Greatest Hits

Greatest Hits

by Half JapaneseHalf Japanese


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As Byron Coley says in his entertaining piece in the liner notes, "They have no hits by standards that Howard Cosell would appreciate." But by the time Greatest Hits came out, Half Japanese had gained an international fan base, released more records than many well-known bands have ever done, and had Kurt Cobain singing their praises. So even if the title is curious, the impulse behind the collection isn't and, given the scattered discography of the band, Greatest Hits is the perfect place for a neophyte to take the plunge. Two discs packed to the brim with Jad Fair and company's particular rock & roll vision means a lot of listening, but there's no pretense at any one way to give the release an ear -- there's no chronological order, just a slew of songs that one can dip in and out of at leisure. Pretty much every album up to that point is represented at least once, from the original 1/2 Gentlemen/Not Beasts set to 1992's Boo! and, while lineups and fidelity fluctuates wildly, not to mention the particular styles tried out, it's all clearly one particular approach at heart. Jad Fair's love-it-or-hate-it voice (and sometimes David Fair's more conventional approach) tackles everything from "My Sordid Past" to "Salt and Pepper" and back again, and his fluctuating crew keeps everything a ragged delight. For the hardcore, five otherwise unreleased tracks do surface. A cover of Jimmie Rodgers' "T for Texas" features Eugene Chadbourne as a duet partner, while the on-the-face-of-it surprising 1993 remake of Primal Scream's "Movin' on Up" becomes an enjoyable rave-up in the band's own garage-y way. "King Kong" makes for an amusing biography of said character, while "Amazing Clock" and "Identical Twins" are also enjoyable. David Fair's enjoyable and encouraging essay "How to Play Guitar" makes for a great final touch.

Product Details

Release Date: 03/13/1995
Label: Safehouse Records
UPC: 0054895211829
catalogNumber: 2118

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Half Japanese   Primary Artist
Eugene Chadbourne   Guitar,Harmonica,Vocals
Gary Windo   Saxophone
Kramer   Organ,Bass,Guitar,Keyboards
Rebby Sharp   Guitar
Jad Fair   Guitar,Harmonica,Vocals
Lisa Mednick   Keyboards
Terry Adams   Piano
Pippin Barnett   Drums
Hank Beckmeyer   Bass,Guitar
George Cartwright   Saxophone
David Doris   Saxophone
John Dreyfuss   Saxophone
Rick Dreyfuss   Drums
David Fair   Guitar,Percussion,Vocals
Fred Frith   Guitar
Don Fleming   Guitar,Vocals
Mick Hobbs   Guitar
Scott Jarvis   Drums
David Licht   Conga
John Sluggett   Guitar
Jay Spiegel   Drums
Moe Tucker   Drums
John Zorn   Saxophone
Joe Martinelli   Drums
Tim Foljahn   Guitar
Rob Kennedy   Bass
Howard Wuelfing   Bass
Mark Jickling   Guitar
Danny Finney   Saxophone
Gilles V. Rieder   Drums
Lana Zabko   Saxophone
Jason Willett   Bass
Richard Labrie   Drums
Steve Johnson   Guitar

Technical Credits

Eugene Chadbourne   Contributor
Harry Nilsson   Composer
Half Japanese   Producer
Kramer   Producer
Jad Fair   Composer,Producer
Phil Spector   Composer
Hank Beckmeyer   Producer
David Fair   Composer,Liner Notes
Bobby Gillespie   Composer
Andrew Innes   Composer
Moe Tucker   Producer
Ritchie Valens   Composer
Don Zientara   Producer
Eppo Krol   Producer
Gilles V. Rieder   Producer
Byron Coley   Liner Notes
Robert Young   Composer
Luis Martínez Serrano   Composer

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