The S.O.S. Band

Greatest Hits

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2004's Greatest Hits easily tops 1995's The Best of the S.O.S. Band with a smarter and lengthier track listing. The newer compilation does, however, leave out three cuts included on its predecessor -- namely "Even When You Sleep," "No One's Gonna Love You," and "What's Wrong With Our Love Affair?" These omissions are a little puzzling, but the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. In addition to featuring the other seven numbers that were on The Best of the S.O.S. Band, Greatest Hits adds significant draws like "S.O.S. (Dit Dit Dit Dash Dash Dash Dit Dit Dit)," "Love Won't Wait for Love," and the Jam & Lewis-helmed "Just the Way You Like It." The bounty of material penned, produced, and partly performed by Jam & Lewis does illustrate how the duo occasionally resorted to reheating some of their familiar motifs -- but don't ever forget that they could outlap just about everybody during this era, even when coasting on fumes. Crammed to capacity at just over 79 minutes in duration (some tracks are wisely provided in their extended 12" mixes), Greatest Hits ties up almost everything you could want from one of the slickest and best R&B groups of the early '80s. Scattered inclusions on various-artist compilations won't do the trick; you need almost each selection here.

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