Eddie Money – The Complete Hits and More! (review)

Eddie Money – The Complete Hits and More! (Real Gone / Sony) review

Two disc retrospective offers some surprises

He was an unlikely star – Eddie Money, a former NY policeman-turned singer, first hit with his debut single in 1978, “Baby Hold On.”  Real Gone has just issued The Complete Hits and More, the most comprehensive collection of his career.

The title lives up to its billing, grabbing smashes like “Two Tickets to Paradise,” “Think I’m in Love” and “Take Me Home Tonight” (a duet with Ronnie Spector), along with seldom-heard, latter day hits like “Walk on Water” and “Peace in Our Time.”

A two-disc set means that there’s room for great album cuts like “Wanna Be a Rock n’ Roll Star,” off his debut LP, and “Can’t Keep a Good Man Down” off Life For the Taking, his followup.  But, Money didn’t always make the best career decisions, and neither the reggae-infused “Running Back,” nor the stretch pants, synth-heavy “The Big Crash” hold up particularly well.  But, with 35 total tracks, there’s some pleasant surprises too – his lightly funky reworking of Smokey Robinson’s “You Really Got a Hold on Me” is quite good, while the discofied “Maybe I’m a Fool” sounds shockingly fresh. “We Should Be Sleeping” is a great rocker and the acoustic version of “She Takes My Breath Away” is a decent, latter-day ballad.

One of the selling points of this set is the inclusion of Livin’ It Up, a 4-song live EP recorded in Los Angeles in 1979, but released only to radio.  The quartet of tracks:  “Maureen,” “Rock and Roll the Place,” “Love the Way You Love Me,” and “Gimme Some Water” are all making their debut on CD (although, these sound more like studio tracks with fake crowd noise inserted, and are not improvements over their studio counterparts). But, for devoted Money fans, this is a very nice find.

Eddie Money’s career was a series of peaks and valleys. For those just wanting the high points, a collection like The Sound of Money will be sufficient.  But, for those wanting a more comprehensive look at his entire body of work, you should check out The Complete Hits and More!  —Tony Peters