Thursday, December 26, 2013

Best Of The Best Of: Part Two

Hit & Fun (2007)

Tokyo I'm on My Way
Umi e To
Nagisa ni matsuwaru etc.
Hi Hi
Hataraku Otoko
Akai Buranko
Curcuit no Musume
Puffy no Rule
Kore ga Watashi no Ikiru Michi
Mogura Like
Boogie Woogie No.5
Teen Titans Theme
Hito ni Yasashiku
Ai no Shirushi
Invisible Tomorrow
Hazumu Rizumu
Asia no Junshin
Call Me What You Like *
Go Baby Power Now *
Basket Case (Live) *
* Bonus track on limited edition

“Hit & Fun” mostly covers the albums from “Spike” through “Honeycreeper” and I think this is a great selection of songs for the period of time between the aforementioned albums.  On the main disc, “Otomemoriaru” is the only new song added to the disk, but it is a really great song and highlights what Ami and Yumi can achieve vocally that almost no other artists can.    The bonus disc from the limited edition of “Hit & Fun” adds a couple of English language tracks, a remix and a live cover of Green Day’s “Basketcase.”  For a small amount more, that bonus disc really bumps up “Hit & Fun” as a compilation CD and barring a monstrous compilation cd this would be towards the top… which is what happened with the release of “15”.

Selection: A
Packaging: B+
Value: A (A+ with bonus cd)
Overall: A

15 (2011)

Disc 1
1. Someone
2. Kore ga Watashi no Ikirumichi
3. Oriental Diamond
4. Boogie Woogie No. 5
6. Hi Hi
7. boom boom beat
8. Red Swing
9. Nice Buddy
10. Ai no Shirushi
12. Circuit no Musume
13. Hiyori Hime
14. My Story
15. Mole-Like
16. Nagisa ni Matsuwaru Et Cetera
17. All Because Of You
18. R.G.W.
19. Happy Birthday
20. Asia no Junshin

Disc 2
1. Shall We Dance?
2. Kimi to Otobai
3. Radio Tokyo
5. Violet
6. Jet Police
7. Hazumu Rhythm
8. Puffy's Rule
9. Security Blanket
10. Bring it on
11. Yokubou
12. Wedding Bell
13. Friends
14. Kirei na Namida ga Tarinai yo
15. UREI
16. Jet Love
17. Kimi ga Suki
18. Tokusuru Karada
19. Bye Bye  

Puffy celebrates their fifteen year anniversary with the release of “15” and it is a monstrous double disc release that eats every previous release for dinner.  If someone asked me “What best of album Puffy’s should I buy?” I would without hesitation say this is the one.  Rodney Greenblat makes a welcome return to doing a Puffy album cover and interior art.  This in itself is a greatest hits of his previous Puffy singles covers.  The twin disk set is packaged in a cardboard slipcase that really adds to the special nature of this compilation.  Additionally the limited edition included a towel with Greenblat’s art and that was well worth the few hundred extra yen.  The bonus DVD is not a big deal, though the Ami Yumi Emi version of "Asia no Junshin" is fun.

“15” covers Puffy’s career arc in a way no other compilation has to date save “Jet Fever.” 

As in my review of “15” I will note that some albums are disproportionately represented, specifically “Bring it!” which arguably Puffy’s weakest release.  I will say this is counter balanced by the inclusion or “Urei” which is not just a great song, it is one of Puffy’s greatest songs and deserving of being included in this retrospective.   

Anyways "15" is probably the best place to start for anyone looking to discover Puffy and it is a staggering release when factoring in every component of this compilation.  

Selection: A+
Packaging: A+
Value: A
Overall: A+

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