40/40: The Best Selection is a comprehensive double-disc career overview of Olivia Newton-John designed to celebrate her four decades in show business. Yes, the compilation runs 40 tracks, but this is not designed to showcase each era of Olivia's career in equal measure. Perhaps there are a few more latter-day cuts than most audiences would know, and maybe there are a few more early tracks than needed, but all the big hits are here, from the early mellow country-rock to the slick soft rock and melodic disco of the turn of the '80s. Compared to the U.S. compilation Gold, this isn't quite as good - there's too much of the two bookends of a long career - but it does have what most casual audiences require: all the hits, all sounding as good as they ever have.
One of the folk rock pioneers, namely In Extremo, present their first best of. A journey through more than twenty years and 12 albums.
The claim to fame for America's 1982 album, View From the Ground, is that it yielded the soft rock duo's last Top Ten hit, "You Can Do Magic." Vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Gerry Beckley and vocalist/guitarist Dewey Bunnell scored big with this infectious, hook-riddled single. It was written and produced by Argent guitarist and solo artist Russ Ballard, who is most famous for penning songs that others have hit with.
Looked at in the cold light of day and from some years' distance, Gene Loves Jezebel would seem like the last band whose work would stand the test of time. Weird thing, though – in all their "everything goes" exuberance, from abstract goth wailing to balls-out Sunset Strip rock, the Aston brothers, much like their labelmates in the Cult, made everything work somehow. Not all the time, certainly, but Voodoo Dollies wisely draws on the best and biggest hits of the group, not to mention a couple of rarer items for the hardcore fanbase, to make an enjoyable career overview (certainly better than Some of the Best of Gene Loves Jezebel). Following a straight chronological order and enjoying the usual high quality of Beggars Banquet remastering, the 18-track collection is a fine treat. Besides the obvious numbers like "Desire (Come and Get It)," "The Motion of Love" (appearing here in a single mix), and "Jealous," the less well-known songs help to really flesh out the band's freaked-out, glammed-up appeal.
There's a nicely warming vibe on this album from Keith Jarrett – a sound that's sometimes a bit more laidback and personal, but which is still carried off with familiar associates Dewey Redman on tenor, Charlie Haden on bass, and Paul Motian on drums! Most of the tunes are shorter compositions built around gently lyrical lines – somewhat introspective, and a bit less organic than in years past – but in a way that more than makes up for that difference with their own inner beauty. Titles include "Konya", "Rainbow", "Trieste", "Fantasm", "Yahllah", and "Byablue".