Compiling a greatest-hits collection for Bruce Springsteen should be an easy task, yet Greatest Hits manages to miss the mark. Nothing from his first two albums is included, and the set includes such non-hits as "Atlantic City" and "The River" instead of hits like "Cover Me," "Tunnel of Love," and "Fade Away." In fact, a good portion of his hits are missing, as are important album tracks like "Backstreets," "Rosalita," and "Candy's Room," making this neither a straight hits collection nor a compilation of his best tracks. What's left are some of his biggest hits and best songs ("Born to Run," "Glory Days," "The River"), but not all of them, as well as four new tracks, the best of which is an outtake from the Born in the U.S.A. sessions ("Murder Incorporated"). Aside from "Murder Incorporated," the new tracks follow the synth-laden adult contemporary direction Springsteen began pursuing with "Streets of Philadelphia," only without the lyricism or melody. So, it's a mixed bag, drawing an incomplete portrait of one of the prime rockers of the '70s onward. Although voluminous by comparison, the three-disc The Essential Bruce Springsteen released in 2003 is a far better choice.
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AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine