Wim R. : Compilation albums are not really my cup of tea. These releases are mostly used to complete obligations towards the record company, to show a sign of life if a band is absent for a longer period or to make a quick buck. If you are lucky a band will release a new song or two on a compilation or they will dust off some live songs they have lying around. The latter two actions are meant to convince the fans of the band to buy the release.
The English band Newman has a different (and better) approach toward the phenomenon compilation album. The band is named after front man and main song writer Steve Newman, who earned his stripes in the AOR/rock field. Their releases are of a constant high quality. After ten years the band released the compilation ’Decade I’, that contained a lot of new and unheard material. With the celebration of twenty years the band releases, wait for it, ‘Decade II’. The first disc consists of songs from the period between the albums ‘Primitive Soul’ and ‘The Edge Of Balance’. The other disc holds seventeen songs with new or unreleased songs and tracks that were only available as a bonus on Japanese releases. That is the way to do it. To convince the listener the first song ‘Breaking The Barrier’ is a very good and up tempo song. And to make things even better, the next song ‘Girl Found Love’ is even better. All seventeen songs are of high quality with a good production job. The songs Newman did not see fitting for their albums, would have other bands more than happy to have these on their album. An other example is ‘One More Night’. What a great AOR song. I applaud Newman for the way how they approach making a compilation album and the high level of quality, that will satisfy the fans.