That means you have to create a tracklisting and briefly justify it.
Singles and best ofs are common, but with some bands with extensive back catalogues other 'themes' are used - the ballads, heaviest of, etc. Here's an interesting take from a UK metal band thats been going for around 40 years (and are bigger in the US than they are here, which is typical for successful UK metal bands), and recently featured on the final of American Idol, demonstrating their mainstream pull.
Judas Priest asked members of a wide range of bands to pick their favourite Priest tracks and used their selections to create a Chosen Few compilation, as detailed below.
You need to start thinking about the digipak and mag ad early - you must take separate photographs and not rely on screengrabs!!!German metal band The Scorpions are another useful example: they've released a comp of their ballads, their rockier material, and a compilation of both!
Here's UK sleaze metal outfit Dogs D'Amour striving to avoid the 'best of' label, and working with the fact that they didn't have many 'hits'!
Finally, US funk-matallers Faith No More, reformed to play Download in 2011, with an alternative to their Is This It? The Best Of album.
The following is quoted from http://loudwire.com/judas-priest-rob-halford-ian-hill-interview-chosen-few-upcoming-album/
One interesting aspect about your new compilation ‘The Chosen Few’ is that artists from completely different backgrounds picked some of the same tracks. David Coverdale from Whitesnake and Randy Blythe from Lamb of God both picked ‘The Green Manalishi.’ Klaus Meine from Scorpions and Corey Taylor from Slipknot both picked “You’ve Got Another Thing Comin’.” Were you surprised by the unlikely pairings?Halford: Yeah, absolutely surprised. We had no idea what anyone was going to pick, did we Ian?Hill: No, it was totally up to them. It’s our only compilation album where we had absolutely no control whatsoever of what’s going on it.Halford: It’s great that you should marry the guys together though. That Klaus from Scorpions and Corey from Slipknot should both like that particular track and say what they’ve said about particular songs that they enjoy from Priest. It really shows you the way that metal has this amazing generational crossover to two totally different worlds.
Members of Black Sabbath and Metallica were among the acts that chose the tracks for ‘The Chosen Few.’ What songs would you choose from those three acts if you were helping to put together a similar compilation for them?Halford: For Black Sabbath, I’d probably pick ‘Black Sabbath,’ because that’s like the most evil song ever written. For Metallica, I’d probably pick ‘Blackened.’ I’m into old school Metallica personally and old school Sabbath.Hill: It’s funny; I’d have to go listen to the albums again. There’s always a hidden gem somewhere. You always pick out, “Oh yeah, I used to love listening to that,” and then you tend to discard the rest of the album as time goes on. We’ve been doing albums now for 30 or 40 years and even with our songs I forget what the hell we’ve done on our albums, so I’d have to look back and listen to them all again and see if there are any hidden gems in there before I just blurt out what I’ve been listening to for the last 30 years.
Both 2011 compilations ‘Single Cuts’ and ‘The Chosen Few’ only cover your work until the early ‘90s; do you feel like this represents your career in the right way or do you feel that some of your later material should have been included?Halford: I think it’s just a fun retrospective. You can’t do it all in one go, it’s impossible. I think you just have to look at the moment that you’re working with. Maybe there’ll be a ‘Chosen Few 2’ or ‘Chosen Few 3.’Hill: The other thing is that there was a gap there where Rob wasn’t with us and the two albums we’ve done since Rob’s return are still very, very familiar and very fresh. In a lot of cases they haven’t sunk in yet – the great songs off the last two albums. They haven’t gotten established yet, so that’s maybe one of the reasons.
It seems like when you’re around for such a long time it’s hard for the new stuff to really sink in with the fans.Halford: That’s the way it goes, yeah.Hill: Of course, as far as singles are concerned, we haven’t had any singles off the last two albums. [Laughs]Halford: We’ve never been a singles band. We love our label to death, Sony. That’s why we thought why do you want to do this? They said, “Well we did release single tracks to promote the records, particularly in America, some of which did really well, some of which just filtered through to introduce the new release.” We had no idea that our label had done so much. It was just the idea that we were going to do the ‘Single Cuts.’When you’ve been together for 40 years, that’s what bands do now. It’s time to reminisce about your life in music and to put together these box sets that you may or may not choose to add to your collection. Some fans just want to go from studio album to studio album and don’t want the box sets, but pretty much all of the Priest fans are like, “Give me it all, I want everything! I want the lot. I want to put my ‘Singles Cuts’ next to my ‘Metalogy,’ I want to put that next to my remasters.”Hill: It’s a good concept though; you’ve now got the singles out. I’d be great if they then go for the Judas Priest production pieces and then the heavier songs or the faster songs. You can pick out any little area of heavy metal, which is immense really and we’ve done a lot of all of it over the years.