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Greatest Hits
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Ian Cockburn



Joined: 10 Mar 2015
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 12:44 am    Post subject: Greatest Hits Reply with quote

I often wonder what a Jeffrey Lewis "greatest hits" would look like, Something like this maybe: (1 CD, double vinyl)

1 Heavy Heart
2 Time Trades
3 Roll Bus Roll
4 The Last Time I Did Acid
5 Chelsea Hotel
6 No LSD Tonight
7 Cult Boyfriend
8 Don't Be Upset
9 Sad Screaming Old Man
10 Anxiety Attack
11 Broken Broken Heart
12 Will Oldham
13 East River
14 Outta Town
15 Shoot the Head Kill the Ghoul
16 WWPRD
17 Alphabet
18 Scowling Crackhead Ian
19 Creeping Brain
20 Back When I Was 4
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jefflewis



Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 1232

PostPosted: Tue Sep 20, 2016 8:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Funny, I've thought about this idea too, because it's so hard to have all the old albums available at the same time, usually there are at least certain albums that are hard to find, so I thought it might be a good idea to have some kind of compilation that people could get, instead of having to find all the old albums.
But then on the other hand I think "best of" albums are annoying, because when I was a teenager and starting to get into music I would first get a "best-of" The Who, or a "best-of" the Rolling Stones, but then if I liked the band I'd want to get their real albums, and so all the real albums feel unbalanced when you already own certain tracks on them... I decided I was always better off just buying a band's real albums, and always staying away from "best-of" collections!
Also I would usually disagree with the list of material... Certain great songs always left off the compilations... and other lesser songs always included... nobody has the same opinion on which material is the "best"!
I guess one exception that I would make is the Television Personalities compilation "Yes Dear But is it Art?" which I have listened to many more times than I have listened to any of the actual regular Television Personalities albums that I own... that compilation is just a perfect collection, also it has a LOT of songs that were only available as singles, and don't appear on the real albums. So it's a more essential collection than any actual Television Personalities album.
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misshelenc



Joined: 23 Nov 2007
Posts: 724
Location: Cardiff, Wales, UK

PostPosted: Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like a Best of album in the car, sometimes you just need to sing to classic tunes. But now they have internet in them I can use youtube and get lots of fan best ofs from there and you get the element of surprise. They mostly work on the most faultless of bands where everything they did was of quality and whatever is on there is good, but there aren't many of them around that I've found.
xx
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Ian Cockburn



Joined: 10 Mar 2015
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I largely agree that GHs are now redundant. They used to be good for non-album acts, like most artists before the late fifties or early sixties. Or there's ones like Buzzcocks' "Singles Going Steady" where most of the singles didn't appear on an album. Then even for bands that had good albums they were a good starting point, something to keep you going till you could find the albums to borrow, or save enough cash to buy them.
Now there's streaming, individual track downloads and online playlists, there's less need.
Still I have a sentimental attachment to many GH albums and if an act I like puts them out I'm still keen to know what's on it, though I won't buy it. I'm always interested in the "official" version of an artist's career, even if I heartily dispute it.
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mama



Joined: 09 Jan 2016
Posts: 31

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greatest Hits are only appealing really if they come with exclusive things demos, alt versions, single only songs, bsides etc....otherwise I'd just rather go for the full length record and hear the songs that way, the way they were originally intended to be heard. Jeff, if you did a Best Of cd of all your old old out of print CDs that'd be cool! Kinda like a part 2 of Tapes from the Crypt. Then I could finally hear the Sex Therapist song
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Ian Cockburn



Joined: 10 Mar 2015
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sex Therapist is on the piatpk out-takes album if you can afford it mama.
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jefflewis



Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 1232

PostPosted: Fri Sep 23, 2016 7:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's true that the major appeal of a best-of is the ability to get a hold of non-album singles and b-sides and stuff like that... which is, like a lot of box sets, a contradiction! Because the "real fans" will already own the most well-known songs, it's mostly a waste of money for those fans to buy a best-of (or box set) which has like 80% material they already own, just to get the hard-to-find tracks... and of course the casual curious non-fan person just wants to actually hear the most famous/well-known/obvious tracks, and has little interest in hearing the "deep cuts"... so the purchase is sort of a partial waste of money for them too!
I think it's true that the internet makes the concept obsolete, mostly, and not just because of the ability to pick and choose individual tracks to buy, but also because now nothing "goes out of print" the way it used to!
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dazman



Joined: 07 Aug 2012
Posts: 38

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 10:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Getting back to the original post...just imagine that Rough Trade have asked you to compile a "Best Of" Jeffrey Lewis and the Jrams/Rain/Jitters/Junkyard etc. What tracks would you choose?

