How many ‘ultimate’ collections do we need?

I’ve just endured yet another advert for an ‘Ultimate Collection’ album – I guess it’s that season again.

Dictionary.com defines ‘ultimate’ as follows;

adjective

  1. last; furthest or farthest; ending a process or series: the ultimate point in a journey; the ultimate style in hats
  2. maximum; decisive; conclusive: the ultimate authority; the ultimate weapon
  3. highest; not subsidiary: ultimate goal in life
  4. basic; fundamental; representing a limit beyond which further progress, as in investigation or analysis, is impossible: the ultimate particle; ultimate principles
  5. final; total: the ultimate consequences; the ultimate cost of a project
  6. not to be improved upon or surpassed; greatest; unsurpassed: the ultimate vacation spot; the ultimate stupidity

noun

  1. the final point; final result
  2. a fundamental fact or principle
  3. the best, greatest, or most extreme of its kind

I guess the people who release these albums expect that every time they set another one loose among us a whole load of musicians heave a sigh of relief that they can finally relax and stop expending any creative effort trying to add to the genre in question; now that all that is to be said in that genre has been curated and carefully collected for us in one album release…

Meanwhile – in spite of it all – as musicians continue to demonstrate determined creativity in virtually every style of music you’d care to lend an ear to – it’s probably safe to assume that this ‘ultimate’ collection business is nothing more than over-used worn-out advertising hyperbole… and I guess we must assume that they will never stop.

So maybe the best we can do is continue to explore the music we’re passionate about and extend the genres we love – it’s the only thing we can do to save these companies from falling foul of the Trade Descriptions Act by releasing more than one ‘ultimate’ collection in the same genre without us demonstrating how misguided they were in deciding to release an ‘ultimate’ collection of anything in the first place!