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Mourning Greatest Hits Albums and Reissues

Stephen Thomas Erlewine, writing in 2016:

A released album—whether it arrives via vinyl, cassette, CD, or MP3—is something that can be passed along or excerpted, but it will always exist as a common point of reference. Playlists, as wonderful as they often are, are not a substitute for an official compilation. They exist in their own walled gardens and, even if they’re shared, they’re subject to the whims of users and licenses; there’s no guarantee that the playlist heard in January will be the same one heard in July. When we lose this commonality, we start to lose the vernacular that makes pop music, in all its forms, a shared experience.

Via Pitchfork.