Over at CNN, there is a great article about record labels placing imperatives on artists to deliver “best-of” or “greatest hits” collections, often too early to be any kind of realistic career capper or marker. There have always been jokes about “greatest hits” collections for artists unworthy of such collections (“A Bo Donaldson and the Heywoods ‘greatest hits’ album would be a one-sided single,” etc.), but these days, collections are actually happening at hyper velocity — does Hilary Duff really merit a greatest hits collection?
So anyway, CNN talks to Cake about the pressure Sony/Columbia placed on them to deliver a greatest hits after fewer than six albums into the band’s career, ultimately prompting the group to leave Columbia and start its own label. It also discusses the relative lack of merit of “best of” collections in the iTunes age. Why buy a “best of” when you can make your own?
Well, there is one argument for it, at least with regard to iTunes purchases of said collections: If Cake were to deliver a “best-of” to iTunes with 15 songs on it for $12.99 or lower, then that is a hell of a deal compared to going at it a la carte.