Sony/BMG is no longer the official record label of "American Idol" (future winners and finalists from the show will record for Jimmy Iovine's Universal Records), but that isn't stopping 'em from capitalizing on their former lucrative relationship with the show...via a new compilation, American Idol 10th Anniversary - The Hits. And hey, I can't say I blame Sony. After all, it remains to be seen if Season 10 will actually spawn any gold- or platinum-sellers for Universal, but Sony's track record with "Idol" is a fairly impressive one.
The compilation, out March 15, features a song apiece from each of "Idol's" nine winners--even the ones that didn't sell so well (Taylor Hicks, who's somewhat unfairly represented on the disc by his Doobie Brothers cover instead of one of his originals, and Lee DeWyze, whose "Sweet Serendipity" only peaked at #38 on Billboard's Adult Pop Chart), or ones no longer signed to Sony/BMG (Ruben Studdard, who's also represented by a famous cover song on the album, and Taylor Hicks again).
The album only features a scant handful runners-up. While some previous "Idol"/Sony signings, like Justin Guarini, Tamyra Gray, Diana DeGarmo, Bo Bice, Katharine McPhee, David Archuleta, Allison Iraheta, Crystal Bowersox, and (this is the one really glaring omission) Jennifer Hudson didn't make the cut, Clay Aiken, Daughtry, and Adam Lambert most certainly did.
Here's the complete tracklisting:
1. Kelly Clarkson - "Since U Been Gone"
2. Ruben Studdard - "Superstar"
3. Clay Aiken - "Invisible"
4. Fantasia - "When I See U"
5. Carrie Underwood - "Before He Cheats"
6. Taylor Hicks - "Takin' It To The Streets"
7. Daughtry - "Home"
8. Jordin Sparks - "No Air"
9. David Cook - "Light On"
10. Kris Allen - "Live Like We're Dying"
11. Adam Lambert - "Whataya Want From Me"
12. Lee DeWyze - "Sweet Serendipity"
To be honest, as big of an "Idol" dork as I am, I'm not sure if American Idol 10th Anniversary - The Hits will hang together well as a start-to-finish album. It's a pretty major stylistic leap from "Since U Been Gone" to "Takin' It To The Streets" to "No Air" to "Live Like We're Dying," after all. But as a testament to the show's musical legacy, this multi-genre collection definitely serves its purpose. It might as well be titled Now That's What I Call Idol!
What really gladdens me, however, is the fact that the FULL title of this album is American Idol 10th Anniversary - The Hits Volume 1. Does that mean there'll be a second installment in this series? I sure hope so. And if there is, I already know what my dream tracklisting would be.
Yes, I am aware that many of the contestants below were never on Sony/BMG, or didn't even have "hits" per se, but indulge me here, OK? Here's my sky's-the-limit wishlist for American Idol 10th Anniversary - The Hits Volume 2:
1. Kelly Clarkson - "Never Again"
2. Fantasia - "Hood Boy"
3. Blake Lewis - "I Left My Baby For You"
4. Josiah Leming - "Maybe"
5. Brooke White - "High Hopes & Heartbreak"
6. Danny Noriega - "24/7"
7. Adam Lambert - "Music Again"
8. Kris Allen - "I Need To Know"
9. Allison Iraheta - "Friday I'll Be Over U"
10. Jackie Tohn - "What Is Love?"
11. Alex Lambert - "I Didn't Know"
12. Crystal Bowersox - "Lonely Won't Come Around"
Bonus Track: Norman Gentle - "Brit Slap"
Which Idols would YOU want to see on an "AI"-themed compilation?