Watch with mother? Nah

Released as a companion to the recent Greatest Hits album 'The Complete Music Video Collection' is exactly that. A chronological video history from their earliest videos of the 'Smash' era right up until 2005's 'Can't Repeat', what is evident here is that as they became more successful the budgets for videos went up. No surprise really but it does make the older stuff look a little dated by comparison.

The first couple of videos 'Self Esteem' and 'Come Out and Play' are fairly low budget affairs with the band playing live, interspersed with snippets of documentary footage and layered with simple video effects such as purple sky (wooh!). Certainly interesting from a historical perspective but not the greatest entertainment to watch. The pick of the early footage is 'Gotta Getaway', which captures the band playing to an audience and follows the fortunes of a young kid in the mosh pit. A little slicker than its predecessors it perhaps illustrates that it was around this time (1995) that things were really starting to happen for the band.

There is a marked jump in quality with 'Gone Away' from 1997's 'Ixnay On The Hombre', production levels and budget are clearly increased but for such a powerful and heartfelt song, the video is a standard affair that fails to capture the emotion of the song. Slightly strange is the fact that the video for 'All I Want' reverts to the techniques used on the earlier vids, at just under two minutes in length it's a fast song with a busy video that ends with a guy falling in some mud. Not much to analyse really!

'I Choose' is the first film that really caters for the MTV generation with the band at times moving away from their instruments and miming vocals. It's more entertaining to watch and set the standard for much of what was to follow. 'The Meaning Of Life' follows and is highly amusing, especially the supercharged wheelchair racing! Surely everybody remembers 'Pretty Fly For A White Guy'? Musically I wasn't impressed with this at the time but there's no denying that the video is great and seven years later it still raises a smile. For those that weren't too keen on the later music the videos at least provide entertainment and for songs such as 'She's Got Issues' the use of animation over video footage works well.

'The Kids Aren't Alright' was a return to form as a song and the video is a weird mix of people morphing into all manner of strange characters. 'Original Prankster' is the most commercial video by far and doesn't really hold the interest. 'Want You Bad' from 'Conspiracy Of One' is the pick of the bunch from this period, good song with a good video whereas 'Hit That' is the complete opposite with the video more interesting than the song!

Produced by the band 'Da Hui' is good fun, short and to the point, as is 'Can't Get My Head Around You'. This brings us right up to date with current single 'Can't Repeat' which strips away all the facade and shows the band doing what they do best, just playing! As a collection this is obviously essential to the hardcore Offspring fan, it's a good look back through most of their career but like most video compilations it's a little hard to take in one go. Of real interest is the bonus footage, which features a selection of TV appearances, audio commentary and an interview by Dexter with the actor from the 'Pretty Fly' video. Some of the videos are very good, some are pretty average and some will serve only to bring back memories from the good old days. A nice package though that should please everyone still struggling with their poor quality tapes on overplayed video cassettes.