by: The Go-Go's

The hits collection Greatest tries to reduce the Go-Go's' career to that of a mainstream pop/rock band, downplaying their punk and new wave roots. Of course, those can't be entirely erased, especially since the hits "Our Lips Are Sealed" and "We Got the Beat" form the core of the collection, but the song selection on the 14-track compilation leans a little too heavily on latter-day material and lesser songs, including an extraneous, previously unreleased cover of "Cool Jerk" that was added as bait for collectors. As a brief overview, Greatest is adequate, since it does contain all the hit singles, but it's also misleading, since it doesn't capture the group's punky spirit. Nevertheless, it's a cheaper, more manageable introduction than the double-disc set Return to the Valley of the Go-Go's, even though serious fans should choose that collection instead. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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