One of the MP3-CDs I made for the car is a collection of 160 or so of the hits of one-hit-wonders. Okay, that's not really true: a number of the songs are not really one-hit-wonders but just the single hit of a band who had other hits I don't like, and there are other ways in which I bent the definition to make a more enjoyable CD. But the central idea is still recognizable one-hit-wonder songs brim to brim.
Listening to this CD is invigorating because it's song after song of really good stuff without any filler and so many of the songs on the disc are just the kind of fun that make you want to sing at the top of your lungs with it. (In the very, very rare case where I'm alone in the car with it, that's exactly what I do.)
The idea inevitably occurs to me: some of those single hits are so good that one wonders if the artist in question didn't spend all their life's allocation of brilliance on a single thing, where other artists spread their talent out. "The candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long." Certainly it's a tempting idea to imagine that this CD is so much more fun than others because so many artists make such a condensed packet of creativity.
But I wonder if that's really fair. If I made a CD that had the one or two single best songs of each of a hundred bands who are definitively not one-hit-wonders, bands with lots of well-known songs and hit albums and lengthy careers, would that disc be just as invigorating or even more?
Someday I am going to make that disc and find out.