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Forty Seasons: The Best of Skid Row

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  • I’ve just recently bought this, along with Dokken very best, and I choose to review them at the same time because they have a couple of things in common, some different things, and certainly, different impact on listener. First of all, I have to say that I was a MAJOR fan of Skid Row (i no longer support their updated, Bach-less line-up), so I have all their records and like them all (even if Slave To the Grind remains not only my favorite, but also one of my top 10 favorites altogether). So I HAD to have this compilation. After a week of continuous listening, here are my observations, itemized, of course:

    -”Best of” vs “Greatest Hits”: even thought most record label execs are brainless enough not to know the difference between the 2 (other than semantics), the fact remains that both are different: a “best of” includes the band’s favorites, a “greatest” includes whatever hits they had on the radio. On that regard, “40 Seasons” lies closer to a greatest hits.

    -Running order(chronological vs. impact): this compilation is horrible in that respect. Records, whether they are live, studio or compilations, MUST have a running order that grabs the listener by the throat. Dokken’s is brilliant! This one is horrible: even if i love “Youth Gone Wild”, it is not an opening song! Not only that, but that song was THE closing song on a nightly basis during the band’s career! It is almost blasphemy!! And to follow that with “18 and life”…c’mon, give me a break! This compilation should have had a random, impact based running order, and “My Enemy” or “Monkey Business” should’ve been the opening songs…

    -Album representation: it is fairly good, but one question arises: if their debut record was their most successful, how come only 4 songs are included here, while subhuman race, their least successful, has 5 songs?
    -Subhuman Race: it is fairly obvious to me that the band was unhappy with the way this record turned out. Want proof? None of the songs from that record is included in its original form. Fear not, the remixes are barely noticeable (little twists on guitars and vocals), the live version of “Beat yourself blind” is great and even the demo version of “Frozen” is great, quite different from the album version (which i prefer), but good…

    -Unreleased songs: the real treat for longtime fans! Both are great! I still don’t get why they were not included on the original records they were intended for…

    -Band involvement: another miss!Only Rachel Bolan had any say here, and that is never a good thing, which is an aspect this compilation shares with the Dokken one. There are at least 2 songs here that I have reasonable doubts as to what the heck they are doing here: “Psycho Love” and “Piece of Me”. Don’t get me wrong, as i mentioned before, I love every single piece of music the band ever made, but… where are “Riot Act” (Skid Row’s greatest live song!), “Wasted Time”, “In a darkened room”? Nowhere to be found,here! Since Rachel was the only band member involved, he overlooked those gems in favor of 2 of his own songs. That IS BLASPHEMY!!!

    All in all, the compilation does have its moments, and my instincts tell me that it won’t be long before Rhino Records graces us with another one of their “Essential” compilations. Let’s just hope they take some of these observations (and I mean the observations of all the other customers/fans who have submitted their reviews) in mind next time…

    Posted on February 26, 2010