Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Won't You Be My Number Two


I have a recurring conversation with my old pal Geoff, a fellow Who fanatic, about two or three times a month. We both enjoy posting the records we are listening to on Instagram and quite often inspire each other, a kind of musical ADD. I could be listening to Tony Bennett, see that he is listening to Gang Of Four and off comes Tony for some "Damaged Goods."

The recurring conversation though, is usually about The Who and "Meaty, Beaty, Big & Bouncy," a record that both he and I agree, is the single greatest singles collection ever put to wax, and a record that we both listen to quite often. (Just typing that made me want to play it today.)

Geoff ranks "Aretha Gold" as the second best, and I am pretty sure "Sly & The Fanily Stone's Greatest Hits" completes his Top Three.

No arguments from me.

I'd like to add "Rapsberries' Best" to the Top Five. I love all of the Raspberries records, but the ten track "Best" is one killer after another. 

Which brings me to my idea, the Raspberries' Second Best.

In 2003, the Elvis people released "2nd To None," a sequel of sorts to the highly successful "Elvis' 30 #1 Hits." "2nd To None" contained another round of chart toppers that did not quite hit the #1 slot. I was thinking of the possiblities for great "second bests." I decided to start with the Raspberries' Second Best because it is what I was in the mood for. I'm sure you Rapsberries' fans out there will have your own second ten, but the following is mine.

Hopefully, if I don't get too lazy or too distracted, this will be an ongoing series. Feel free to chime in with your favorite greatest hits records and suggestions for sequels.

Play On
Nobody Knows
Last Dance
Cruisin' Music
If You Change Your Mind
Should I Wait
Come Around & See Me
It Seemed So Easy
I Saw The Light
Party's Over



cmealha said...

It's amazing that these 10 brilliant songs would be considered 2nd tier material. What an amazing legacy.

Troy said...

Pretty fun idea, I look forward to seeing how this goes. Some great songs in there. I could see this being fun with Cheap Trick, The Kinks, or even McCartney (assuming you could nail down a definitive first 10).

A Walk In The Woods said...

Wait, the Raspberries did "I Saw The Light"?? Can't wait to hear!

As for the idea - how about The Temptations? We know their big hits, but their songs bubbling under the top sure are great too like "It's Growing." (Apparently it peaked at only #18, a crime against nature)

Sal Nunziato said...

Different "I Saw The Light," AWITW

Shriner said...

Yeah, I looked and don't have many "Greatest Hits" albums in the first place -- though I will give a shout-out to the Greatest Hits album by "The Offspring". That's all The Offspring I need and it's great!

I'm pretty sure I could contribute a "Second Best" for The Jam and The Monkees (the GHs albums were -- at the time -- the only way to get CD releases of the singles-only tracks) after I give it some thought later.

soundsource said...

great idea

Troy said...

Looking at the title of your post, I can't believe I didn't suggest doing one of these for Joe Jackson. Not a lot of 'hits' there, but definitely has his most well known parts of his catalog.

buzzbabyjesus said...

I admit to only know one song by The Raspberries, and I'm not even sure of the title.

Anonymous said...

I too am unfamiliar with the Raspberries except for "Go All The Way", a song that still makes me chuckle when it transcends from a riff-rocker to a 70s ballad. So I'm looking forward to your playlist.
My favorite 'hits' collection, bar none, is Buzzcocks 'Singles Going Steady', a great pun title for an absolute monster of a collection.
C in California

Sal Nunziato said...

@C In California

"Singles Going Steady" is both a greatest and a second best!

FD13NYC said...

Great "second best" choices! I can't believe some of these guys haven't heard passed Go All The Way, when there were four more superlative gems.

Joe said...

I just finished watching a New Orleans concert - - I think a Katrina Benefit. Earl Palmer was featured in a couple of songs. A "B" list of songs that were written/produced by Allen Toussaint, would be fun. He has so many great songs and so many artists performed them, there could be endless "B" top tens created. joe

Hazy Dave said...

Definitely makes me consider what the next dozen best pre-"Pinball Wizard" tunes might be. Though never singles, "Sunrise" and "Our Love Was" are at the top of my list. Ooh, "Call Me Lightning wasn't on Meaty Beaty, either... Make the UK version of "Substitute" a bonus track.

Michael Giltz said...

Hat tip to troy for catching the Joe Jackson nod in the title, which I was just going to celebrate.

