The Hits: Unplugged (2011)

1. Long, Long Way From Home 2. Cold as Ice 3. The Flame Still Burns 4. Double Vision 5. Fool For You Anyway 6. Say You Will 7. Starrider 8. Waiting For a Girl Like You 9. Feel's Like the First Time 10.Jukebox Hero 11.That's All Right


Like the disastrous Juke Box Heroes, this CD was originally part of a package that came out the same year called Feels Like The First Time, that was released, as far as I can guess, only to try to keep the band somewhat in the spotlight. This one fares a bit better. But only a bit.

This is an unplugged, acoustic set of many of the band's classics. Depending on the song, sometimes this experiment works, but sometimes it does not. There are some songs, let's face it, that just don't make the transition that well to the unplugged formula. Maybe if the artist slightly redid things on the song's arrangements, it might have a broader appeal, but these songs are mostly done in the exact same fashion as their electric counterparts. We hear an acoustic guitar instead of an electric guitar, congas instead of drums, and even get a violin solo in place of a guitar solo.

There are several tracks that do however, make the transition quite well. The middle of the record features tracks such as Fool For You Anyway, Starrider, Waiting For A Girl Like You, and, ironically Say You Will that all sound quite nice. Also in the "ok" department is the (new??) track The Flame Still Burns.

Other great originals are downright embarrassing and uncomfortable. You can just imagine how bad an unplugged version of Juke Box Hero or Double Vision might sound. They probably would have been better off had they dug deeper into their catalog and retrieved some more appropriate songs that transitioned better. Had they done that, though, the record would have included a lot of "non-hits", meaning the record wouldn't have been as appealing and wouldn't have sold as well. Which, as I mentioned, is really the only reason why they did such a project in the first place.

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