I recently celebrated the fifth anniversary of my very first article with Cracked. It was called "The 9 Most Unnecessary Greatest Hits Albums of All Time," and it was fantastic.
To honor the day when I made Cracked the luckiest site on the Internet, here's an update to the very first article I was ever paid money to write. These are five more of the most unnecessary greatest hits albums of all time.
5Milli Vanilli -- Greatest Hits
During their brief time as the talentless faces of what has since become the biggest joke act in music history, Fab Morvan and Rob Pilatus had three No. 1 singles in the U.S. (Fun fact: "Girl You Know It's True" is not one of them.) In total, they had five singles breach the top 10 before the most egregious lip-syncing scandal ever brought the Milli Vanilli juggernaut to a screeching halt.
So let's get one obvious question out of the way immediately: Why in the fuck are they on the cover of this greatest hits album?
Or this one?
It was established decades ago that their voices are not on any of the songs that would actually compel a person to fall for this scam. In the aftermath of that, the album that made Fab and Rob infamous was deleted and the pair were dropped from their record label. If the suits who were "duped" into believing the Milli Vanilli hoax were so ashamed of their hired faces, why not put the fat chicks and soccer dads who actually sang these shitty tunes on the cover? Right, because they tried that once already.
That's the aptly titled The Moment of Truth, Milli Vanilli's barely known second album. It was recorded prior to the lip-syncing scandal, and the album cover was supposed to have the two guys most of us knew as Milli and Vanilli on it. Obviously, that couldn't happen after that fateful night in Connecticut when the CD skipped, so the "band" was rechristened "The Real Milli Vanilli," and that photo was taken.
Have another look, because when will you see it again after today?
But here's the thing ... that's not "Milli Vanilli" either. Or at least the three people that most eyes would immediately be drawn to when looking at that photo aren't. The guys who actually sang those terrible songs are on the left and right, trying their best to not be forced out of the photo completely. In the middle we have "vocalist" Gina Mohammed, who is probably fourth but possibly third from the left. Next to her, somewhere, is Ray Horton. My best guess is that he's the one dressed like the guy who eventually killed himself. According to Wikipedia, someone named "Icy Bro" is also pictured. Assuming he's some kind of rapper and not just a super-duper douche, which is the only other direction you can take a name like that, early 1990s rap laws dictate that he must be the guy with the "high-top fade."
So how did this new version of Milli Vanilli go over with the public? So well that they eventually tried releasing the album again under a different band name after realizing that the name Milli Vanilli was going to move about as many units as a post-balcony-dangle Vanilla Ice. The second time around, they added an additional track called "Ding Dong" and changed the name to the somehow more embarrassing Try 'N' B, because all of that was bound to help.
It didn't, though, which is probably why you had next to no idea that any of these things happened. For you, the Milli Vanilli story probably ended in 1990, after one fraudulent album, just as it should have. And that's why this greatest hits collection has absolutely no reason to exist.
4Adele -- Greatest Hits
Do you know why Adele's last album was called 21? Because that's how old she was when she recorded it. That was two years ago. She hasn't released an album since then, but now, mysteriously, this greatest hits album surfaces. There is one and only one circumstance under which a person whose musical output has ceased (at least to this point) at the age of 21 gets to release a greatest hits album, and that, of course, is if you were on the plane that killed Buddy Holly and Ritchie Valens.
Obviously, Adele was not on that plane, which in the loosest terms possible kind of makes her the Waylon Jennings of her generation. But it also makes her ineligible to milk her fan base by releasing a greatest hits album. And, to her credit, she technically has not. There is no mention of this pointless waste of whatever the hell CDs and DVDs are made of on her Wikipedia discography, which is the only discography that matters when you work for the Internet.
So much to choose from!
That said, it's still available, and it doesn't look quite like a bootleg. You can buy it on eBay, for example, and they tend to frown on copyright infringement, as I learned the hard way when my eBay account was suspended in 2001 for selling MP3 discs of Oasis and Radiohead B-sides back during the glory days of Napster. That's a true story, for the record.
Alternately, it could be that Adele's record label, sensing an opportunity to extract a little more cash from her recently expanded fan base during the lull between proper albums, decided to put this on the market in places where consumers would be less likely to gripe about it. (Translation: Anywhere except the United States.) So in that way you can think about it like one of those covert missions that we always hear about our government pulling off overseas without our knowledge. Record labels do the same thing, and just like the government, sometimes we find out that it happened after the fact.
There's a good chance nobody who cares actually knows that this particular greatest hits travesty is in circulation right now. All I ask is that someone look into it. If I can't sell bootleg CDs on eBay for personal profit, the people behind this ripoff shouldn't get to either.