Today, we're taking a look at three upcoming greatest hits packages (and one essential related album!) from three very different artists.
The Blasters formed in 1979 in Downey, California - home of Richard and Karen Carpenter - and immediately cut a striking figure on the Los Angeles club scene. Brothers Phil and Dave Alvin, drummer Bill Bateman, and bassist John Bazz blended muscular rock appropriate to the punk era with rockabilly, early rock-and-roll, and a rootsy sensibility that sounds timeless today. They were able to share bills and win over audiences with country artists (Dwight Yoakam, whom they helped on his way up), western swing bands (Asleep at the Wheel), punks (X, The Screamers), cowpunks (The Long Ryders, Gun Club), singer-songwriters (Nick Lowe), and rock-and-roll legends (Bo Diddley) alike. Liberation Hall has teamed with the band to launch a reissue campaign that kicks off tomorrow, November 3, with Mandatory: The Best of The Blasters (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada) and Un "Sung Stories" from Phil Alvin (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada).
Mandatory features 21 songs drawn from the band's albums recorded for Rollin' Rock Records and Slash/Warner Bros., as well as "One Bad Stud" and "Blue Shadows" from the MCA Streets of Fire soundtrack. (The Blasters appeared in the film.) "Dark Night," also featured on the collection, was heard on television's popular Miami Vice and in the Quentin Tarantino/Robert Rodriguez film From Dusk Till Dawn. Numerous special guests are heard on the compilation including the Heartbreakers' Stan Lynch, Los Lobos' David Hidalgo, and The Jordanaires. Mandatory is housed in a six-panel digipak and includes a six-page insert with new liner notes by Chris Morris. Randy Perry has remastered the audio. It's joined on Friday by a reissue of Phil Alvin's 1986 solo debut Un "Sung Stories," an acclaimed amalgam of jazz, blues, and gospel. Alvin was joined for the Americana romp by fellow musical adventurers The Dirty Dozen Brass Band and Sun Ra and The Arkestra. Chris Morris again provides new liner notes for this reissue which is housed in a standard jewel case.
Spirit Power: The Best of Johnny Marr arrives tomorrow from BMG. Available on 1CD (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada), 2CD (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada), 2LP (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada), and digitally, the 16-song collection has been curated by the ex-Smiths guitarist and includes two new recordings, "Somewhere" and "The Answer." The balance is drawn from his four solo albums released between 2013 and 2022: The Messenger (2013), Playland (2014), Call the Comet (2018), and Fever Dreams Pts. 1-4 (2022) as well as a sprinkling of rarities such as non-LP sides "Armatopia," "The Priest" with Maxine Peake, and a cover of Depeche Mode's "I Feel You" originally issued on vinyl for Record Store Day 2015. The deluxe hardcover book-style 2CD set has a total of 24 songs including five previously unreleased cuts: demos of "Hi Hello," "The Messenger," and "Somewhere," the Crazy Face Version of "The Answer," and the Crazy Face version of "Speak Out, Reach Out."
November 10 brings the 2CD (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada), 2LP (Amazon U.S. / Amazon U.K. / Amazon Canada), or digital release of the career-spanning Loaded: The Greatest Hits 1994-2023 from Bush, the British band launched in 1992 by Gavin Rossdale, Nigel Pulsford, Dave Parsons, and Robin Goodridge. The first greatest-hits set since 2005 for the enduring alt-rockers, it boasts numerous No. 1 singles including "Comedown" (U.S. Alternative Airplay), "Glycerine" (U.S. Alternative Airplay), "Machinehead" (Canadian Alternative Rock), "Swallowed" (U.S. Alternative Airplay and Canadian Alternative Rock), "The Chemicals Between Us" (U.S. Alternative Airplay), and "The Sound of Winter" (U.S. Alternative Airplay). Many of these became top ten hits on the U.S. Mainstream Rock chart, as well. Frontman/singer-songwriter Gavin Rossdale leads the current iteration of the band (also featuring Chris Traynor, Corey Britz, and Nik Hughes) on a new single "Nowhere to Go But Everywhere," and the 21-song set also features a rare cover of The Beatles' "Come Together."