Any band worth its pressed vinyl must, at some point, release a greatest hits album. Sometimes even terrible bands with only one or two recognizable songs put out a greatest hits collection. Also, Three Dog Night released a greatest hits album. They had some good songs. As Franks and Beans is not a band, does not have hits or in general “sell” things, and has not put out albums of any kind, it’s obvious to see why we, in turn, have our recyclable 33rd episode, “Greatest Hits”, up and on display.
The concept of a greatest hits production is a curious one in my mind; it’s a celebration of a seemingly popular band with the release of an album that includes songs that all fans have heard of already. Therefore, this lends itself to the idea that only people who are not real fans would purchase a greatest hits album (plus superfans who must own every single thing). Let’s say you’re a big fan of Rod Stewart. And, assuming that you are a 63-year-old lady, why not? And let’s say that you own his albums and have a generally good knowledge of his library of songs. What’s the point in buying the greatest hits album when you already have all of those songs on other albums, especially if you’re a progressive sextagenarian (that’s a pretty sexy description) and you have an iPod with a shuffle button? And then – AND THEN! – if the person who buys the greatest hits album really enjoys it, wouldn’t they rather have the individual albums so they could listen to the songs that didn’t make the greatest hits cut? Wow, these are some deep thoughts.
The concept of this episode, then, isn’t anything new or necessarily profound. And the execution isn’t our best – looking back at this, it’s obvious that this was in our laissez-faire “anything goes” phase where we worked with a very loose script and tried to wing it (to varying degrees of success), and as such things aren’t as crisp as they could/should be, with a few screw ups along the way. My recitation of “Milkshake” should have gone on longer, so someone watching this could tell what I was actually doing, and it would have been better served if I had added a few more references in here. I do enjoy our callbacks to “High School”, “Mustache” and “Milkshake”, some of our more memorable episodes, whatever that means.
Even with its detractions, though, I still find that I enjoy the premise of the episode – the idea that, after 32 previous episodes, I’ve no original ideas left in my head and am simply relying on things that have worked in the past. This is in no way a reflection of myself and the tired, husk of a man I have become in the time since this episode originally appeared online. Why would anyone insinuate that? It’s absolutely false.
If you can make your way to the end and this episode’s “No!” ending, you’ll see another surprise appearance by Mark Moncheck, our favorite and most loyal guest star. The idea of Mark looking up to Larry and myself and pseudo-parental figures is apt, as I mentor the lad in my spare time. Time to get a haircut, Mark! You’re looking a little shaggy.
See you next time!