The Hits/The B Sides – Prince—Released in 1993, this three-CD set is the best of any of the various Prince collections. Two of the CDs include the obvious hits, but the third includes B-side treasures like “Erotic City.”
Tales of a Librarian – Tori Amos—For this collection, Amos subtly changed the mix on the recordings, bringing something into the foreground that wasn’t clear before, or including material originally edited out, so each song is a fresh discovery.
Number Ones – Janet Jackson—The clever concept behind this collection is that each song reached number one on some chart or another. The two-CD set included a new single that (surprise!) became a number one single on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Songs chart after the album was released.
You Wanna Dance With Me? – Jody Watley—Although technically a remix album rather than a greatest hits album, this collection comprises dance remixes of tracks from Watley’s first two solo albums that are even better than the originals.
Hits and Misses – Joni Mitchell—These two CDs were sold separately, but clearly meant as counterparts when they were released together, down to the tongue-in-cheek paired titles and the packaging design. Hits is what you would expect, but the more interesting Misses includes lesser known songs that were hand-picked by Mitchell herself. The songs on Misses are brilliant, making you question the whole notion of what constitutes a hit or a success.
I wish more artists were adventurous with greatest hits collections as these artists were, but in truth, most may not be involved in the process at all, which is often dictated by the record label for purely commercial purposes.
For additional posts that provide interesting music lists, see About Music and This Site.