Released to commemorate the band's quarter-century anniversary, 2012's 25
is a double-disc compilation that digs deep into Blues Traveler
's career. The first disc contains the hits and album tracks -- not all of them, with the 1997 Top 40 hit "Most Precarious" being the most conspicuous absence -- but the core of the jam band's canon is here, including "But Anyway," "Run-Around," "Hook," "The Mountains Win Again," and "Carolina Blues," topped off with a newly recorded cover of Sublime
's "What I Got." That's just the beginning of the collector bait: the rest of the retrospective is devoted to B-sides, rarities, and outtakes, including such nuggets as an early version of "Run-Around" called "The Poignant and Epic Saga of Featherhead and Lucky Lack," a brand new Gunslinger Remix of "Run Around," a version of "But Anyway" from 1988, and all four cuts from the 2000 EP Decisions of the Sky: A Traveler's Tale of Sun and Storm
, including the 20-minute saga "Traveler's Suite." Combined, the hits and the rarities may not have one specific targeted audience -- the casual fans will like the first, the hardcore the second, and neither may necessarily have the need for the other -- but taken together the two discs show Blues Traveler at both their most accessible and their most adventurous, so, in a sense, it is a representative introduction.