(Fatboy Records © 2010)
Produced by moe.
With the release of Smash Hits Vol. 1 in the spring of 2010, moe. tackled that most predictable of career milestones – the greatest hits package – with typical irreverence and innovation. An informal poll was conducted, with the band members all chiming in with what they thought to be the group’s most popular songs – not necessarily their personal favorites, but songs that fans have reacted to strongly over the years. Then they asked the people around them – management, wives, webmasters, guitar techs, etc. – to make similar lists. The lists were then compiled and tallied, with all the votes weighed equally, and a track list emerged.
What initially began as a collection of pre-existing recordings slowly mutated, and the collection now includes eight new recordings. “We tried to license a few of the songs from the Sony albums from them,” Al recalls. “They said why don’t you license your stuff to us, and we’ll put it out?” With the limitations and constrictions of the major label still fresh in their minds, moe. politely declined. “We decided we’d re-record the Sony songs that had made it to the top ten,” he continues. “Sony owns those recordings, but not those songs. So we recorded those, along with one other song that we had never made a studio recording of. Then we mastered everything, and we realized that those songs we recorded in the apartment in Buffalo didn’t sound as great, so we actually returned to Buffalo to record at GCR Audio. “Saint Augustine”, “Mexico”, “Yodelittle” and “Spine of a Dog”. The idea is not to be revisionist: it’s just to put out a contemporary, well-made version of these songs for posterity.”
“This anthology is for first-time listeners or people who want their first taste of the breadth of our catalog,” Chuck echoes. “We didn’t agree on everything, but in the end it definitely seems like the songs we’ve chosen have had the most impact on our live shows and have last the longest as fan favorites. To a certain extent, it’s really the songs that people have responded the most to for the longest time. Once we came to that realization, it was relatively easy.”