Audio Remasterer: Maria Triana.
Liner Note Author: Bill Kopp.
So what's so special about yet another Eddie Money compilation? There are already more than 20. It's a fair question, especially since classic rock radio has distilled a truly impressive run of charting singles and albums from the pre- to post-MTV era down to "Two Tickets to Paradise," "Baby Hold on to Me," and "Take Me Home Tonight/Be My Baby." On The Complete Hits and More!, Real Gone compiles 35 tracks from Money's Columbia period onto two discs that offer a fully rounded portrait of the artist, and offers proof of his considerable achievement as a pop singer and -- perhaps more importantly -- as a hit songwriter. Money wrote or co-wrote 15 of these cuts -- two of the three aforementioned singles, as well as "Shakin'," "Think I'm in Love," and "Gimme Some Water," to name a few in this set.
There are 24 charting singles here, all but one made the Top 100, and 11 of them landed in the Top 40. Every one of the singles included charted either in the States, Europe, and/or Australia. In addition to hits and misses, the producers have added the Livin' It Up EP, originally issued as a promo-only 12" to promote Money's 1978 sophomore album, Life for the Taking. This is the first time it has been commercially released on disc. One of the highlights is the live "Gimme Some Water" that features Vince Gill as a guest. (He had just joined Pure Prairie League.) Also included are a handful of fine non-single album tracks including "Trinidad" from 1980's Playing for Keeps, "Where's the Party" from the 1983 album of the same name (co-produced by Money and Tom Dowd), and "She Takes My Breath Away" from 1992's Unplug It In EP.
This set is worth investigating not for the obvious singles -- those can be had on any other comp -- but for the ones that can't: "Let's Be Lovers Again" is a soulful duet with the great Valerie Carter that hit number 65, "Club Michelle" (number 66), "Heaven in the Back Seat" (number 58), and "Save a Little Room in Your Heart for Me" (number 102) are among them. The contents have been beautifully remastered by Maria Triana, and the fully illustrated 20-page booklet is comprehensively annotated by Bill Kopp. While Complete Hits and More! is a no brainer for Money's devotees, the music contained is worthy of deeper consideration by any serious rock and pop enthusiast. ~ Thom Jurek