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Best of What's Around, Vol. 1
     

The Best of What's Around, Vol. 1

4.2 5
by Dave Matthews Band
 
The Dave Matthews Band have never been prone to doing the expected, and that mercurial nature is reflected in the unique structure of this, their first "greatest hits" collection. The quotation marks aren't meant to indicate a lack of firepower in the grooves of the two-disc set but to point out that Matthews and company didn't simply extract the most recognizable

Overview

The Dave Matthews Band have never been prone to doing the expected, and that mercurial nature is reflected in the unique structure of this, their first "greatest hits" collection. The quotation marks aren't meant to indicate a lack of firepower in the grooves of the two-disc set but to point out that Matthews and company didn't simply extract the most recognizable material from their previous releases. Yes, there are a dozen studio favorites tucked into the grooves of The Best of What's Around's first disc -- notably "Crash into Me" and the full eight-minute version of "Crush" -- but those offerings are augmented by a second CD laden with live material that's seeing the light of day for the first time. The concert stage is the band's natural habitat, and they stalk it with plenty of fire on these songs, which were culled from six years' worth of shows dating back to a spiraling take on "Say Goodbye" recorded at Denver's Mile High Stadium in the summer of 2000. Encompassing both quiet intensity -- in evidence on "Everyday," which features guest vocals by Matthews's South African compatriot Vusi Malsahela -- and raucous energy, which flows from the "Louie Louie" break in "Warehouse," the eight-tune salvo not only showcases the best of the DMB so far; it also lets listeners know that they can expect plenty more volumes down the road.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Thom Jurek
For those just joining the cult surrounding the Dave Matthews Band, The Best of What's Around, Vol. 1 is actually a stellar introduction. There are two discs in the package, one compiled from the group's studio offerings and a live disc of previously unreleased material (at least "officially" unreleased). But then, this set is unique in another way also: the tracks were selected by DMB fans via the band's website. This is the way best-of and compilation recordings should be issued -- by fans, not the suits upstairs. The studio disc contains two cuts from each RCA-issued album, from Under the Table and Dreaming straight through to Stand Up. To everyone's credit, there are two picks from Busted Stuff, a record that was undeserving of the ire it received from some members of the music press. Beginning at the beginning: "What Would You Say" and "Crash into Me" are obvious picks. (The latter is a track well deserving of its smash success, and one of those songs listeners will be hearing in whatever form radio goes for a very long time.) A thoroughly modern love song, its simple melody, hook, and chorus are memorable from the first time through. Other standouts from the first disc include "Crush," "Grey Street," "Grace Is Gone," and "Hunger for the Great Light." The live platter is wonderfully assembled, jumping back and forth across time from 2000 to 2006. All but one of the selections were recorded in the States, and the performances are stellar -- even the version of "Ants Marching," the most over-recorded song in DMB history and one listeners should all get a break from, is wonderfully refreshing here. There are a couple of tracks with guest performances: "Everyday" with the great Vusi Mahlasela on vocals, and a scorching read of "Louisiana Bayou" with the inimitable Robert Randolph on pedal steel (if you've never heard Randolph, get ready for a mind-blowing treat). Those uninitiated who are wondering what all the fuss has been about for the past decade get a real opportunity here to check out the very best of what's been recorded, and get a small taste of the band live as well. Longtime fans who don't already have the shows referenced here will want to pick it up for the live set alone.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/07/2006
Label:
Rca
UPC:
0828768885826
catalogNumber:
88858
Rank:
22772

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Dave Matthews Band   Primary Artist
Dave Matthews   Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Butch Taylor   Organ,Piano,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Carter Beauford   Percussion,Drums,Vocals,Group Member
Stefan Lessard   Bass,Guitar,Bass Guitar,Group Member
LeRoi Moore   Saxophone,Vocals,Woodwind,Group Member
Tim Reynolds   Acoustic Guitar,Mandolin,Electric Guitar
Boyd Tinsley   Mandolin,Vocals,Electric Violin
Vusi Mahlasela   Vocals
Robert Randolph   Pedal Steel Guitar
Rashawn Ross   Trumpet

Technical Credits

Steve Morse   Liner Notes
Richard Berry   Composer
Dave Matthews   Composer
David Matthews   Audio Production
Glen Ballard   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Scott Campbell   Audio Production
Steve Lillywhite   Producer
John Alagia   Audio Production
Mark Batson   Composer,Producer,Audio Production,String Conductor
Carter Beauford   Composer
Dave Matthews Band   Composer
Stephen Harris   Producer
Brett Kilroe   Art Direction
Wyndsor Taggart   Band Logo Design
Warren Darius Aftahi   Cover Photo
Coran Capshaw   Management

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The Best of What's Around, Vol. 1 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
"American Baby," "Grey Street" and "Crush" are my favorite songs here. There are just so many hits here. I was able to find about twelve songs here that I'll never get tired of hearing. The remaining songs were also very good. The two CDs here are now some of my favorites. Play the music samples on your computer.
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