O, Yeah! Ultimate Aerosmith Hits

For many, this set's key selling point is also its biggest flaw.

For many, this set's key selling point is also its biggest flaw. O, Yeah! was the first of the many Aerosmith collections to combine the act's early material with its post-reunion repertoire. Having at long last combined the two, this set also illustrates perfectly why the band has lost many of its early fans. Together, in the same place with their predecessors, such glossy post-reunion hits as "Janie's Got a Gun" and "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" are painfully lacking the ragged, drug-enhanced attitude of such blistering cuts as "Mama Kin." Meanwhile, by collecting the band's numerous hits from its reunion era—1987's "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)" to the very recent "Just Push Play"—this set shows the enormity of the band's commercial status. And as much as many would like to dismiss these songs as a pile of overexposed dregs, quite the opposite is true (particularly in hindsight): With distance, many of the band's early-'90s songs are—the Aerosmith faithful will love this—indisputedly great pop-rock songs. Rediscover the back-porch brilliance of "Crazy" and the scorching "Livin' on the Edge." At a time when the band seems to be getting back to its roots with such cuts as the raucous "Just Push Play," this two-disc, 30-song set could very well teach old fans how to love the band again. Thankfully, this set includes Run-D.M.C.'s still-thrilling collaboration with Steven Tyler and Joe Perry on "Walk This Way."—WO