Barenaked Ladies – Hits From Yesterday & the Day Before (review)

Barenaked Ladies – Hits From Yesterday & the Day Before (Rhino) review by Jay Scott

Scarborough, Ontario’s favorite sons find themselves anthologized for the second time in 10 years with Hits From Yesterday & the Day Before.  This CD is not a companion volume to Barenaked Ladies’ first compilation, but an abbreviated, updated collection aimed mostly at newcomers.  Its timing is anything but coincidental, as the featured rarity here is their wonderful theme from the hit television series “The Big Bang Theory,” currently the most-watched show in Canada, and also in its first year of global syndication.

The tracklist is not as robust as 2001’s All Their Greatest Hits, leaning a little too heavily toward the band’s middle years, at the expense of outstanding earlier cuts from Gordon and Maybe You Should Drive, the latter of which goes completely unrepresented here.  Also curiously absent is “Be My Yoko Ono,” the band’s first hit which was also featured in an early episode of Big Bang Theory.  Still, the heaviest hitters are here – “Brian Wilson” (the live Rock Spectacle version), “One Week,” “If I Had $1000000,” “Pinch Me,” and “Call and Answer” among them.  Hits From Yesterday serves two purposes: it’s a nice introductory sampler to Barenaked Ladies, and its brevity will likely inspire new fans to seek out the group’s back catalog – start with Gordon, kids – you won’t be disappointed.