Just because the double-CD Anthology practically triples the tracks of 1992's The Baddest of George Thorogood & the Destroyers, features better fidelity, more informative liner notes, songs recorded for four more albums, and a handful of rarities, doesn't make it the better collection. A little bit of Thorogood's meat and potatoes mix of Chuck Berry riffs, Elmore James slide guitar, and stripped-down Hound Dog Taylor house rocking goes an awfully long way, and a double-disc dose of similar sounding, non-stop rocking becomes mind-numbing over the course of more than two hours of in-your-face boogie. As you'd expect, all of the Delaware pile-driving guitarist's recorded highlights are here, including six concert recordings that catch the band in their natural habitat. Thorogood and his road-hardened crew will bring any crowd to a frenzy, but having to wade through what amounts to the same three chords, albeit ones played with dogged enthusiasm and robust fervor, for 30 tracks without the sweat, beer, and infectious energy of actually being there, makes for a tiring and repetitious experience. Although you have to admire the guy for sticking to his guns for three decades, the lack of ballads, or really any change-ups chosen for this set, presents a limited, one-sided picture of this rugged rocker. Thorogood's individual albums include the occasional country or novelty tune, and his versions of Frank Zappa's "Trouble Everyday," Nick Lowe's "Half a Boy, Half a Man," or the trucking classic "Six Days on the Road," none of which are found here, would have made for a far more listenable and somewhat more eclectic compilation. Rough, tough, and unfailingly intense, Anthology is just too much reelin' and rocking for all but the most die-hard fan.
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AllMusic Review by Hal Horowitz
Track Listing - Disc 1
Track Listing - Disc 2