"Missing" songs from albums

Over the weekend, I bought myself the double CD set The Essential Billy Joel. It has lots of my Joel favorites, including Goodnight Saigon, You’re My Home, The Downeaster Alexa and My Baby Grand (duet with Ray Charles).

The three songs it’s missing, imho, are Big Shot, The Stranger and Vienna.

I have similar complaints about my Neil Diamond. I have Greatest Hits, one and two. But they’ve cut a verse of Shiloh, and neither of them has Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon or Solitary Man.

So what “collections” or “Greatest Hits” albums do you have that you feel are missing a thing or two?

(BTW, I’d really like for this not to devolve into a critique of anyone else’s musical taste).

How could they possibly have come up with such an otherwise kick-ass Creedence Clearwater Revival compilation as Chronicle, but left off “Born on the Bayou”?

You mean, like wondering how they could have a Billy Joel or Neil Diamond’s Greatest album and put * any* of their songs on them? :slight_smile:

The omission of key songs of a performer/band and inclusion of lesser hits has been going on with “Best Of” albums since compilations began. Mostly, I think it’s because the record companies wanted to be able to market Greatest Hits II-III-IV to you and you’d buy them to get the missing songs. This practice has dropped off since the advent of the capability to download individual songs.

What bugged me in the past was the releasing of multi-disc “Best Of” sets from artists who, frankly, did not have enough good stuff to warrant more than one disc. I have, for instance, a two-record Eddie Cochran compilation of which maybe one album side is good stuff and half of another is interesting but sub-par. The rest (including “gems” like “Sittin’ In the Balcony” and “Cut Across Shorty”) could have been omitted to the benefit of Cochran’s reputation.

I don’t have them with me, but I had a hell of a time getting a good Stevie Wonder compilation. I went to an independent CD store and asked, and the guy read off the contents of a couple different discs. They had totally different songs! One would have Signed, Sealed, Delivered and wouldn’t have Uptight; another would have Yester-Me, Yester-You, Yester-Day and wouldn’t have I Was Made to Love Her.

Biffy, Chronicle II is worth buying. Lots of gems on it.

Yeah, like that. You wanna make somethin’ of it? :wink:

Yeah, I’ve actually seen a “Don McLean’s Greatest Hits” and I’m thinkin’, well, you got American Pie (which admittedly could take up a third of a standard LP), Vincent, and then maybe (but only maybe) Castles in the Air. Then what? I mean, I wouldn’t call McLean a “one-hit wonder”, but still. . .

For each artist or band that has a long lasting, outstanding career, it’s virtually impossible to compile the best stuff on one or two cds. Take Bob Dylan: there are countless compilations, none of which represents his work in a satisfying manner, although he had very few hits that actually charted. But with almost 40 studio albums, a bunch of live albums and numerous collaborations, even the five record (now 3 cd) set “Biograph” doesn’t capture every important aspect of his career (and since it was released in 1985, omits the last 24 years). The same could be said about Neil Young, Van Morrison and many others of that calibre.

Yeah, I mentioned that a couple days ago in the CCR thread. Inconceivable!

Tom Petty’s Greatest Hits did not have “Rebels”.

When Little Feat’s “Waiting For Columbus” originally came out on CD, they removed two songs from the track list, one of which was “Don’t Bogart That Joint”, in order to make the double LP fit on a single CD.

Every Queen Greatest Hits album should have Nevermore.

I’ve always assumed that songs on “greatest hits” albums were determined by actual sales figures, while “best of” or “essential” collections were more arbitrary. Not sure if this is the actual case, however. It might explain “Rebels” being left of the Petty collection (I haven’t fact-checked the figures) but not some of the other examples.

The Kinks - The Ultimate Collection is missing my favorite song of theirs, Destroyer.

I also think The Who - The Ultimate Collection should have The Relay. If you want that song on cd you have to buy the 40 Years of Maximum RnB box set.

The Police - Every Breath You Take (The Classics) really, really needs both Synchronicity I and II instead of those two remixes at the end. I imagine they just left those songs off so as not to impact sales of the Syncronicity album too much.

One newer one, Incubus’ Monuments and Melodies includes two of the three new songs they had on the Stealth soundtrack, but leaves off the one that I consider to be the best, Make a Move. I’d have rather they included that instead of one of the four songs from their last studio album.

I’d also prefer to have Two of Us on The Beatles Blue Album, ideally in place of Old Brown Shoe.

Some songs being left off “greatest hits” albums might be for rights reasons. They might be “greatest hits while the group was with this label” albums.

Good point.

Or Hooligans or Who’s Greatest Hitsor BBC Sessions(I know, not strictly a “greatest hits” collection…).

See, that’s the beauty :dubious: of The Who…so many different collections, compilations, re-issues to choose from. The endless re-packaging of their back catalog is one of the biggest pet peeves of Who geeks. Give us some NEW stuff, Pete!

I think Chicago IX: Greatest Hits is a fantastic album. Not a dud on it. It is sorely missing “Questions 67 & 68”, though.

An odd case - 10,000 Maniacs released a best-of collection “Campfire Songs: Popular, Rare & Obscure Recordings” a few years ago. “Campfire Songs” is also the name of one of their more popular recordings from what is arguably their best known album - yet, it doesn’t appear in the CS anthology. They named their greatest hits package after a song that they themselves apparently didn’t consider one of their bigger hits!

Huh, I didn’t realize it was on those too. You’re right, they definitely have too many different compilations.

I believe he also had a hit with his 1980 or 1981 cover of “Cryin’,” but your point is valid. He’s recorded a lot, but hasn’t had many hits.

I agree that “Greatest Hits” usually are big song while “Best Of” can be anything. I like CDs that will issue all the singles that have been issued.

I don’t think Madonna’s Causing a Commotion has never been on a greatest hits package by Madonna. Which is odd 'cause the song got to #2.

Sometimes song aren’t included for various reason. Like Michael Bolton’s “Love Is A Wonderful Thing” which went to #4 on the pop charts and #1 on the adult contemporary charts was left off, because it was involved in a lawsuit that said Bolton appropriated a lot of the song from the The Isley Brothers.

So even after the settlement the label just left it off most greatest hits packages because of that.

Often labels take advantage of popularity. For instance, Hall & Oates made a bunch of albums for Atlantic Records. But they only had one real hit on Atlantic, She’s Gone.

After they moved to RCA Records they had many hits and Atlantic issued sort of a greatest hits package of all the songs from the Atlantic sessions. This is why you usually don’t see She’s Gone on a lot of their “best of” packages.

What I hated in the old days when they’d issue a “Greatest Hits package” with one or two new songs then you had to buy the new album to get the songs.

Judas Priest had a problem where the record company (Gull Records) that released their first two albums in 1974-75 refused to part with the publishing rights to those albums, and continued for years and years to re-re-re-release the songs from those two albums in the form of various “Best Of” and “Greatest Hits” collections. It got to the point where Priest was actually asking their fans to not buy their first two albums, because they didn’t want Gull Records being rewarded for what the band considered deceptive practices.

I have the impression that this practice is even more common nowadays.