Tag: Compilation

1951, 1952, 1953, Music

Memorial Album (1953) by Hank Williams

I try not to listen to compilations unless I have a really good reason. The reason I try not to listen to them is simply because, especially with “Greatest Hits” compilations, someone other than the artist has decided what is on the record.

1985, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, Music

Selected Ambient Works 85-92 (1992) by Aphex Twin

I am familiar with electronic music up until a point – that point is somewhere in the very early 80s. I have no idea what happened between then and the music we have today (save for the odd track that gets played too much or turned into stadium music).

1983, 2002, Movies

The Dirty Rotten CD by DRI (2002)

This is a compilation of [i]The Dirty Rotten LP[/i], which I believe is a compilation including [i]The Dirty Rotten EP[/i] and some other stuff. You can really hear the influence of UK hardcore (something I just learned existed) on this band but they’ve clearly added something, most noticeably in the vocals (which are no longer …

1975, 1976, Music

High Voltage (1976) by AC/DC

AC/DC’s first international release is actually a compilation of music from their first two records, released only in Australia. (Oh, the days when music was that regionalized…) I haven’t heard either of those records, so I don’t know if they did a good job of compiling this, but my guess is they did. This record …

1990, 1992, 1995, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2010, 2011

From Fear to Eternity: The Best of 1990-2010 (2011) by Iron Maiden

I accidentally picked this up thinking it was a compilation of their ’80s music. Ah well. I learned a couple of things from this record: First, Iron Maiden has a formula and they stuck to it (at least on the songs considered their “best”). Second, I should never get a live Iron Maiden album. It’s …

1931, 1994, 2009

The Complete Early Recordings of Skip James (1994, 2009)

This is one of the numerous discs to collect all nine of Skip James 1931 78 records that he recorded before he abandoned his music career (or whatever happened) until being “rediscovered” in the ’60s. This music is essential listening for fan of the blues or people interested in music history. James among the best …

1962, Books, Non-Fiction

Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (1962) edited by Donald Kagan

This is an old sampler of theories about the decline of the Roman Empire that I think was part of a class my father took in university. It was assembled in 1962, but the first issue with it is that many of the books and articles it draws on were published significantly earlier. And though …

1946, 1947, 1948, 2005, Music

The Blues Biography (2005) by Lightnin’ Hopkins

The music on this compilation is good. Let’s get that out of the way. Lightnin Hopkins was a great performer and he did a lot to standardize lyric and performance conventions in post-war blues. He was a pretty great guitar player for the era, and he did some things that sound unconventional to my ears. …

1897, 1900, 1903, 1905, 1906, 1911, 1921, 1927, 1980, 1988, 1989, Music

Holst: A Winter Idyll (1993) by David Atherton et al.

This is a collection of short orchestral pieces and excerpts of longer ones, by Holst. It is not performed by the same group throughout (as it’s a compilation) though, as far as I can tell (listening to a digital copy), the conductor is the same throughout (David Atherton). “A Winter Idyll” starts rather lively for …

1898, 1904, 1907, 1908, 1917, 1929, Music

Gustav Holst: Vedic Hymns, Four Songs for Voice and Violin, Humbert Wolfe Songs, etc. [English Song Series 6] (2003) by Various Artists

This is a scattershot collection of 33 of Holst’s approximately 70 lieder, performed by various people from various times. I really like the “Four Songs.” From memory, I don’t think I’ve yet heard a song for just voice and violin. This is a neat and unusual approach, to the best of my knowledge. I recognize …

1935, 1937, 1939, 1942, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1947, 1948, 1949, 1954, 1956, 1958, 2008, Music

The Definitive Collection (2008) by Billie Holiday

Full disclosure: I do not like vocal jazz (as you know). This is a compilation of 22 tracks over the course of Holiday’s career. I have no idea how definitive it actually is, as I do not know her at all (beyond her reputation as one of the great singers of the century, and “Strange …

1959, 1960, 1962, 1963, 1999

The Twilight Zone (1999) by Bernard Herrmann, performed by Royal Scottish National Orchestra conducted by Joel McNeely

Though not the composer of The Twilight Zone‘s most iconic theme, Herrmann composed music for both the overall show and individual episodes. This album collects the scores for seven of those episodes and includes a couple other pieces Herrmann did for the show. What Herrmann did here is remarkable. Much of this music is pretty …

1946, 1947, 1956, 1962, 1966, 1995, Movies

Fahrenheit 451 [et al.] (1995) by Bernard Hermann, performed by Seattle Symphony Orchestra conducted by Joel McNeely

This is another Hermann compilation, a kind of scattershot one. The main feature of this compilation is ten pieces from Hermann’s score to Fahrenheit 451. I cannot say enough about the prelude. I am not sure where it stands in the history of film music, but it has become so unbelievably cliche as a custom …

