I saw the announcement just like everybody else, but sadly I didn’t share in everybody’s enthusiasm on the band’s Facebook page. Silversun Pickups, one of my all-time favorite bands, is releasing “The Singles Collection” on February 25 via Dangerbird Records. Ending their 10-year relationship with the indie label, this offering has contractual obligation written all over it. Essentially, it’s an album fulfillment according to the band’s contract, an all-too-familiar practice within the recording industry, thus pushing a rather inferior product onto fans. The sad truth about labels who release “Best Of” “Retrospectives” and “Greatest Hits” collections, is that it’s an implied notion that all of the band’s greatest work is now behind them. With very few exceptions, almost every band or solo artist has a “compilation” album on the market. But what used to be seen as a mark of accomplishment—a band who’s career spanned well over a decade, with more than 8 albums to their credit—is now merely a vehicle to milk fans (fanatical or casual) of their hard-earned money.
Silversun Pickups have 3 incredible albums to their credit (Carnavas, Swoon and Neck of the Woods) along with their debut e.p. release “Pikul.” Each studio album is better than the next in my opinion. Why on Earth would you want to tarnish such amazing artistry by splintering your albums up into an 11-track restrospective? This will only encourage big-box retailers such as Target and Walmart to eliminate stock of the studio albums and display only, the “Singles Collection” in order to reserve shelf space. In the end, it’s always about money…and the label’s greed and desire to trade on a band’s good name.
Seeing as Silversun Pickups is one of my all-time favorite bands, both live and album-wise, I’m highly disappointed to see their label take the cliche route so early in their career. Especially by putting out an inferior collection. In addition to the 10-previously released tracks on “The Singles Collection”, a newly recorded track called “Cannibal” has been included. Upon a few listens, it’s fine for what it is, which is a song thrown together in a hurry for the sake of giving fans of the band an excuse for purchasing the album. A good portion of fans will automatically like the song, simply because it’s a new release from the band. Whether or not the song is indeed inferior to their usually stellar offerings, will go widely ignored to fans who are just anxious for new SSPU music. The label depends on fans such as these. “Devils Cup” an unreleased B-Side is also available to those who purchase the vinyl box set version of the collection. To make a fan feel less ripped off, why not add a few rarities to the mix such as the non-album tracks “Mercury” “Table Scraps” and “Currency of Love”? How about “Not Dark Yet” from the Bob Dylan tribute album? This would make for a more appealing collection than just a gathering of already owned material.
I’m sorry, but this “Singles Collection” is a lazy and cliche move on the part of the band’s label (Dangerbird Records.) I only hope that what’s happened to countless other bands after releasing a premature Greatest Hits collection, doesn’t happen to one of the few remaining rock bands worth talking about. (Rob Watts)
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