Released in tandem with Janis Ian's autobiography, Society's Child, this best-of compilation collects all the songs mentioned in the book, as well as several rarities. Ian's first demo, a distorted lo-fi version of "Hair Of Spun Gold," makes a welcome appearance, while "Ginny The Flying Girl" arrives via a 1981 Sesame Street album. Also notable are the handful of re-recorded songs on this two-disc collection, as well as several live tracks. Perhaps this isn't the definitive Janis Ian anthology for casual fans – it's too specialized for that – but Ian enthusiasts should make it a staple of their collections.
The Autobiography of Supertramp is simply the international version of the title released in the United States by A&M as Vol. 9 in the rather confusing Classics series – obviously a forced attempt at label-branding gone awry (or at least nowhere). Over its 14 tracks, the collection glosses over a few fine moments from the falsetto-happy art rockers' early career misfires ("Dreamer," "Bloody Well Right," etc.) and sporadic latter-day hits ("Give a Little Bit," "It's Raining Again," etc.), then bites down on the meat, or rather the breakfast meat, of the group's greatest commercial triumph, 1979's multi-million-selling Breakfast in America ("Goodbye Stranger," "The Logical Song," "Take the Long Way Home," the title track). Released in 1990, The Very Best of Supertramp went a step further, arguably bettering this release by adding or supplanting a song or two, but casual fans are guaranteed to get their money's worth with either one.