Excerpt from Chapter Five.
On signing with Island, the first ten Stiff singles had been instantly deleted, so this [Hits Greatest Stiffs] was a convenient way of breathing new life into these releases at a time when island was increasing its audience reach. As ‘Less Than Zero’ and ‘White Line Fever’ had already been included on A Bunch Of Stiffs, their respective B-sides ‘Radio Sweetheart’ and ‘Leavin’ Here’ got an unexpected run-out here.
The inner sleeve pictured a woman with a T-shirt bearing the slogan ‘If it ain’t Stiff, and clutching a few previous Stiff releases. ‘Clutter Your Home With Stiff Records’ the owner of this collection was urged. But with typical Stiff perversity, the other side promoted ‘some fine records on other labels you might enjoy‘. Recommendations by those at Alexander Street included Abba, Elvis Presley, Lee Dorsey, MC5, Jonathan Richman & The Modern Lovers, and Nick Drake, as well as a compilation LP by fellow independent Chiswick. Other record companies must have been gob-smacked.