Best of Sugar Ray

The Best of Sugar Ray

4.0 1
by Sugar Ray
     
 
These Californians set out to be their generation's ultimate party band -- for the kinds of parties that don't exclude the kids and the old folks -- and as this 15-song retrospective proves, they succeeded remarkably well. Mark McGrath's affable blend of goofiness and non-threatening sex appeal -- combined with his malleable tenor -- is largely responsible for that

Overview

These Californians set out to be their generation's ultimate party band -- for the kinds of parties that don't exclude the kids and the old folks -- and as this 15-song retrospective proves, they succeeded remarkably well. Mark McGrath's affable blend of goofiness and non-threatening sex appeal -- combined with his malleable tenor -- is largely responsible for that pull, but his bandmates carry their weight by bringing an easygoing shuffle to just about everything they touch. That mellow sunniness made songs like "Fly" and "Every Morning" ubiquitous on the radio, much like lite-rock forebears such as the Association or the Mamas and Papas managed a generation before. Interestingly, the collection reaches back to the band's largely overlooked first album, which boasted a considerably rougher, funk-tinged sound, dusting off the peripatetic "Mean Machine" and the less-than-believable street-cred attempt of "Rhyme Stealer." Once they settled into their groove and lightened up (both sonically and psychically), however, times got much groovier -- as evidenced by their ability to pull off covers of songs like Joe Jackson's "Is She Really Going Out with Him?" and Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time." The latter is one of two new tunes appended to the disc, and while McGrath has cast doubt on just how much more recording lies in Sugar Ray's future, this best-of is a fine keepsake. Ain't nothin' but a good time -- and there ain't nothin' wrong with that.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
Around the time that "Every Morning" proved Sugar Ray weren't a one-hit wonder in 1998 -- following the 1997 smash "Fly," it was suggested that, at the very least, they'd be a two-hit wonder -- it became clear that the way to listen to Sugar Ray would be a greatest-hits compilation. That suspicion increased as they piled up hit singles over the next few years -- "Falls Apart" and "Someday" in 1999/2000, "Answer the Phone" and "When It's Over" in 2001 -- and when the bottom finally fell out with 2003's In the Pursuit of Leisure, which failed to generate any big hit, it became clear that it wouldn't be long before that hits disc came along. And here it is: Greatest Hits, released in the middle of June 2005, just as the summer was getting under way. That's appropriate, because Sugar Ray's breezy party music is designed for the summer, as this 15-track disc proves -- not only is it the perfect soundtrack for lazy days at the beach, lead singer Mark McGrath incessantly mentions summer in his lyrics, which just sets the mood. That mood is occasionally broken by such remnants of the group's metallic beginnings as "Rhyme Stealer" and "RPM," which stand in uneasy contrast to the sunny, friendly sound that not only brought the group fame and fortune, but made them one of the prime guilty pleasures at the turn of the millennium. These songs are all the more jarring because the collection is not presented in chronological order -- a move that wouldn't have been a problem if the disc didn't dip back to those early stilted hard rock cuts, since "Mean Machine" really spoils the mood that "Every Morning" sets. But that's nitpicking, since it's a problem that can be solved by programming, fast forward, or play lists. What's really nice about Greatest Hits is that it collects those aforementioned great guilty pleasures in one place. The rest of the album isn't as good as those hits -- some of it is just pleasant filler, some of it is ham-fisted rock -- but it's largely entertaining pop, and it makes for a good hits collection. (The disc contains three unreleased songs: the nice "Shot of Laughter," which is yet another entry in McGrath's "endless summer" catalog; a cheerful reworking of Cyndi Lauper's "Time After Time," which relates neatly to Sugar Ray's cataloging of '80s favorites on "Under the Sun"; and the punk metal of "Psychedelic Bee," whose title inadvertently brings to mind the neo-psychedelic classic by Mercury Rev, "Chasing a Bee.")

Product Details

Release Date:
06/21/2005
Label:
Warner Bros Mod Afw
UPC:
0081227462826
catalogNumber:
74628
Rank:
2049

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Sugar Ray   Primary Artist
Super Cat   Vocals
David Kahne   Keyboards
Mark McGrath   Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Murphy Karges   Bass,Bass Guitar,Group Member
Rodney Sheppard   Guitar,Background Vocals,Group Member
Stan Frazier   Guitar,Drums,Background Vocals,Group Member
Craig Bullock   scratching,Turntables,Background Vocals,Group Member

Technical Credits

Joe Jackson   Composer
Cyndi Lauper   Composer
Richard Bean   Composer
Rob Brill   Engineer
Don Gilmore   Composer,Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Rob Hyman   Composer
David Kahne   Composer,Programming,Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
William Maragh   Composer
Alan Shacklock   Composer
Abel Zarate   Composer
Joe Nichols   Composer
Larry Freemantle   Art Direction
Howard Stern   Composer
John Ewing   Engineer
Reggie Collins   Discographical Annotation
Steve Gallagher   Engineer
Ben Wallach   Engineer
John Travis   Engineer
W.S. Stevenson   Composer
McG   Producer,Audio Production
Steve Duda   Engineer
Malia Doss   Business Consultant
Mark McGrath   Composer
Murphy Karges   Composer,Liner Notes,Introduction
Rodney Sheppard   Composer
Stan Frazier   Composer
Mon "Monster" Agranat   Engineer
Chip Quigley   Management
Craig Bullock   Programming

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The Best of Sugar Ray 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
dauschielover More than 1 year ago
The only song I knew by Sugar Ray was "Fly" so I expected the other songs to be the same. While most are, there are some hard-rocking numbers on the CD, so beware ye faint of heart. Fortunately, I love hard rock too. It's just a surprise when most of the CD is calm, happy music, then all of a sudden....BANG.