Greatest Hits

Reviewed by: Andrew Unterberger
Reviewed on: 2005-11-10

Posted 11/10/2005 - 08:35:59 AM by BeeOKay:
 It’s not the nostalgia that makes Greatest Hits my favorite compilation of 2005, though. If anything, the fact that the songs evoke such vivid memories is a testament to just how good and memorable the songs are to begin with. This was quite sad to read but I chop it up to youth. When you are only in 6th grade in 1997 then it makes a bit more sense. Music just happens to get go much better than this band, no matter how poppy or memorable it may be it just doesn’t stack up. This year there were some stellar compilations that put Blink 182 to shame like Belle & Sebastian, Nick Cave, Sloan, Beta Band, Super Furry Animals or my favorite the Boo Radleys. Sure they had some good radio songs especially the one with Robert Smith but they come nowhere near the top 100 from the last 10 years or so.
Posted 11/10/2005 - 09:18:55 AM by RoqueStrew:
 I agree with BOK, aka The Derek. Catchy, infectious, poppy, memorable, whatever, you can't be serious, Andrew! Say it ain't so!
Posted 11/10/2005 - 09:24:55 AM by happiness:
 i love andrew's reviews. i think if you're over the age of 23 you won't be able to understand what andrew is saying. how is a nick cave b-side box set or a yo la tengo greatest hits supposed to evoke a memory when our history with these artists are a few years tops. remember, andrew said "favorite" not "the most stellar". like so many others my age, dammit was the first song i learned how to play on the guitar? wouldn't i be cool if the first song i learned was from her to eternity - but no, that was released the year of my birth. it's nostalgia he's talking about. i assume this compilation works the same way for andrew (and young-ish readers such as me) like a hall and oats greatest hits does for those of you who graduated highschool in the late 80s. maybe not, but that's as close as i can get.
Posted 11/10/2005 - 09:43:23 AM by wmdavidson:
 That's a good point, but then again it's not like Blink-182 was the only game in town. I was in high school 1996-2000 and during that time Radiohead, R.E.M., Sleater-Kinney, and lots of other great bands were releasing vital new music. Even mid-'90s Green Day was light years ahead of Blink-182.
Posted 11/10/2005 - 09:45:40 AM by whiteboysushi:
 "All the Small Things" was one of a handful of songs in middle school whose lyrics I changed to be about how one of my friends' moms was a whore, and then proceeded to sing all the time to piss him off (for anyone who's wondering, the others included "Oops! I Did It Again" and a bunch of Will Smith songs). Does that make it good? Probably not. But it does make me smile whenever I hear it, which I imagine is the best thing I'll be able to say about this compilation.
Posted 11/10/2005 - 09:55:19 AM by 1900usa:
 I'm younger than 23. And lots of songs bring back memories for me. Most of them are shite.
Posted 11/10/2005 - 09:55:37 AM by 1900usa:
 The songs, that is.
Posted 11/10/2005 - 10:14:28 AM by jonathan:
 Great review. I've been waiting for a Blink reappraisal for a long time, and hopefully this comp will kick it off. They really were an incredible pop band, knowing exactly what to do with a hook and how to play their naivety and stupidity up just enough to enhance the music. Once all the snobbery evaporates, hopefully people will stop turning up their nose and love them for what they are - the continuation of the sort of teenage pop music that's existed throughout rock history.
Posted 11/10/2005 - 10:46:28 AM by whiteboysushi:
 UPDATE: I was wrong, the Blink-182 parody was actually about how this other kid was poor (sample lyrics: "All of/Your things/Are from/K-Mart")
Posted 11/10/2005 - 10:58:58 AM by jhitting:
 Say what you will about Blink--that they are sell-outs, posers, wimps, that they suck--they still go to bed every night on a big pile of money. The fact that they did all this while having a good time and making easy, fun punk-pop is just a testament to how Blink the band is pretty fucking good. "Dammit" is a perfect pop song with funny yet poignant lyrics. "What's My Age Again?" and a slew of others are equally as well done. I'm 23, so I guess I was in 8th grade when "Dammit" was released. I remember thinking they sucked then, and I still think they are for teenybopper types, but you can't deny their staying power and their ability to write good pop. Bravo on the review and the rating. "Maybe/I'll see you/at a movie/sneak preview/you'll show up/and walk by/on the arm/of that guy/and I'll smile/and you'll wave/we'll pretend/it's ok/this charade/it won't last/when he's gone/I won't come back" Makes me teary eyed just thinking about it. High school, where hast thou gone?
Posted 11/10/2005 - 10:59:46 AM by pabanks46:
 "What's my name again?/What's my..."

