Sunday, September 16, 2018

Compilations: Top 100 All-Time

image from abc.go.com

First posted 3/30/2018. Updated 9/16/2018.

“Greatest hits” packages are maligned entities in the world of music criticism, targeted by haters as cheap, record-contract-fulfilling-repackagings of works better heard in their original presentations. Naysayers argue that gathering up an act’s most commercial product hardly justifies calling a collection “the best of.”

However, compilations serve an important role in music. They are often a casual fan’s entry point to an artist. In some cases, the distillation of an act’s discography into a single collection weeds out the fluff and truly does present the act at its best.

In any event, here is Dave’s Music Database’s collection of the greatest compilations of all-time. DMDB lists are determined by aggregating best-of lists alongside chart data, sales figures, awards, and album ratings. Note: this list is confined to 1 or 2-disc collections. Box sets (3 or more discs) are summed up in a separate DMDB list. When an act has released multiple compilations, only the highest-rated has been listed, unless other compilations cover completely different material. Also, the years covered by the compilation are noted in parentheses.

One last commentary: ironically, many of the collections below are not representative of an act’s entire career. Elton John, for example, has released multiple best-of collections, but the one which rates highest is his first Greatest Hits, which only covers five years.


Top 100 Compilations of All-Time

1. The Beatles: 1 (1962-1970)
2. Bob Marley & the Wailers: Legend (1973-1983)
3. Madonna: The Immaculate Collection (1983-1990)
4. Elvis Presley: 30 #1 Hits (1956-1977 + a 2002 remix)
5. Elton John: Greatest Hits (1970-1974)
6. Eagles: Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 (1971-1975)
7. Abba: Gold: Greatest Hits (1973-1982)
8. Queen: Greatest Hits (aka “We Will Rock You”) (1973-1981)
9. Simon & Garfunkel: Greatest Hits (1964-1970)
10. Michael Jackson: Number Ones (1978-2003)

11. Creedence Clearwater Revival: Chronicle: Their 20 Greatest Hits (1968-1972)
12. U2: Best of 1980-1990 (1980-1989)
13. The Rolling Stones: Hot Rocks 1964-71 (1964-1971)
14. Billy Joel: Greatest Hits Volume I & II (1973-1985)
15. Hank Williams: 40 Gretaest Hits (1947-1953)
16. Bruce Springsteen: Greatest Hits (1975-1995)
17. Garth Brooks: The Hits (1989-1993)
18. Robert Johnson: The Complete Recordings (1936-1937)
19. Mariah Carey: #1’s (1990-1998)
20. David Bowie: Best of Bowie (1969-2002)

21. Chuck Berry: The Great Twenty Eight (1955-1964)
22. Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers: Greatest Hits (1976-1993)
23. New Order: Substance (1981-1987)
24. Bon Jovi: Cross Road (1982-1994)
25. Kenny Rogers: Greatest Hits (1977-1980)
26. Patsy Cline: 12 Greatest Hits (1957-1963)
27. Bessie Smith: The Essential (1923-1933)
28. Buzzcocks: Singles Going Steady (1977-1979)
29. Journey: Greatest Hits (1977-1987)
30. Eminem: Curtain Call: The Hits (1999-2005)

31. Carpenters: The Singles 1969-1973 (1969-1973)
32. Billy Murray: Anthology: The Denver Nightingale (compilation: 1903-40)
33. Sly & the Family Stone: Greatest Hits (1967-1970)
34. Celine Dion: All the Way…A Decade of Song (1991-1999)
35. Queen: Greatest Hits 2 (1981-1991)
36. Al Green: Greatest Hits (1971-1973)
37. Glenn Miller: Glenn Miller & His Orchestra (compilation: 1939-42)
38. Eurythmics: Greatest Hits (1982-1989)
39. Guns N’ Roses: Greatest Hits (1987-1994)
40. Fleetwood Mac: Greatest Hits (1975-1988)

