Greatest Hits compilations are good investments for record labels – they don’t cost anything to produce, they raise the profile of the group in question (“band X has got a Greatest Hits record, they must be important”) and they sell by the truckload, both to hardcore fans and to casual listeners who couldn’t quite justify the purchase one of the group’s regular albums with – shock – only three or four singles on it.
For high-profile bands/artists it usually goes that, once they release five regular albums, their next offering will be a Greatest Hits. Sometimes, labels push it to four prior releases, or even three. The Fugees have only put out two albums. But they’re broken up now, so Columbia is doing the Greatest Hits thing anyway. Needless to say, the result is somewhat less than spectacular. Offering a measly 10 tracks (culled from their two regular releases, Blunted on Reality and The Score and their remix disc, Bootleg Versions), this collection feels incredibly thin. With the exception of a mix of Lauren Hill’s “The Sweetest Thing,” Columbia’s original promise of solo material from each of the ex-Fugees hasn’t materialized, and any worthwhile extra content – unreleased tracks maybe, or demos, or “Rumble in the Jungle” (the single that got a soundtrack-only release for the film When We Were Kings) – is absent. This disc does nothing more than collect half a dozen classic singles and tries to pass them off as an album. Go buy The Score instead.