*click* *lock*

BAM!!! Bitches. Watch more of The Barkers.

Posted 11/10/2005 - 11:19:54 AM by badhaircut:
 Wow this site has a lot of uptight readers.
Posted 11/10/2005 - 11:23:29 AM by chronic2000:
 "Blink were also one of those rare bands that did their audience the favor of evolving with them"; "It’s sad that Blink had to split before ever truly being afforded rock respectability" -- are you for real? I knew there was a reason I always check the music reviews on about 4 other sites before I get to Stylus...amateur. Next your gonna be telling me the fucking Mighty Morphin Power Ranger soundtrack "evoke[s] such vivid memories" that you have a sudden urge to breast feed. Ridiculous.
Posted 11/10/2005 - 11:39:04 AM by Havalina:
 Great review. From what I can tell the reviewer is the same age as me (I'm 19) and so I can relate to how memories of my school years are tied to these songs. I'm generally into music that most people would consider a lot more sophisticated than Blink 182, but they were a genuinely great singles band. Songs like Dammit and The Rock Show are the sort of wonderfully carefree pop punk summer days are made for, and I Miss You reminds me inextricably of my final year at school and to be honest it gets me every time I hear it. Thanks for the review and for reminding me of some music I hadn't thought about in a while.
Posted 11/10/2005 - 12:02:28 PM by 1900usa:
 This is obviously just a question of taste. The logic seems to be flawed though. A song is NOT great just because it's inextricably linked with a memory. I mean, if there's a great song that you link with somebody dying, it doesn't make them dying fantastic. Same the other way, just because a shite song is linked with a great memory, doesn't mean it's any good.
Posted 11/10/2005 - 12:18:34 PM by ddrake:
 haha I'm not even the biggest Blink fan (although "All the Small Things" = total classic for all time) but I love that the best the argument against Blink can come up with is some considerably more boring rock music!
Posted 11/10/2005 - 01:01:48 PM by J_R_K_:
 i was just talking about blink with my roomate last night. about how all those fall out boy type bands are a result of the influence of blink 182. i don't know what fall out boy sounds like, i just took his word for it. i learned how to play "dammit" on guitar, and enjoyed chesire cat, so i guess i'd call myself a blink fan. after dude ranch, i stopped paying attention, except for their videos. if this was a greatest hits DVD, i could see the B+ rating, hell, even an A+ rating, but the music really doesn't evoke memories much different than the memories of limp bizkit blasting out of the same stereos blink 182 would be blasted out of from the dorm of the state university i went to. and lastly, to all the naysayers, blink was a band that had a good time all the time, and yeah, made lots of money. besides, someone had to make the bloodhound gang look mature.
Posted 11/10/2005 - 02:12:28 PM by wmdavidson:
 "they still go to bed every night on a big pile of money" "and yeah, made lots of money" If that's a valid criterion for judging worthwhile music, I guess it explains all this Blink-182 love.
Posted 11/10/2005 - 02:13:46 PM by wmdavidson:
 And yes, I am uptight.
Posted 11/10/2005 - 02:17:56 PM by UHLawdog:
 i assume this compilation works the same way for andrew (and young-ish readers such as me) like a hall and oats greatest hits does for those of you who graduated highschool in the late 80s. maybe not, but that's as close as i can get. Happiness gets it 9000% right. Unlike most of you whippersnappers, I *did* graduate from high school in the late 1980s, and listening to G/H sets from Hall & Oates or Eurythmics does provoke a certain nostalgia. As for this band, they made some decent pop tunes, and I might buy this compilation. Of course, I also like Bowling for Soup's "1985," so what the hell do I know?
Posted 11/10/2005 - 03:00:47 PM by adentice:
