I am a huge Barenaked Ladies fan - I own every album and many official live "bootlegs". When I heard that the band was to release a rarities collection, I was genuinely excited. I thought to myself, "I know that there are a few unreleased songs, many b-sides, some charity songs, many many acoustic versions, hundreds of live tracks and ad-libbed songs and probably dozens of demos". However, what has been released is a lazy collection that has missed a massive opportunity.
So "Stop Us If You've Heard This Before" came out last week and I downloaded it, even knowing that the track listing was lacking. There are a few interesting unreleased songs, an unnecessary remix of "One Week" and one demo. I am not sure what the band was thinking - this is a poor CD and they have clearly missed out on sharing many more interesting tracks.
For example, there is a lovely song called "The Sound Of Your Voice" that was written by multi-instrumentalist Kevin Hearn but sung on an album by Steven Page. I have heard Kevin sing the song accompanied by an acoustic guitar and it's stunning.
Another example is their version of the John Lennon track "Oh Yoko" that appeared on a charity album. And what about songs that were bonus tracks for specific websites, the b-sides that have never been available as downloads and alternative mixes, let alone the reworked "Brian Wilson". They have recorded acoustic versions of tracks for radio stations, so they would have been available and you cant tell me that demos do not exist.
I just don't get it! With so many options available to them, they didn't just take the easy route, they didn't even decide on a route. And so I will wait for the next release, but in the meantime, I will scour the net to find the true rarities along with many other fans.