Once upon a time, very long ago, greatest hits collections were a worthwhile purchase for music fans seeking a band's best work. But now that every song is available on YouTube and a whole catalog takes up no physical space on a hard drive, the best-of compilation has become somewhat of a dinosaur. Outside of the Beatles' 1, it's been a long time since a Greatest Hits comp made a mark on the chart, and even longer since the Eagles' Their Greatest Hits (1971-1975) sold 29 million copies. Still, every record label reserves the right to release hits collections for its artists, and EMI will do so on November 29th with Gorillaz' The Singles Collection: 2001-2011.
A Gorillaz comp is especially needless since pretty much everyone who listens to Damon Albarn's cartoon band already owns their three studio albums (and one free iPad LP). However, EMI releasing a hits collection now might signify the band's run -- or at least their time with the label -- is coming to an end. When Radiohead parted ways with EMI in 2007, the company quickly responded with Radiohead: The Best Of. Is this the case with Gorillaz? On the band's official site, fictional band member Murdoc wrote, "Gorillaz are TEN. Ten years old, eh? T.E.N. What's that stand for? The End is Nigh...!" Rumors about the death of Gorillaz first surfaced in February, and although the source was shady, it might also be correct.
In addition to Gorillaz, Albarn has been busy reuniting with Blur, writing operas about occult figures, and recording music in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The NME adds that Damon is also involved in some musical capacity with the 2012 London Olympics, and that he's considering releasing music as "Damon Albarn" for once. "I'd like to do a record with my own name on it. That's the next one I want to make," Albarn said. Guess that means you can forget about a Good, the Bad, and the Queen reunion.
The Singles Collection: 2001-2011 features a dozen songs culled from Gorillaz's self-titled debut, Demon Days, and Plastic Beach, the awesome one-off single "Doncamatic," and two remixes. Pretty boring, but this isn't even close to being the worst greatest hits collection: The Sex Pistols released one real LP, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols, yet those same songs keep popping up on a handful of best-ofs. The Stone Roses released two studio albums, yet have two hits collections in their discography: The Complete Stone Roses (which isn't even close to being "complete") and The Very Best of the Stone Roses. Even hair band Enuff Z'Nuff have two greatest hits comps, and The Amp can't name two songs by that band.