The Royal Opera is a company based in central London, resident at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. Along with the English National Opera, it is one of the two principal opera companies in London. Founded in 1946 as the Covent Garden Opera Company, it was known by that title until 1968. It brought a long annual season and consistent management to a house that had previously hosted short seasons under a series of impresarios. Since its inception, it has shared the Royal Opera House with the dance company now known as The Royal Ballet.
With their first six studio albums not containing a single dud track, trying to neatly assemble a Led Zeppelin 'best of' must have been quite a daunting task. All in all, the folks at Atlantic did an admirable job when the first-ever, single-disc Zeppelin 'best of's' were issued in 1999 (Early Days) and 2000 (Latter Days), covering most of the essentials. For fans that wanted to buy both discs in one shot, both were packaged together in 2002, under the title of Early Days and Latter Days…
ZZ Top closed out their tenure with London Records in late 1977 with The Best of ZZ Top, a basic but terrific ten-song retrospective of highlights from their first five albums (well, four, actually, since the underwhelming Tejas is ignored). There are no surprises here, just album rock favorites, which means it does draw heavily on Tres Hombres (four songs, total), adds Fandango's "Tush," "Blue Jean Blues," and "Heard It on the X" for good measure, then rounds it out with two songs from Rio Grande Mud and a selection from the debut. Yeah, there are a couple good album tracks missing, but as a ten-song summary of their early years, this can't be beat.
Just a generation ago, posterity hadn't quite made up its mind about Franco Corelli. Corelli was an operatic oddity, a self-trained singer with movie star looks who largely learned his craft from listening to old records of his predecessors. Corelli made up for what he may have lacked in conventionally trained, "beautiful" tone with an approach that emphasized power and electric energy over all, and gradually rose through the ranks of tenors to become a major star of Italian opera. This EMI collection, The Very Best of Franco Corelli, concentrates its focus on recordings Corelli made in the 1960s during the height of his popularity. As these selections are "bleeding chunks" drawn from recordings of complete operas such as Pagliacci, Rigoletto, Tosca, and others, this is kind of an odd sampling of Corelli.