Tag: Compilation

1978, Music

No New York (1978) by Various Artists

I have heard about this record so much that it was inevitably going to prove difficult to listen to it by the time I got around to it. I first learned about it in The Secret History of Rock close to twenty years ago but I have at least managed to listen to the Contortions …

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.

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 …

1962, Books, Non-Fiction

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

This particular Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire 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 …

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).

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.

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.

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 Bernard Hermann compilation, a kind of scattershot one.

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 …

1868, 1884, 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, which is how …

1980, 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.

1890, 1904, 1911, 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.

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.

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.

1998, Music

Women in Jazz (1998, Retro Music) by Various Artists

The cheapie box set is an interesting phenomenon: Gather some recordings from major artists where the copyright has lapsed (or never existed), Put the recordings in any arbitrary order you choose, Use more discs than are necessary to convince the buyer they are getting a great bargain, Give it a catchy title. I have a …

2002, Music

Steal this Album! by System of a Down (2002, American)

The internet is a funny thing. You’d think that people want to hear the music their favourite bands want to release, as opposed to things their favourite bands haven’t finished. But alas, that’s not how most people think. Most people just want, want, want. And I can’t help but think that some of the people …

1997, Music

Prime Cuts by Suicidal Tendencies (Epic 1997)

We should all just get past the idea that compilations suck. They do, and so those of us who know this should just not buy them (FYI, I don’t own this). That being said, they can be useful to borrow from a friend (like I am doing right now) or what have you. This way …

1999, Music

Greatest Hits by Sublime (MCA 1999)

It’s impossible to judge a band by a compilation, especially something like a clearly arbitrary “greatest hits” comp, but even worse when the arbitrary comp is this short (it is unbelievably short). That being said, I will do it anyway. If you went to a small liberal arts university in Canada in the early 2000s …

1997, Music

Official Live: 101 Proof by Pantera (Eastwest 1997)

The only fucking thing I fucking learned from fucking listening to this is that fucking Phil Anselmo is an idiot. All joking aside, not knowing their studio output I can’t really compare the versions. I can say that it is a live comp, and so it suffers from that. Worse, it has new studio tracks …

Music

The Great Opera Hits by the Czech Symphony Orchestra, Prague Philharmonic Choir conducted by Julian Bigg (Great , unknown year)

The good thing about this compilation is, unlike so many others, its actually the same orchestra playing all the tunes. But, like so many “classical” compilations, this is music for people who like opera as a bunch of catchy songs, as opposed to what opera actually is. It’s catchy, but one is hardly going to …