2011, Music

Citizen Kane – the Classic Film Scores of Bernard Hermann (2011) by the National Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Charles Gerhardt

I am always skeptical of compilations and this one is no different. This takes music from five of Hermann’s scores – only one of which is for a truly notable film – and combines them into what is essentially the most cursory survey of his work. There is a lot of music from Citizen Kane, …

1997, Music

South Saturn Delta (1997) by Jimi Hendrix

So this is sort of the companion piece to First Rays of the New Rising Sun, the album that tried to replicate what would have been Hendrix’s last album. But whereas First Rays was a coherent piece, this is more an abritrary collection of rarities. Like most of Hendrix’s demos and alternates that have been …

2000, Music

Ken Burns Jazz (2000) by Fletcher Henderson

This is a decent one-disc compilation of Fletcher Henderson’s big bands, which are more notable for the featured performers than for anything Henderson did (with an exception or two). Like all single disc compilations of a productive artist, it doesn’t give us the greatest picture of his work. But what it does function as is …

2010, Music

…Featuring Norah Jones (2010)

This is a compilation of some (though apparently far from all) of Norah Jones’ guest appearances after she became a star. (Though some feel more like duets.) I guess it’s a way for people to see what else she’s doing? I don’t know.Because the thing about this is that there’s a lot of different genres, …

1998, Music

The Best of James (1998)

I’m not going to go into how I got my hands on this, but let’s just say it wasn’t a deliberate decision; it literally fell into my lap.And I had no idea who James was until I heard that hit single I remembered from my youth (“Laid”) and I was like “Oh, these guys.” And …

1988, Music

Grieg: Piano Concerto; Holberg Suite (1988) by Various Artists

This is one of those extremely annoying compilations where there is virtually no information: we know the performers of the pieces but not when or where. Labels like Quintessence get their hands on recordings that don’t have copyright protection in North America and release these recordings to unsuspecting consumers (such as libraries). When someone like …

1997, Music

The Complete Quartets with Sonny Clark (1997) by Grant Green

This compiles the first three albums Grant recorded with pianist Sonny Clark before the band was expanded to a quintet later in 1962. Interestingly, none of these albums were released until 1980 (in Japan) which, given the quality of the music, it’s really hard to understand. First we have Gooden’s Corner, recorded in late 1961, …

1990, Music

Granados: Goyescas; Allegro de concierto; Danza lenta (1990) by Alicia de Larrocha

This is a performance that pairs the Goyescas with two earlier pieces, one a complete piece for piano, and the other a dance excerpted from his first major work. It seems de Larrocha is the Granados interpreter, as his catalogue is just full of her performances. The Allegro is pleasant but I wouldn’t pay much …

2007, Music

The Glenn Gould Collection Vol. 3: Johannes Sebastian Bach: The English Suites, the French Suites (2007 Compilation)

This is a compilation of Gould’s performances of many of Bach’s keyboard suites (originally intended for harpsichord but, as always, Gould plays them on piano). I am not sure of the original recording date because there is no booklet. I think he recorded them in the ’70s but I’m not sure. I believe I have …

1999, Music

Mendocino (1999 Compilation) by Sir Douglas Quintet

Throughout the history of recorded music, there have always been these silly little labels who try to profit off loopholes in music contract regulations, by releasing records or compilations of music that is somehow exempt from copyright protection. This is one of those releases. And I fell for it. Years ago this happened to me …

1971, Music

Mennim: The Cycle, Ginastera: Milena (Release date unknown) by Various Artists

It’s really hard to like compilations like this, even though I like the music. This compilation contains no information about its release date or the dates of the performances. The composers and artists are listed, but the reason for such an arbitrary combination of two pieces is never given. (The one commonality: both are orchestral …

1988, Music

The Chess Box (1988, Chess) by Willie Dixon

So Dixon is unlike pretty much all the other major figures in post-war blues in that he rarely led groups. He was more of a songwriter and producer (and, of course, bassist). He’s only the frontman on something like 5 or 6 of these songs.

1997, Music

His Best (1997, MCA) by Bo Diddley

Along time ago R&B was actually something called rhythm and blues. This CD, which collects many of Diddley’s singles and b-sides from 1955 to 1966. His earliest music of 1955 – now his most iconic – lacks the country of Elvis and Carl Perkins, the gospel of Elvis and Little Richard, the manic intensity of …

2011, Music

Essential Delius (2011) by Various Artists

This is a compilation and so we have to treat it with a bit of skepticism. But it does contain most of the major orchestral works of his, and so it does offer a good intro, even the performances aren’t exactly standardized. I remain slightly reticent to get into Frederick Delius and I can’t exactly …

2001, Music

Young Miles (1945-50, 2001) by Miles Davis et al. (1945-50, 2001)

For die-hard fans of Miles Davis, or for people really interested in how cool came out of bop, this is probably pretty nearly essential.