33 1/3: Greatest Hits Volume 2 (Continuum Books)

When a musician builds up a body of work, it makes sense to put out a career retrospective aimed at those who just want the highlights. Although that concept doesn’t really lend itself to books, it does make a certain amount of sense for the 33 1/3 series, since each volume is dedicated to a single album, and a sampler could be useful for someone new to the series, which is now more than fifty books deep. The second volume of “hits” collects twenty passages on albums as different as Kick Out The Jams, Paul’s Boutique, Loveless and Born In The USA, to name but a few, with the common thread being that each is widely hailed as a classic. Jumping from one story fragment to another every 10-25 pages is jarring, but it gives you just enough to decide if you want to seek out individual volumes – and isn’t that exactly what a good sampler should do?