Collaboration post! Sarca from Caught Me Gaming and Kevin from Buried On Mars take on The Tragically Hip, Canada’s National band! Each week, we will travel through the history of releases by The Tragically Hip, going through EVERYTHING they’ve ever released in audio and video form – studio album, live show, video releases. So don’t forget to check out Kevin’s blog too!
Need to catch up? Previously:
- The Tragically Hip – My “Un-plucked” History
- Review: The Tragically Hip EP (1987)
- Review: Up to Here (1989)
- Review: Road Apples (1991)
- Review: Fully Completely (1992)
- Review: Day For Night (1994)
- Review:Trouble At the Henhouse (1996)
- Review: Live Between Us (1997)
- Review: Phantom Power (1998)
- Review: Music @ Work (2000)
- Review: In Violet Light (2002)
- Review: In Between Evolution (2004)
- Review: That Night in Toronto (DVD)(2005)
Yer Favourites is a 2-CD greatest hits compilation by the Tragically Hip, released as a part of the Hipeponymous boxset, but was also sold as a separate package. Save for two bonus tracks, each song in this set was chosen by fans. The band had sent a call out on their website back in the day for fans to “submit yer favourites.” What can I say, I missed out on that call…then again I would have just been pulling songs from the Hip’s first five albums, and not the full 9 albums plus EP that Yer Favourites contains. There are a total of 35 familiar tunes, with two bonus tracks, and the distribution of songs chosen show which albums are most popular with fans:
- Seven Fully Completely
- Six Road Apples
- Five Phantom Power
- Four Up to Here
- Four Day for Night
- Two Trouble at the Henhouse
- Two Music @ Work
- Two In Violet Light
- Two In Between Evolution
- One from EP
- Two new tracks
The collection starts with a kickass bonus track called No Threat. This is a modern rock n’ roll tune; catchy and fresh. We are then lead down the Hip Memory Highway, starting with the familiar Grace, Too, and from there it’s a great 154 minute trip through the band’s catalogue thus far. The journey ends with another bonus song, called The New Maybe, a gentle acoustic guitar track.
The songs on this collection have been remastered and they do sound a little different to my ears. For some of them, there is a crispness; you can hear this particularly in the song Fiddler’s Green; Gord Downie’s countdown at its start is very clear, whereas I don’t recall it being so clear on the Road Apples album. Four songs got the remix treatment – Looking For a Place to Happen, Courage (For Hugh MacLennon), Fully Completely and At the Hundredth Meridian. A couple of them get a slight overhaul from their original, where guitar, bass or drums get a bump, becoming more prominent than heard before (Looking For a Place to Happen, Courage). The remix of At the Hundredth Meridian treats the guitar arrangement a bit differently from the original, and the backing vocals are much more prominent, but, I don’t mind it. Fully Completely is noticeably different: Its original had suffered a little from “echo-itis” with Gord sounding like he was singing in an empty warehouse with a tambourine. The remix tones that echo down considerably, and kicks Mr. Tambourine out. I like it! Now, should these remixes be on a compilation such as Yer Favourites? Traditionally, I get annoyed when bands put remixes on a greatest hits compilation: those are NOT the versions I am familiar with! BUT, strangely, I wasn’t irritated by the remixed songs here, and I found myself mostly nodding in agreement with the direction they went in the new cuts. So, your mileage may vary, but I’m fine with ’em here…this time.
I always knew Hip fans had great taste, and it shows in the tunes they chose for this compilation. Each song on Yer Favourites is like a “ooh! I love this song!” surprise, and I don’t think I would swap out a single song. Would I add any? I could easily name the rest of the tracks from Fully Completely, but that might be overkill, lol. Honestly, I’ve complained about the Hip not editing tracks, and this compilation’s setlist is excellent.
The greatest part of a fullsome package such as Yer Favourites is that everyone equally benefits: listeners new to the Tragically Hip who are looking for an intro to the band should buy this, and those who have been lifelong fans will have all their favourites in one set. Yer Favourites caters to both well. I recommend the investment; you won’t be disappointed!
The Tragically Hip
Thanks for reading! Be sure to check out Kevin’s take!