What does it sound like?:
Coming out on 1st February, The Best of Everything does pretty much what it says on the tin. It brings together the best of Tom’s work with The Heartbreakers, his solo songs, collaborations and his ‘pre-Heartbreakers’ band, Mudcrutch.
It is 38 tracks of some of my favourite American rock. I mean, Freefalling into Mary Jane’s Last Dance, into You Wreck Me, into I Won’t Back Down… and that’s just the first 4 tracks of the first CD…what’s not to like?
You get every type of Tom you want; the Zep blues Tom (I Should Have Known It), the reflective Tom (Wildflowers), the political Tom (Southern Accents), the lover Tom (The Waiting) and the rocker Tom (Jammin’ Me.) You get Byrds Tom (Listen To Her Heart), you get Jeff Lynne Tom (Into The Great Wide Open) and you get that unique, wistful Tom (Dreamville.) There are precious deep cuts like The Best of Everything, The Last DJ and American Dream Plan B.
So what’s missing? There’s not enough off Tom’s best album, Wildflowers, for me. The trio of 5 minute epics, It’s Good To Be King, Crawling Back To You and the gorgeous Wake Up Time are all absent. The 4 Mudcrutch selections are terrific but it is missing their best song, Crystal River. But these are minor quibbles and, if you’re a fan, you probably have them already and can make your own version of this album.
This album is a wonderful collection of the best work of a great songwriter. There is not a duffer on it and, for 2 hours 26 minutes, you can rejoice in the work of one of the best.
What does it all *mean*?
It reminds you of a time when an independent, tough, stubborn artist could still find a place in the world, making music that thrilled millions. It reminds you that, in a career spanning over 40 years, Tom wrote some absolute classics. And it reminds you what an absolute dream of a band The Heartbreakers were.
Goes well with…
A sunny day, a candlelit evening, a glass of red, a lunchtime pint, a loud stereo, an empty house.
Might suit people who like…
Great songwriting, great musicians, classic rock.