Its a good question - in fact it might prompt me to finally get around to compiling my own selection. I've always enjoyed the interesting JL side-projects, for example, the tracks with Diane Cluck and the collaboration albums with Peter Stampfel - lots of good stuff to choose from.

And the "12 Crass Songs" album is superb too..even though its a "covers-album", the arrangements and instrumentation is so different from the originals. Jeff really re-worked them into something uniquely his own. In fact, I've listened to these songs much more often than the Crass versions.
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Ian Cockburn



Joined: 10 Mar 2015
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 9:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dazman wrote:
Getting back to the original post...just imagine that Rough Trade have asked you to compile a "Best Of" Jeffrey Lewis and the Jrams/Rain/Jitters/Junkyard etc. What tracks would you choose?

Its a good question - in fact it might prompt me to finally get around to compiling my own selection. I've always enjoyed the interesting JL side-projects, for example, the tracks with Diane Cluck and the collaboration albums with Peter Stampfel - lots of good stuff to choose from.

And the "12 Crass Songs" album is superb too..even though its a "covers-album", the arrangements and instrumentation is so different from the originals. Jeff really re-worked them into something uniquely his own. In fact, I've listened to these songs much more often than the Crass versions.


I did think it would be a good idea to put at least one crass song on my selection... but there were no singles and I couldn't decide which one would be most representative. I guess it would be between "I Aint Thick...." and "Big A Little A".

I could easily compile a second disc of other stuff that deserves to be on there, including from the Cluck and Stampfel collections. My list was supposed to be more of a mainstream corporate sell-out type list.
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jefflewis



Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 1232

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 1:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a more complicated question... What would a Best-Of Herman Dune possibly look like?!?!?! Way too many songs to pick from!!! THAT's a difficult task!!!!
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Ian Cockburn



Joined: 10 Mar 2015
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Mon Oct 03, 2016 6:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a first attempt: 20 songs, all from the main albums from while André was still in the band, alternating between David-Ivar and André songs, nothing from side projects or EPs (and nothing from They Go To The Woods because though I love the album, I don't love any of the individual songs enough):

I Wish That I Could See You Soon
Sunny Sunny Cold Cold Day
With a Fistful of Faith
Slow Century
Good For No One
Blinded
Drug Dealer in the Park
Nickel Chrome
Monkey Song
Not That Big A Story
You Could Be A Model, Goodbye
My Friends Kill My Folks
Not On Top
HD Rider
Why Would That Hurt (If You Never Loved Me)
Like Martin Donovan In Trust
The Static Comes From My Broken Heart
Expect the Unexpected
When the Water Gets Cold and Freezes on the Lake
Giant
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jefflewis



Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 1232

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2016 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that's a great list and VERY thoughtfully compiled (with attention given to an even David-Andre split and balance between the albums etc!)!
Actually I'd love to listen to THAT particular best-of list right now!!
In some ways it's a little unfair to not count the post-Andre albums, and there are a lot of great songs on those albums... but I guess if you are considering those albums to be David solo albums then it opens to door to include songs from other David solo albums (like the great Yaya and Novia Scotia Runs for Gold albums)... and then I guess that also opens the door to having to include all of the Andre solo albums, an almost impossible project!!!
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christian



Joined: 08 Jun 2015
Posts: 69

PostPosted: Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:30 am    Post subject: Re: Greatest Hits Reply with quote

Ian Cockburn wrote:
I often wonder what a Jeffrey Lewis "greatest hits" would look like, Something like this maybe: (1 CD, double vinyl)

