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VH1: Dangerous Toys
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Amazon offers The Ultimate Dangerous Toys (Audio CD),30 March, 2004
heavy metal |  Dangerous Toys  | heavy metal bands List price $10.98
Still the only greatest hits album for this band / 3
This is a decent retrospective of material by Dangerous Toys taken from the latter part of their career. The collection is made up of selections from three independently released albums by the band: 'Pissed' (1994 studio album), 'R-Tist 4-Merly Known As Dangerous Toys' (1995 studio album) and 'Vitamins and Crash Helmets Tour: Greatest Hits Live' (1999 live album).

The artwork doesn't quite measure up to previous album covers by the band, even if it does include the trademark shot of a clown. Anyone who has a smidgen of knowledge on Dangerous Toys knows that their cover art is arguably the best in the business. This time around, the cover art does not live up to previous glories. The reason is that a different artist was hired to do the cover. The original artist, Tommy Pons, is nowhere to be found. The artist employed here produced what amounts to a watered-down replica of Tommy's classic clown, which is the "mascot" for this group.

The liner notes are decent enough. The only misstep with the packaging is that the song "Cure the Sane" is given the incorrect title of "Cure the Lane." Aside from that, the standard by-the-numbers liner notes for such a compilation can be expected.

The first three selections to open this cd come from the 1994 cd, 'Pissed.' The track selection from 'Pissed', which includes the title track, is suspect. The two singles, "Illustrated Man" and "Promise the Moon", would have been much better choices. Three more songs on 'The Ultimate Dangerous Toys' are taken from the 1995 studio release (see above). Of the three cuts, "Share the kill" is the strongest track but all three of them are above average.

The final seven tunes on this album are taken from the 'Vitamins and Crash Helmets' live release (1999). The good news is that these are the best cuts from the live album. A lot of these are familiar to music fans who may have heard of Dangerous Toys. A major highlight is the live rendition of "Scared", taken from a concert in Boston, which originally appeared (and was played) on a syndicated radio show.

The truth is that there is nothing wrong with this album, but there isn't anything special about it. The best starting point for a new fan is still the 1989 self-titled release, in which even the filler is better than most of the stuff on here. There was a reason it went gold and sold close to a million copies. Most of the live cuts from 'The Ultimate Dangerous Toys' can be found on there, in their studio form. Everything on this album has already been released elsewhere, which is a strike against 'The Ultimate Dangerous Toys.'

However, you have to give a hand to Deadline Records who is the label that issued this cd. They ponied up the dough to obtain the rights to reissue the 1994 and 1995 studio albums by Dangerous Toys, both of which were first released on another indie label. Deadline also took the initiative to put out a very strong live album for Dangerous Toys that was long overdue, given the reputation of this band for tearing it up live. As previously mentioned, those three albums make up this collection. It's clear that somebody at Deadline doesn't want Dangerous Toys to be forgotten about.

You want me to get to the point, I'm sure. What is the final verdict? If you only have the self-titled debut or its follow-up, 'Hellacious Acres' and are just rediscovering the band, then this is a good way to go. You could do much worse. If you've stuck by Dangerous Toys through thick and thin and already own the source albums, then think twice about making this purchase.

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