The Best of Sugar Ray

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
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. ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - David Sprague
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.
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."
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 1/29/2008
  • Label: Rhino
  • UPC: 081227994228
  • Catalog Number: 399548

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Shot of Laughter (3:42)
  2. 2 Answer the Phone (3:58)
  3. 3 Fly (4:53)
  4. 4 Someday (4:04)
  5. 5 Under the Sun (3:22)
  6. 6 Every Morning (3:41)
  7. 7 Mean Machine (2:42)
  8. 8 Falls Apart (4:16)
  9. 9 Time After Time (3:56)
  10. 10 Rhyme Stealer (2:53)
  11. 11 When It's Over (3:39)
  12. 12 Rpm (3:22)
  13. 13 Is She Really Going Out With Him? (3:50)
  14. 14 Psychedelic Bee (1:54)
  15. 15 Chasin' You Around (3:38)
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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 Jr. Engineer
Reggie Collins Discographical Annotation, 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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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    What a surprise

    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.

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