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MUSIC
GREATEST MISSES
1992

Greatest Misses
Musician (11/92, p.104) - "...includes six stronger new raps that not only boast the expected topicality but add a new dimension to the soul of the P.E. sound. Don't miss it..."
Q Magazine (11/92, p.118) - 3 Stars - Good - "...the uncompromising Public Enemy sound of old returns....samples and beats attack the listener from all angles. The remixes are interesting..."
Q Magazine (9/95, p.132) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...fine by any but their own Olympian standards...showed Public Enemy ploughing old furrows..."
New Musical Express (10/10/92, p.39) - "...a fine compilation album....at this time, it's probably the only record Public Enemy could, or should have made.."
Entertainment Weekly (9/25/92, p.65) - "...six absurdly cautious remixes of tracks from their four albums....The new music sounds, of all things, almost relaxed..." - Rating: B-
Spin (11/92, p.114) - Not Recommended - "...there is no big boom, no indelible Chuck D or Flavor Flav aphorisms to stain your brain. The project is in need of a jump start...The whole thing is stagy, lacking fire..."


It would be unfair to say that 1992's Greatest Misses is where it all began to go wrong for Public Enemy, but it wouldn't be entirely inaccurate. Following Apocalypse 91 by a little less than a year, the album is a jumble of six new songs and six remixes, with a live cut added as a bonus track - a sure sign that the group was either finding a way to buy time or didn't quite have the energy to finish a full album.




The resulting record doesn't indicate which answer is better, which is part of the problem: It never quite comes into focus, which is a startling change in course from a crew who, prior to this, never took an unsure step with their recordings. That lack of direction is what really hurts the record, since it seeps into not just the superfluous remixes (many waterlogged with introductory hot-button talk-show samples), but also the new material.




Here, the Bomb Squad and their legions of co-producers - most prominently the Imperial Grand Ministers of Funk, but also Dr. Treble n Mr. Bass - sound restrained as they try to move PE away from their signature sonic assault and into newer, soulful territory. To a certain extent, it works on "Hit da Road Jack," but when the Parliament allusions are hauled out on this album's obligatory Flavor Flav showcase, "Gett off My Back," for the first time Public Enemy sound like followers, not leaders. This trouble is compounded by the fact that the tracks where they sound the most comfortable - "Tie Goes to the Runner," the basketball saga "Air Hoodlum," and the record's best track, "Hazy Shade of Criminal" - are the ones that sound closest to the band's classic sound, which, at that point, was beginning to sound outdated as hip-hop became ensconced in gangsta.




In retrospect, it sounds better - still not among their best material, but solid genre material nonetheless, with the aforementioned songs (apart from "Gett off My Back") all being satisfying within the sound that PE has developed, even if it's not among their best work. So, Greatest Misses is not the outright disaster that it seemed at the time, but neither is it a lost treasure, since it's just too damn diffuse to be something worthwhile for anyone outside of the dedicated. - Stephen Thomas Erlewine

Tie Goes To The Runner

Hit Da Road Jack

Gett Off My Back

Gotta Do What I Gotta Do

Air Hoodlum

Hazy Shade Of Criminal

Megablast [The Madd Skillz Bass Pipe Gett Off Remixx]

Louder Than A Bomb [Jmj Telephone Tap Groove]

You're Gonna Get Yours [Reanimated Tx Getaway Version]

How to Kill A Radio Consultant [The Dj Chuck Chillout Mega Murder Boo)

Who Stole The Soul? [Sir Jinx Stolen Souled Out Reparation Mixx]

Party For Your Right To Fight [Blak Wax Metromixx]

Shut Em Down [Live In The Uk]