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Nightwish Highest Hopes - The Best Of Nightwish album cover
3.76 | 27 ratings | 7 reviews | 15% 5 stars

Excellent addition to any
prog rock music collection

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Boxset/Compilation, released in 2005

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Wish I Had An Angel (4:04)
2. Stargazers (4:26)
3. The Kinslayer (4:01)
4. Ever Dream (4:44)
5. Elvenpath (4:38)
6. Bless The Child (6:12)
7. Nemo (4:35)
8. Sleeping Sun 2005 (4:24)
9. Dead To The World (4:19)
10. Over The Hills And Far Away (5:00)
11. Deep Silent Complete (3:57)
12. Sacrament Of Wilderness (4:10)
13. Walking In The Air (5:27)
14. Wishmaster (4:23)
15. Dead Boy's Poem (6:48)
16. High Hopes (7:20)

Total Time: 78:28
DVD: Live at M'Era Luna
1. She Is My Sin
2. The Kinslayer
3. Dead To The World

Line-up / Musicians

- Holopainen, Tuomas Holopainen / keyboards & piano, backing vocals (10)
- Emppu Vuorinen / guitars, bass (5)
- Tarja Turunen / vocals
- Marco Hietala / bass (1, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 & 16) and vocals (1, 4, 9 & 16)
- Jukka Nevalainen / drums & percussion
- Sami Vanska / bass (2, 3, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 & 15)

- Tony Kakko / backing vocals (10)
- Ike Vil / Kinslayer voice (3)
- Sam Hardwick / Dead Boy's voice (15) and Spoken Word (6)
- Joensuu City Orchestra (4 & 6)
- London Session Orchestra (7)
- Metro Voices, London / choir (1 & 7)

Releases information

CD Spinefarm Records (2005)

Thanks to ProgLucky for the addition
and to Joren for the last updates
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NIGHTWISH Highest Hopes - The Best Of Nightwish ratings distribution

(27 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(15%)
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(44%)
Good, but non-essential (30%)
Collectors/fans only (4%)
Poor. Only for completionists (7%)

NIGHTWISH Highest Hopes - The Best Of Nightwish reviews

Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by Gatot
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator
4 stars A Great Introduction to Nightwish...! Quite surprising to me that this compilation CD is available at local pressing in my country. Thanks to Spinefarm, the label, which made it possible to produce this CD for local market with affordable price. Hopefully, many label companies will do the same so that prog music would be accessible for wider audience. Actually I was not attracted to purchase this box set because I have had most of Nightwish albums and no reason to have a compilation CD. But because there is new track which covers Pink Floyd's "High Hopes" so I was curious how the band interprets the music of Pink Floyd with their style. The other reason, it's cheap!

This compilation CD is a great introduction to the band's music. For those of you who want to know the symphonic progressive metal nature of Nightwish, it's highly recommended to have this box set. The band's best tracks are presented here. Practically all tracks are excellent even though there are numerous excellent tracks the band has ever produced and I have reviewed some of the albums right here at this site.

The opening track was the hit single coming out from the band's latest album "Once" titled "Wish I Had An Angel" (4:04) followed with speedier symphonic progressive metal with beautiful keyboard and double bass pedal sounds under "Stargazers" (4:26). The operatic voice of Tarja Turunen (now left the band) is so powerful and fits with the band's music. This is continued excellently with "The Kinslayer" (4:01) through powerful multi-layered keyboard sounds. "Ever Dream" (4:44) brings the music into mellow style with piano and transparent voice of Tarja - during opening part. The music blasts off wonderfully right after opening vocal line.

"Elvenpath" (4:38) takes different approach with narrative opening by Tarja in a sort of eastern nuance followed with groundbreaking music with heavy riffs. "Bless The Child" (6:12) is another great track with ambient opening where pulsating keyboard work enters firmly as the music flows. The combined riffs of guitar, keyboard and bass have made this song sounds so powerful. It's suitable for those who love heavy riffs. "Nemo" (4:35) is another track with pop touch but it's still interesting to enjoy.

