Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on

18Jun/090

Incubus and others are collecting the hits via new retrospective packages

If your band spent the 90s and 00s kicking out the rock jams, now might be a good time to put out one of those career spanning retrospective thingamabob kinda things. As we sit on the tailgate looking at the end of the 00s, Incubus have done just that with the release of their new compilation Monuments and Melodies, which is in stores now.

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Incubus purists will let you know that the California-based metal kids haven't been very metal for quite some time now. It's been a few albums since the days of Fungus Amongus and S.C.I.E.N.C.E., but Monuments and Melodies will open your eyes and remind you that in that time, Incubus have knocked out a pretty good collection of rock radio hits that are still enjoyable to hear on your car stereo. And thanks to this new compilation, you can have them all in one convenient package that the band is calling "the greatest greatest hits ever."

Collected on two CDs, the band's hits are collected on the first disc, with rarities and unreleased tracks loading up the second disc. Twenty-six tracks with ten new/hard-to-find tracks would seem like enough of a bargain - but wait, there's more!

Monuments and Melodies started out as a contractual obligation type of release before Incubus decided to make it something worth holding on to. Fans that purchase the new compilation will receive a special code that will give them access to an additional 100+ rare and unreleased audio tracks, and 100+ rare and unreleased videos via the band's website.

Speaking of compilations:

Two of my favorite bands from the 90s - The Wallflowers and Tonic, have collections o' hits on the way as well. Unfortunately, the results are hit and miss.

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A Casual Affair: The Best of Tonic is a mixed bag of good and bad. The good: The track listing is a nice collection of the best tracks from the three Tonic releases, including a couple of live tracks and an acoustic version of "You Wanted More." The bad: This compilation is an unfortunate victim of the loudness wars - I can't believe how bad the tracks on this compilation sound - you're really better off sticking with the original CDs.

There could be more value added to the release too - how about a second disc of live stuff taken from the same source that "Sugar" and "Irish" were drawn from? If you don't have any of the Tonic albums, this might be a good starter package for you, but I would probably just pass and go see the band at one of their reunion gigs this summer with the Gin Blossoms instead!

There IS a Best Buy exclusive version of the above title that adds a bonus DVD featuring a "director's cut" and 4 additional videos.

On a humorous note, the Amazon MP3 download of the collection currently links to an artist named "The Tonic" and $1.98 will not get you "If You Could Only See," but you will get your very own copy of "Dance Muscle." Awesome.

I'll leave you with the following acoustic cover of "Casual Affair," from Tonic's Lemon Parade release. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome.

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Collected: 1996-2005, the new greatest hits release from The Wallflowers is a slightly more enjoyable trip, although you'll have to hit up Best Buy (again) to get the version of this that makes it worth owning. The retail giant has the exclusive two disc version that adds a bonus DVD featuring 8 music videos.

Overall, Collected has a really solid track listing that makes it a good choice for novice Wallflowers fans (where were you, anyway) as a good first step, and after that, you'll need to pick up Bringing Down The Horse.

Essential!

And it can be yours for a penny used right now at Amazon, no waiting! Ha.