KMA500 Tragically Hip: The Series – Yer Favourites (2005)
This is a greatest hits package, and it also totally is not a greatest hits package. It is, because every song here is worthy and awesome and we know this already. It isn’t, though, for two reasons. One, because of everything that was excluded. And two, this band is not finished yet, not by far. How could these be their greatest hits when more new songs were to follow? So call it a retrospective. It was probably contractually obligated, like the live record. Fair enough.
Anybody who’s been following along like I have is grateful mainly for the two new tracks (woo!), and will largely find themselves returning to playing the original albums anyway. For anyone new to the band, however, this set makes a fairly decent gateway collection as introduction, and notice well served that it’s time you went and bought all the albums anyway (which is always my recommendation). The band was very wise to let the fans vote on the songs that would be included in this set. If given that job myself, I surely couldn’t do it.
The two new tracks here, which open and close the set (No Threat, and The New Maybe, respectively) are worthy inclusions to the canon, especially The New Maybe (love it!), and they’re a welcome addition to the mind-blowing collection of songs they bookend. It really makes you take a step back and say “Damn, these guys have been unstoppable for so long! Awesome!” Grace, Too welcomes us in beautifully but, if left to me, I sure wouldn’t have followed that with Music @ Work. It’s an OK song, but of all the songs from which to choose, it doesn’t need to be right up front like that. Makes me think the fans were allowed to pick the tracks, but not the order in which they’d appear…
There’s only one track from the first record, Highway Girl, and it’s buried ten tracks into the second disc, which is a shame. A couple of the songs are (very slightly) different mixes (Courage, Looking For A Place To Happen), but who’s complaining? Not this guy. The rest is as it should be, all great Hip songs one after the other.
The only real hard time I had with this collection was, knowing the original records as well as I do, the different track order. I keep expecting the next album track to come on next, not jump to another album entirely. It’s disorienting, but in a happy way!
Amazon sells this real cheap. If you don’t have it, you should. Buy two, for that matter, and have one in the house and one in the truck, like I did. Can’t go wrong with a plan like that.
P.S. This collection is also part of the Hipeponymous box set, so if I get time tomorrow I’ll post about that particularly wonderful release too.