1 Heavy Heart
2 Time Trades
3 Roll Bus Roll
4 The Last Time I Did Acid
5 Chelsea Hotel
6 No LSD Tonight
7 Cult Boyfriend
8 Don't Be Upset
9 Sad Screaming Old Man
10 Anxiety Attack
11 Broken Broken Heart
12 Will Oldham
13 East River
14 Outta Town
15 Shoot the Head Kill the Ghoul
16 WWPRD
17 Alphabet
18 Scowling Crackhead Ian
19 Creeping Brain
20 Back When I Was 4


Notwithstanding the discussion about sense or nonsense of Greatest Hits compilations, the initial question is still interesting. You could also ask it another way, for instance which tracks would you put on a mixtape for a friend who has never heard of Jeffrey Lewis? At a concert a first-time JL listener once asked me, which album should she get at the merch stand? I found I could not give an adecuate answer to that, though of course the choice is made somewhat easier by the fact that there are a few albums that are usually not available at the merch stand.

Coming back to the question at hand, I think you have made a great selection, I would largely choose the same songs, in no particular order. A couple I might change, most noteably Time Trades, which I have no particular strong feelings about, and then maybe Chelsea Hotel and East River too. But then you have to replace them adequately... Time Trades could be replaced by To Be Objectified... East River by Life... Chelsea Hotel by I saw a Hippie Girl.... but it all comes down to personal taste I guess Smile
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Ian Cockburn



Joined: 10 Mar 2015
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jefflewis wrote:
Wow, that's a great list and VERY thoughtfully compiled (with attention given to an even David-Andre split and balance between the albums etc!)!
Actually I'd love to listen to THAT particular best-of list right now!!


Thanks! Well it would be a fluke if they do sound good in that order, because I didn't actually spend much time in putting together the running order, once I'd chosen the songs.

I chose songs not just based on my own preferences but from witnessing which songs went down best at gigs (from memory), and which ones my friends liked. For a truer summary of the band there should be some more rough early material and more really sad and wistful ones like "Winners Lose"

jefflewis wrote:
In some ways it's a little unfair to not count the post-Andre albums, and there are a lot of great songs on those albums... but I guess if you are considering those albums to be David solo albums then it opens to door to include songs from other David solo albums (like the great Yaya and Novia Scotia Runs for Gold albums)... and then I guess that also opens the door to having to include all of the Andre solo albums, an almost impossible project!!!


Well exactly. Years ago, around the time "Giant" came out, I compiled not one but two 90-minute tapes of the best of Herman Dune (volume 1 and volume 2, no overlap) that included solo material and side-projects, including Lisa's, (Love Lisa's stuff.) Though they were for personal use and made no claim to completeness, because even then Andre was doing solo albums quicker than I could get them. But because those were done on cassette and compiled in real-time, THEY had carefully thought out running orders. I played them to death at the time and still have them. I think.
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Ian Cockburn



Joined: 10 Mar 2015
Posts: 46

PostPosted: Mon Oct 10, 2016 9:05 am    Post subject: Re: Greatest Hits Reply with quote

christian wrote:

Coming back to the question at hand, I think you have made a great selection, I would largely choose the same songs, in no particular order. A couple I might change, most noteably Time Trades, which I have no particular strong feelings about, and then maybe Chelsea Hotel and East River too. But then you have to replace them adequately... Time Trades could be replaced by To Be Objectified... East River by Life... Chelsea Hotel by I saw a Hippie Girl.... but it all comes down to personal taste I guess :-)


Thanks for replying. I would find it hard to accept leaving out "Chelsea Hotel..." as it seemed to be Jeff's signature song in his early days , and the song that got him signed to Rough Trade, and his first single, that generally caused a big stir and opened doors. Though it could be left out as a big statement, I suppose, like that Monty Python compilation that was called "Parrot Sketch Not Included". "The Best of Jeffrey Lewis: Chelsea Hotel Song Not Included"! Likewise "Time Trades" seems to be phenomenally popular if you look at Last Fm and Spotify streaming stats, or itunes sales. It might just be THE most popular Jeffrey Lewis song.

But I love all the tracks you chose as possible inclusions, so thanks for playing!
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