Like many reviewers, I tend to downgrade greatest hits albums a bit if they leave off certain songs. While a few other songs could certainly have been included on this collection, to me this collection is great because it doesn’t leave out any of the biggest hits and represents Tesla’s entire career to that point.
Just to give a couple of examples of greatest hits collections that fall short:
1) Def Leppard’s “Vault” falls short because, while the biggest hits are all there, the earliest hard-rocking stuff is mostly left out. Their early career is short-changed on the collection, even though it sounds great overall.
2) Bob Seger’s first greatest hits compilation includes more of his softer pop stuff at the expense of some of his original harder classic rock. Again, the early classic sound is not represented well on the collection, even though it too is stellar overall.
Tesla doesn’t have that problem here. First of all, they have always rocked; you don’t hear them “selling out” to a more pop sound as their albums advance. In addition, they include at least two tracks off of each of the five albums represented here (including the live acoustic one). Each and every song is stellar–including the new (at the time of release) track “Steppin’ Over”.
This collection is a great summary of one of the best rock bands of the past 20 years. If you are younger and/or interested in learning more about this band, this collection is a great place to start. Check out stellar hard rockers like “Modern Day Cowboy” and “Heaven’s Trail” as well as great slower tracks like “Love Song” and “What You Give” (not cheesy ballads in the least). Also, the live cover of “Signs” can better be played on its own off this collection compared to the live acoustic album, where the songs flow together and the band talks to the crowd within the tracks.
If you are a longtime, true, hardcore fan of the band, however, you also owe it to yourself to own each and every one of their albums–including the stellar new one that came out this year. This is just a summary of this band’s career up to the mid-1990s. What a remarkably stellar career it has been!