Sublime's career ended before it had the chance to really take off. Lead singer/songwriter Bradley Nowell died two months before the release of their 1996 major-label debut, Sublime. That record turned out to be a blockbuster, partially because it arrived at the right time and partially because the band's tragic loss gave them increased exposure. Hence, a promising band had its career cut short just as it was beginning to define its sound. Since the band proved to be commercially viable, the posthumous releases began appearing swiftly, only a year after Nowell's death, culminating in 1999's Greatest Hits. Ultimately, Sublime wound up having as many posthumous releases as they did regular albums -- three of each. Naturally, that means there's not a whole lot of material to form the basis of Greatest Hits, and the disc is surprisingly brief, weighing in at only ten tracks. All the usual suspects are here, with the three big hits -- "What I Got," "Wrong Way," and "Santeria" -- filling the first three slots, with such fan favorites as "40oz. to Freedom," "Date Rape," "Smoke Two Joints," "Doin' Time," "Saw Red," and "Badfish" following them. There are no rarities here and only one song ("Badfish") from the posthumous albums; the only bait for collectors and diehards are CD-ROM versions of the "What I Got" and "Wrong Way" videos. Some could complain that this all is a little skimpy, but there really wasn't much more that the compilers could do -- this is the sort of collection that will never appeal to diehards, who already have three albums of unreleased material (and possibly bootlegs), so this is for the fans who liked these songs on the radio. Greatest Hits delivers those songs, no more and no less. Of course, many of those songs are on Sublime as well, which is a stronger record overall than this, but since this rounds up the best moments from 40oz. to Freedom and Robbin' the Hood, it's a better choice for casual fans.
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
feat: Gwen Stefani