41. Sam Cooke: The Man and His Music (1951-1965)
42. Steve Miller Band: Greatest Hits 1974-1978 (1973-1978)
43. Lionel Richie: Back to Front (1977-1992)
44. The Police: Every Breath You Take: The Singles (1978-1986)
45. The Who: Meaty Beaty Big and Bouncy (1964-1970)
46. Bob Dylan: Greatest Hits (1962-1966)
47. Eric Clapton: The Cream of Clapton (1966-1981)
48. Barbra Streisand: Memories (aka “Love Songs”) (1974-1981)
49. John Denver: Greatest Hits (1969-1972)
50. Roy Orbison: For the Lonely: A Roy Orbison Anthology 1956-1965 (1956-1965)

51. Howlin’ Wolf: Moanin’ in the Moonlight (compilations: 1951-59, released 1959)
52. Eagles: Greatest Hits Volume II (compilation: 1975-80)
53. Robbie Williams: Greatest Hits (1997-2004)
54. Johnny Mathis: Johnny’s Greatest Hits (1956-1958)
55. James Taylor: Greatest Hits (1969-1976)
56. Bing Crosby: The Definitive Collection (compilation: 1931-57)
57. R.E.M.: In Time: The Best of R.E.M. 1988-2003 (1988-2003)
58. Phil Collins: Hits (1981-1998)
59. Aerosmith: Greatest Hits (1973-1979)
60. The Temptations: Anthology (1964-1972)

61. Johnny Cash: The Legend of… (1955-2003)
62. Shania Twain: Greatest Hits (1994-2004)
63. Charlie Patton: Founder of the Delta Blues (1929-1934)
64. Bryan Adams: So Far So Good (1983-1993)
65. The Doors: Best of the Doors (1966-1971)
66. The Byrds: Greatest Hits (1965-1967)
67. Buddy Holly: 20 Golden Greats (1956-58)
68. George Michael: Ladies and Gentlemen: The Best of (1984-1998)
69. Janis Joplin: Greatest Hits (1967-1971)
70. Rod Stewart: Greatest Hits (1971-1978)

71. Sting: Fields of Gold: The Best of 1984-1994 (1985-1994)
72. Sade: Best of (1984-1993)
73. Pet Shop Boys: Discography: The Complete Singles Collection (1985-1991)
74. Van Morrison: Best of (1965-1989)
75. Led Zeppelin: Remasters (1969-1979)
76. Janet Jackson: Design of a Decade 1986/1996 (1986-1995)
77. Blondie: Best of (1976-1980)
78. Whitney Houston: The Greatest Hits (1984-2000)
79. Neil Young: Decade (1969-1976)
80. The Supremes: Anthology (1962-1976)

81. Nirvana: Nirvana (1988-1994)
82. Pink Floyd: Echoes: The Best of (1967-1994)
83. Pink: Greatest Hits…So Far!!! (2000-2010)
84. John Lennon: The Collection (1969-1980)
85. James Brown: 20 All Time Greatest Hits! (1956-1976)
86. Bob Seger: Greatest Hits (1972-1994)
87. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: So Far (1969-1970)
88. Tupac (2pac) Shakur: Greatest Hits (1991-1996)
89. The Beach Boys: Endless Summer (1962-1965)
90. Henry Burr: Anthology: The Original King of Pop (1903-1928)

91. Paul McCartney: All the Best! (1970-1987)
92. Red Hot Chili Peppers: Greatest Hits (1989-2003)
93. Dire Straits: Money for Nothing (1978-1985)
94. Madonna: GHV2 (1991-2000)
95. Prince: Very Best of (1979-1992)
96. Aretha Franklin: Queen of Soul: The Very Best of (1967-1974)
97. Stevie Wonder: The Definitive Collection (1962-1998)
98. Jimi Hendrix: The Ultimate Experience (1966-1970)
99. The Cars: Greatest Hits (1978-1985)
100. Bee Gees: Timeless: The All-Time Greatest Hits (1966-1987)

1 comment:

  1. Great Posting "WOW to ALL The Work You Put Into Making & Organizing All your Music, I am New At finding CD's & Downloading Music to Usb's to Listen to & Make Extra Usb's for Friends to Have While Ridding Our Motorcycles in South California During Our Winters Stay In Cathedral City, To YOU DAVE WOW & THANKS, I Am Now A Follower,
    Dale Whittaker.

    ReplyDelete