-12
  29. The Best of the Russ Parr Morning Show, Volume 1 (EXPLICIT LYRICS)
  30. Various Artists - Best Of The Best - Volumes 1 & 2
  31. Star Trek - The Next Generation: Music From The Original Television Soundtrack, Volume Two (The Best Of Both Worlds) *smirk*

Insert maniacal "I'm as mad as hell and I just can't take it anymore!" scream here.

It should also be noted that variations on this theme abound. The most popular variant to the "Best Of" album title is what's called Greatest Hits. For example, Billy Joel's Greatest Hits - Volumes 1-3 or Neil Diamond's Greatest Hits. In November of 2000, whoever it is that presently owns the rights to a majority of songs originally written and produced by the Beatles came out with The Beatles 1 which is supposedly the ultimate Best of compilation of all time. It's so ultimate that the words "best of" or "volume" or "greatest hits" portions which normally be in the title are implied. In other words, the producers of this compilation are trying to say "the Beatles were and are so cool that all we have to say is "ONE" and you all know what we're talkin' about." The Beatles One features the twenty-seven number one hits of that band. However, this is far from the first "best of" compilation featuring the Beatles. They've had at least twenty-seven such compilations.

It's rather like treating music as if it were Soylent Green if you get my meaning. And I'm Charlton Heston running through the streets screaming how it's made from people. But y'know why they keep making obnoxious Best of compilations? Because people like YOU buy them.

So please Stop the Insanity. Thank you.

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