“Best Of” Albums Aren’t So Great Anymore

A greatest-hits album once stood as a watershed _ a milestone chronicling a collection of top-rated hits, culturally significant songs or the end of a stellar career.
But in recent years, a flood of "best of" titles from acts with only few years in the business _ and performers with even fewer hits _ have called into question how great a greatest-hits collection is.
Last fall, Britney Spears released "Greatest Hits: My Prerogative," a retrospective of her chart-topping, multiplatinum recording career _ all six years of it. The Backstreet Boys put out "The Hits: Chapter One" in 2001 _ just four years after releasing their first album.
"I don't know what you'd put on a record if you've only been making records for five years. I don't know what those greatest hits would be," said veteran rocker John Mellencamp.
At least Spears and the Boys had a steady collection of hits _ or can say they have more than just one.