 badhaircut is spot on. You can just feel the hipsters squirming in their swivelly chairs reading a B+ review for Blink. Blink are difficult band for me, cos they were the first punk band i got into around the time when Dude Ranch came out (I'm 24), and have followed them ever since. It's a strong bond which is impossible to discard. Obviously, looking back, they're not a punk band, but that's OK. I think part of it is nostalgia - when songs like What's My Age Again come on the radio, i often think "if this came out now, I'd hate it" - but part of it has to be that they're a great band. So easy to relate to, and so great with a hook. Tom DeLonge's vocals are the prototype for 1000s of terrible soundalikes, but he did it first, and in a unique way at the time (OK maybe Fat Mike did it first). And despite the admittedly high-school-journal lyrics, their s-t album is really good. It is possible to love Blink and also love "grown-up" music (although i admit to having a large soft spot for GOOD pop-punk and emo). That was fun: Tom and Mark would be proud of that incoherent rambling i think.
Posted 11/10/2005 - 03:09:00 PM by wmdavidson:
 Keep on calling for a critical reappraisal of Blink-182 based on the ultra-compelling arguments "they're rich" and "I kinda liked them when I was 14." Good luck with that. Now back to my swivelly chair!!
Posted 11/10/2005 - 03:42:16 PM by wmdavidson:
 In all honesty I'm only partly posting because I agree with Beeokay and chronic2000 that Blink-182 are deserving of spite. Partly I just like trying to tweak the popists. :) I do feel that while nostalgia is a great reason to enjoy a band, it's not necessarily a good reason to give them a positive review. And my chair really does swivel.
Posted 11/10/2005 - 03:45:27 PM by adentice:
 The fact that i liked them when i was 14 (well, 16) and still like them now says a lot for me. There's a lot of stuff that i liked as a teenager that makes me cringe now. Blink did a great job of remaining relevant, and getting better. I, and i guess most of Blink's legions of fans, could care less about a critical reappraisal. They're not that sort of band really are they? Bring on the side projects!
Posted 11/10/2005 - 03:55:02 PM by J_R_K_:
 "they made lots of money comment". next time you listen to a hip hop mp3 where they boast about making money, please delete it, because making money = bad music.
Posted 11/10/2005 - 04:08:41 PM by wmdavidson:
 I didn't say money => bad music, just that it =/=> good music.
Posted 11/10/2005 - 05:22:47 PM by TheBrad:
  that you have a sudden urge to breast feed. Oh lordy that's funny. But you're still an anonymous blip on a sitecounter. Thanks for playing!
Posted 11/10/2005 - 06:02:15 PM by brente:
 a girl once introduced me to her brother by saying "...he doesn't like punk," by which she meant that i didn't like blink-182. when in fact, the truth was that she couldn't handle my punk. in summary, it is ok to like this stuff because of nostalgia or because it makes you feel good, but if you think it is making you smarter or better than me, you are wrong. also, there is too much other good music out there waiting to be discovered to waste time on obvious stuff that is thrown in your face by THE MAN. ...then again, if you were only like seven years old i forgive you. there was a time i dug michael bolton, meat loaf, and (shiver) weird al...
Posted 11/10/2005 - 06:27:23 PM by adentice:
 Haha - I don't think there's a person on this earth who has dropped their love of Blink into a conversation to demonstrate their intellectual superiority...
Posted 11/10/2005 - 06:35:57 PM by chronic2000:
 "But you're still an anonymous blip on a sitecounter. Thanks for playing!" says TheBrad, Staff Member at Stylus. Unfortunately for Stylus and yourself, TheBrad, the review which has rained a shitstorm of criticism on your heads was not an anonymous blip on an anonymous website. Thank YOU for playing TheBrad, on behalf of my anonymous self and Pitchfork's staffmembers, who all just congratulated each other on being better than you.
Posted 11/10/2005 - 06:50:56 PM by AlfredSoto:
 What does nostalgia have to do with criticism? If you listen to bad music because it reminds you of that great joint you shared with your 12th grade girlfriend, you're just a fool.
Posted 11/10/2005 - 07:57:16 PM by pabanks46:

