The Rolling Stones
The Rolling Stones are no strangers to the “best of” compilation, having piled up a whopping 25 since Big Hits (High Tide and Green Grass), their first singles collection in 1966. Since then we have seen essential releases such as Hot Rocks 1964-1971, Jump Back (1971-1993) and most recently GRRR! (1964-2012). So the question is, why do we need another one?
Released to coincide with their now delayed North American tour, Honk features run of the mill hits like “Brown Sugar”, “Miss You” and “Wild Horses”. This stuff can be found on any Rolling Stones “best of” that focuses on their post-ABKCO period, so nothing new there. What Honk does offer is tracks like “Doom and Gloom” and the blues cover “Ride ‘Em on Down”, some of their best recent work since the late ‘80s.
If looking at it from a two-disc perspective, Honk is a very good post-1970 career-spanning retrospective. It covers all of the classic hits plus their best 21st century cuts. If taken as a three-disc perspective, then this compilation needs to be looked over again. Disc three, a live album, features the wimpy vocals of Ed Sheeran on “Beast of Burden” and Brad Paisley botching it on Mick’s ode to smack, “Dead Flowers”. The squeaky clean pop stars have no business on any Rolling Stones compilations. To feature them on a “best of” is a complete abomination and an obvious attempt at trying to stay modern. No matter how hard they try the Stones will never be seen as modern. It’s a shame that these cuts were included because it drags down the flow of the rest of the compiled live album.
Essentially Honk is just an extended version of Jump Back, featuring more recent entries that include songs released between Voodoo Lounge to Blue & Lonesome. Hell, even the cover is a blatant copy of its 1993 predecessor. Whether or not it’s worth it to fork out the cash for yet another Stones compilation depends on your level of fandom. Either way it’s no Hot Rocks.