Blink 182

Greatest Hits

Written by: PP on 29/11/2005 02:48:51

Usually I tend to condemn greatest hits albums, especially if they are issued in the middle of a bands career, but this time I'm giving in. Blink 182 has had one hell of a career over the past decade or so, and their "Greatest Hits" documents the ups and downs more precisely than any words in any article could do. The band has officially gone on hiatus, but as far as it is possible to deduce from Tom's statements afterwards, there won't be another Blink 182 album, at least in the foreseeable future.

Specially with their latest two releases "Take Off Your Pants & Jacket" and "Blink 182", the band finally got the mainstream attention it deserved from day one when they released their debut album "Cheshire Cat". And as usual, bands who make it mainstream only after producing a huge back catalogue, the immediate effect is that there are more new-age Blink fans than those who know the old stuff. In the wake of their mainstream success, it is only appropriate to expose the newer fans to what this band once stood for, something which "Carousel", "M&M's", "Dammit" and "Josie" do effectively. Geffen has made a wise decision of not remastering the old tracks, leaving the lo-fi independent label production feel on the older tracks, which quality-wise outclass the newer ones by miles.

If I had it my way, their Greatest Hits album would only consist of songs from their first four albums, but I'm willing to be understanding as it is documenting their entire career. As the album proceeds in order of time, it is easy to see how the band evolved and matured over time. Just a comparison of "Carousel" and "What's My Age Again" shows how different the band sounded after each album, and once you apply the same comparison to the latter and "Rock Show", the same transition towards a slowed down, more radio friendly sound is evident. Finally, when the album reaches its final songs taken from the self-titled record, the sound is slowed and toned down to fit the needs of a major label wanting to sell millions of records instead of just dozens of thousands. The two new tracks "Not Now" and "Another Girl Another Planet", both recorded during the self-titled albums' sessions, are the same old Blink 182 that we've all grown to love over the years.

It's difficult to say how successful Blink would've become if they had stuck onto their youthful punk rock sound of the first three records, but in my books they would probably become my alltime favorite band. However, I am glad that "Greatest Hits" includes the newer songs as well, because at this time of the year, the more known songs of the band will attract parents to wrap thousands of copies of this album into giftwrapper, and the new-age Blink fans will be exposed to the old material and through that possibly be inspired to discover more about the non-MTV based bands. That's what Blink 182's old albums did for me, anyway.

To conclude this appraisal with yet another one, "Greatest Hits" is a must-have collection for everyone, as it documents one of the biggest modern punk rock success stories to date. Like them or not, this is a goodbye to one of the best punk rock bands to date.

8

Download: Carousel, Josie, First Date
For the fans of: Fenix TX, Mxpx

Release date 01.11.2005
Geffen Records

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