I fell in love with the girl at the rock show She said "what?" and I told her that I didn't know She's so cool, gonna sneak in through her window Everything's better when she's around Can't wait until her parents go out of town I fell in love with the girl at the rock show

Blink 182 is not punk, pop-punk, or power pop, they're gheyXcore. thnxforplayingmmkaygtfobye
Posted 11/10/2005 - 09:29:17 PM by adentice:
 "thnxforplayingmmkay"... *click* *lock* BAM! I love the way you indie Nazis just WILL NOT ALLOW anyone else to like music that you don't like (and I'm not a popist or whatever, by the way). Try to calm down, and maybe look to channel all that anger towards something slightly more constructive.
Posted 11/11/2005 - 01:02:14 AM by IanMathers:
 Oh yeah, this deluge of idiocy was totally unexpected. Whitboysushi in I-was-a-horrible-person-in-real-life-high-school-too shocker! pabanks in vaguely-homophobic-but-too-chicken-to-admit-it shocker!
Of course, I loathe "All The Small Things", but so many of these guys singles from "Adam's Song" to "Always" (which I can't believe Andrew underrates!) are great pop.
Also, brente, there is no music that makes you smarter or better; there may be music that spurs you to make yourself smarter or better, but that firstly has more to do with yourself than the music and secondly doesn't only reside in certain genres or stratas of music.
And Alfred, I see your point, but couldn't the argument be made that for a song to attach itself to strongly to a period in your life may say something good about it, especially if you look back at that connection with fondness?
Posted 11/11/2005 - 01:44:05 AM by antimatter:
 what's the problem here?
Posted 11/11/2005 - 01:48:26 AM by pabanks46:
 Its not about allowing or not allowing someone to like something. Andrew can like what he pleases. However, this is a public review with comments. He can like what he wants, but the WHOLE REASON for having comments is to allow for responses (duh) and, believe it or not, people might just respond negatively to a review now and then, ESPECIALLY when the subject is a band that was force fed to millions of us for half a decade. Diapers and streaking are not funny. All their songs have very similar chord progressions. You put some corp-punk band on the front page and praise them to the sky, you're gonna get called out.

And Ian, get over yourself, if you couldn't tell, the |337 speak was a patronizing way to show my annoyance at Blink being praised. If you spend 1 sec. on SLSK, you'll see what that's about. Don't be obnoxious while basically calling others obnoxious. That makes you obnoxious and a hippocrite. That = worse.