Fun post!

However, everyone knows that the greatest Greatest Hits collection is Simon & Garfunkel's Greatest Hits. It's an artistic statement in its own right and to my mind the ultimate achievement of the duo. They only had 13 top 40 hits but their "greatest hits" set ignored four of them, added in three album tracks and the instrumental half of a tune that also was never a single, mixed in live tracks with studio tracks bizarrely made to sound as if they were live tracks (which includes f---ing with "Bridge Over Troubled Water" their epic song of songs on which they stepped all over the intro just to pretend it was sort of live when it was the studio version -- I mean who the hell does THAT?) and it's all genius.

Another great Greatest Hits set is Time Piece by The Rascals, which awesomely makes the case for that band.

Michael Giltz said...

I'd write a book about Greatest Hits albums (or as the kids today call them, "physical play lists") if anyone paid for books anymore OR knew what a Greatest Hits album was (or even an album for Pete's sake!" I think Beastie Boys Music is a terrific greatest hits set; it only took them three (?) tries to get it right.

Anonymous said...

Besides Meaty Beaty, a couple other favorites greatest hits:
CCR 20 Greatest Hits--I never really pursued the albums because everything was here. A great singles band.

Paul Simon--Greatest Hits, etc--The couple of new (at the time) songs and a few album cuts kept this not far from my turntable for many a year.

Does Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits Volume 2 count?

I second the Buzzcocks and Rascals choices.


A Walk In The Woods said...

Van Morrison would be another great one for a "second best" collection.

Sal Nunziato said...

The Rascals- Time/Peace!!!!!!

Shriner said...

The vinyl Monkee's Greatest Hits album -- had 11 tracks on it.

This would be my 11 track Volume 2 (and I had to cut a few things to make it 11 tracks and maybe not in this order...):

1. What Am I Doing Hangin’ Round
2. The Girl I Knew Somewhere
3. Sometime In The Morning
4. Door Into Summer
5. Porpoise Song
6. You Told Me
7. Words
8. Look Out (Here Comes Tomorrow)
9. Randy Scouse Git
10. Love Is Only Sleeping
11. You Just May Be The One

Troy said...

Great Monkees list, Shriner. I'm not a fan of Head, so I would drop Porpoise Song and replace it with Valleri or She Hangs Out. But otherwise, spot on with that list!

Sal Nunziato said...

"Valleri" was a Top 3 hit. BUT...I ran into the same problem when trying to put together a Rascals second best. "People Got To Be Free" was Top 5 but is NOT on "Time/Peace," as it came out later. a second best strictly about the follow-up record, in which case, hits and singles would count. Or, is it about songs that were not hits that shouyld have been?

Troy said...

I had no idea Valleri charted that high. It wasn't on the GH (I had that vinyl as a kid), so I assumed it was lower. I have a Best of the Monkees with about 25 songs, plus a couple of the original studio albums, and was cherry-picking from that.

As for the criteria, I thought it was quality/favorite songs beyond the hits. But it's your site, your rules :)

A guy called Tak said...

'The The Byrds' Greatest Hits', one of my all-time favorite Best-Of album.

Sal Nunziato said...

I guess technically both "Valleri" and "People Got To Be Free" would qualify if we use an official greatest hits or "Best Of" to follow. Just seems odd that a Billboard #3 and #1 would rank as second best. Hey, it's everybody's site! I just work here.

Shriner said...

"Valleri" -- which I do love -- was one of the 2-3 songs I left off as I was trying to match the original number of 11 tracks on the classic 1976 Arista GH album (and not the 20-track Rhino CD version or other GH comps). If I was forced to use additional songs that charted, it wouldn't have been as good. And, yes, this second volume give short-shrift (no pun intended) to Davy.

I mean, every song on my list is better than "Tear Drop City", "D.W. Washburn" or "That Was Then, This Is Now".

So a "Second Best" probably should *consider* chart hits released after the first GH album, but not be limited to it. The Arista GH album had a couple of songs that (AFAIK) were never released as singles (which I thought odd when I looked back at this...), so that was a reasonable blueprint to work from.

Michael Giltz said...

Music buffs love to make lists! This is a very popular entry. And did I prompt Sal to write The Rascals -- Time Peace!!!!! with FIVE exclamation points? If it's our store and you just work here, give this kid a raise!