Greatest Hits

Monday, October 18, 2004

Is it just me, or has there been an overwhelming amount of
greatest hits albums lately? Terri Clark, Toby Keith?s
second greatest hits coming soon, Brooks & Dunn second out
this week, Shania Twain upcoming album, and I?m sure I
have left out a few more. Oh yes, the big one, George
Strait?s ?50 #1s.?

Do these artists really deserve to have a greatest hits
package be released? Well, I believe a greatest hits
package should be just that and nothing more. The latest
marketing strategy includes adding 3 new songs to the
project for two reasons. First, a tactic to get those
fans that already have all the albums for that artist to
have to buy it. Secondly, in order to be considered
eligible for award nominations the album must include
three original tracks.

I think there should be a checklist to releasing greatest
hits albums.
1. Does the artist have a substantial amount of albums out
where the listener benefit from a greatest hits album?
2. Does the artists have 10 true hits (Billboard Top 10?s
at least) since the last greatest hits album?
3. Is it being produced truly for the fans or a marketing

If, and only if, these 3 questions can be answered yes,
then I believe it is ok to release a greatest hits
package. It should only be that though. Save the
original material for the next album. It will increase
sales of the next album. Release them together even. One
new album, one greatest hits. Even package them together
as a 2-CD set even. In fact, I like that the idea of a
2-CD set; 10 tracks of original material and 10 greatest.
This way the potential buyer of the album that already
has every album released, can have something to look
forward to.

Let?s take a look at just a few of the artists of today
and their ratio of studio releases to greatest hits/live
albums. From least to most:

Kenny Chesney- 8:1
Tim McGraw- 8:1
Martina McBride- 8:1
Reba McEntire- 7 1/2:1
Brooks & Dunn- 5:1
Terri Clark- 5:1
Alan Jackson- 5 1/2:1
George Strait- 5:1
Toby Keith- 4 1/2:1
Alabama: 2 3/4:1

I believe the rate of releasing these greatest hits
packages and re-release of material really shows the true
reason for being in the industry; the ones that are in it
for monetary reasons versus the ones in it for the true
love of the music.