Posted 11/11/2005 - 03:05:42 AM by BeeOKay:
 This was a great thread but the real reason for this follow up is because I needed to add something. Andrew is the Good Doctor Bill from ILM isn’t he? Have no idea if he was one of those who responded but if I’m right about that than he has heard T. Rex or the Velvet Underground by now and knows that Blink don’t even compare to something like Green Day in the first place. Don’t like them either but at least have respect for what they have done. Hell I have a bunch of guilty pleasers as well and embarrassingly bring them up all the time. Overall I still realize that bands place and if I wrote reviews than would consider their real place in Rock. It was some of the words used in this review that made me respond in the first place but I bought some of that up already, while other have done a good job of bringing up some other points.
Posted 11/11/2005 - 04:47:51 AM by 1900usa:
 I quite enjoyed how this thread went from fair criticism of Andrew's review (which, to be fair, is a based on personal preference) to mudslinging between staffers and readers. SWEET. I don't mind some of blink's songs, but i don't love 'em either. This is a divisive band. And Alfred, I agree with you 100%.
Posted 11/11/2005 - 05:03:50 AM by vinegar:
 Fine, fine review. I'm 33, so don't relate at all to Blink-182 arriving at some crucial point in your youth (I was old even back then), but anyone who can't hear that a lot of these songs are great, great pop is DEAF. Those Green Day boys don't have half the ear for a tune these lads have. (& Sleater-Kinney?? Lay off the crack will you?) Also, nostalgia and a writer's personal experiences with a band are excellent ways of approaching a review [in fact, drawing on your own personal experience is the only correct way of reviewing]. What else is there? Being 'objective'? You ppl actually think that exists? Knowing a band's 'place' in rock? What kind of defeatist-canonical thinking is that? And how is that ever going to make for an interesting review? My God, the whole anti-rockism wars have been in vain, haven't they? I hate people. (But loved the review. Keep up good work, etc)
Posted 11/11/2005 - 05:36:47 AM by RoqueStrew:
 It is a great review; Andrew's wonderful. It's just I can't get behind Blink, perhaps because of my anti-nostalgia for those days (valid enough for a listener, if not for a critic) + I think pop-punk's been sliding downhill since the Buzzcocks.
Posted 11/11/2005 - 05:47:27 AM by vinegar:
 What else is a critic but a listener+a writer? Also, I feel pop has been sliding downhill since the Chiffons.
Posted 11/11/2005 - 08:17:46 AM by whiteboysushi:
 "Whitboysushi in I-was-a-horrible-person-in-real-life-high-school-too shocker!" To be fair, it was middle school, and I preferred the word 'impish'.
Posted 11/11/2005 - 12:44:30 PM by ddrake:
 Is it too late to review Britney Spears greatest hits? I'm in the mood.
Posted 11/11/2005 - 03:50:17 PM by TheBrad:
 chronic2000, baby: there ain't no shame in being read last, unless you're the type of person who visits sites in an order based on a predetermined mental ranking, in which case... dang.

People, I keep saying this: e-mail me if you're in Texas; we'll shoot some pool. I won't even make you prove your interweb credentials or your relative worth compared to mine. I write breathless prose about Brutal Juice and Bar-Kays basslines, but I really need foosball partners. Everyone in the warehouse sucks.

who all just congratulated each other... Who knew you all read webpages collectively? The solidarity on your end is humbling. This is getting silly. I can't stand Blink, but neither can I stomach Yes or Hall and Oates, so hats off to Andrew. He's not the amateur.

Oh and thanks for using my full comment handle much love son
Posted 11/12/2005 - 02:06:57 AM by moobear:
 no matter what band or album you are discussing, no matter how bad they are (not to say blink-182 is the absolute nadir of music) there is someone, somewhere, who will get all revisionist on it, proclaiming it great. this review is ridiculous, a joke. people can really let themselves get carried away... and jhitting, you're an idiot.
Posted 11/15/2005 - 09:54:16 AM by J_R_K_:
 originally, i said this about blink a band that had a good time all the time, and yeah, made lots of money.
then here's what wm said: ultra-compelling arguments "they're rich" and
I didn't say money => bad music, just that it =/=> good music.
basically, my point is this. some bands can deal with success. some can't. sublime? they couldn't persevere like blink 182 could. and you know what? you can fall back on your simple minded "rockist or popist" argument solver if you want, but in the end, i'd rather have a band around for 20 years and putting out greatest hits than succumbing to the pressure after a couple LPs.
Posted 11/15/2005 - 03:04:58 PM by wmdavidson:
 JRK, my response was mostly directed at jhitting's comment that Blink-182's "big pile of money" trumped objections to their musical/artistic credibility. Your post seemed to be in support of that view so I lumped them together in my response. If I misinterpreted your meaning than please disregard my response w.r.t. you. My point is that "it's popular so it must be good" makes as little sense as "it's obscure so it must be good."
Posted 11/25/2005 - 09:26:16 PM by qwerty:
 I agree with who ever said that people here are being up-tight. I'm no Blink fan and i'd never want to buy one of thier albums but i'd have no problem if I happened to be somewhere their Greatest Hits was playing. So what if Andrew ties hearing them to growing up. We all have bands like that mine is Supergrass and their recent retrospective has the same impact as this no doubt does for him. Would you have prefereed to read a review by a 40 year old who gave it a D? Blink were good at what they do and this is the best way to enjoy them.