diamond geezer

 Monday, November 11, 2002

Greatest Hits

You can tell Christmas is coming, because record stores are suddenly clogged up by newly-released 'greatest hits' compilation albums. Given that the music industry has given up on nurturing new singing talent unless its under 20 and it stammers, the only way left to for them to make money is to repackage their back catalogue and hope we fall for buying it all over again. The musical past is an easy purchase for the Christmas present.

Recently we've been treated to 'greatest hits' albums from the likes of Elvis Presley, David Bowie, the Rolling Stones, U2, Nirvana, Manic Street Preachers, Stone Roses, Stevie Wonder and Fleetwood Mac. Released today we have Elton John and even, god help us, Westlife. Coming next week there's Kylie Minogue, Pulp and the Lighthouse Family and after that, as a sure sign that Western civilisation is close to collapse, it's Charlotte Church and Lionel Richie. Hits that grate, rather than greatest hits, I think.

Now that mid-November is upon us, all the big blockbusters have already been released, lurking on dispay in the shops for the next six weeks hoping that your auntie will buy just one of them. Not one new original record will be released in the month before Christmas, just to increase that key selling period, and not one new original record will be published in the month after Christmas, because we're all skint. So, batten down the hatches, search through your record collection for an old album you really love, stick it on auto-repeat for the next two months and hide behind your headphones until the storm of festive blandness has passed. See you in February.

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