Well I would say that all other tracks have the same qualities as the above tracks I mention. Basically the band offers tight composition with heavy riffs and memorable melodies almost in each segment of the music. The nature of keyboard work which makes the music sounds grandiose is a great factor for enjoyment. There are basically minimum guitar solos but the fills and riffs produced by guitar are worth enjoying.

It's good to have another version of "High Hopes" performed differently in live setting. Of course the band did not delineate the music as to confuse the listeners with totally different arrangement. But I would say that this "metal" version of "High Hopes" is truly interesting to enjoy. Vocal is performed by Marco Hietala beautifully. This song itself has made it worth spending your money with this CD - especially if you haven't been into progressive metal arena. It might be a good introduction. You might enjoy how heavy guitar riffs serve really well in this track. Awesome! In some segment the voice of Marco sounds like Roger Waters'! The grass is gREEEEner ...!!! (what a great scream, man!)

It's an eaxcellent addition to any prog music collection and it's a great introduction to Nightwish newbies. Buy it, man! Keep on proggin' ..!

Peace on earth and mercy mild - GW

Review by Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars Kiri Ti Kanawa meets Rhapsody

Although not planned as such, "Highest Hopes" serves as a good summary of the Tarja era of Nightwish. Nightwish's female lead singer with the distinctive voice was of course surprisingly sacked by the band in October 2005.

Nightwish's music is a bit like having KIRI TI KANAWA guest on a RHAPSODY album. They blend operatic vocals with bombastic, symphonic metal. With occasional notable exceptions, they do not tend to make extended pieces or utilise particularly complex structures, but their music is nonetheless exciting and original.

Here we have a CD crammed with many of the band's best, and often most commercial songs. They are not presented chronologically but since, with the exception of their first album "Angels fall first", the tracks on their albums are pretty much interchangeable, this is not an issue.

Opening with the gothic masterpiece "Wish I had an angel", the album weaves its way through bombastic cod operatic pieces ("Stargazers", "Bless the child") and atmospheric power ballads ("Ever dream", Nemo"). The movingly passionate "Sleeping sun" could almost be a Renaissance outtake, with Tarja even sounding like Annie Haslam. I notice in his review of the "Sleeping sun" single, PA member LD4000 informatively advises that the version here is a new (2005) recording, not the "Oceanborn" original.

It is however the cover versions which arguably hold the most interest. The superbly over the top versions of "Phantom of the opera" and "Walking in the air (The snowman)" will already be familiar to those who have the original Nightwish albums. The interpretation of Gary Moore's "Over the hills and far away" from the EP of that name may be less familiar, but it is the cover of Pink Floyd's "High Hopes" which hold most interest. Perhaps significantly, this is the only song on the album Tarja does not sing on. Personally I would rather she had though, as Nightwish and a male vocal are something of an oxymoron. That said, the band transform the song into a storming power ballad. This otherwise unreleased live presentation cuts the song down to 4 minutes by not even attempting to imitate David Gilmour's unique guitar solo.

An excellent introduction to, or summary of, the bands work to this point.

I'm not sure how limited the "limited" edition really is, but it includes a second disc in DVD format with live videos of three songs, only one of which ("The Kinslayer") appears on the audio disc. The others are "She is my sin" and "Dead to the world".

Review by ClemofNazareth
3 stars Back in 2005 the first album review I ever wrote was for Nightwish’s ‘Once’ CD. I didn’t know it at the time but mercurial frontwoman Tarja Turunen had already been sacked by the band, and this compilation had already been released and certified platinum in the band’s home country. This therefore has become the most definitive and timely retrospective on the Tarja era of the band, and a good choice for my 500th review.

Unfortunately I ended up with the vanilla version, which does not include the DVD (which I’ve seen and don’t really feel the loss of), nor does it have the Phantom of the Opera theme from the special edition (which I would have liked to have had included). Otherwise this is a great representation of the band’s first eight years.

The opening “Wish I Had an Angel” is still the most recognizable Nightwish tune, and showcases all the things that make them a guilty pleasure for so many progressive music fans. The bombastic, almost over-the-top arrangements and power chords, Turunen’s stunningly powerful vocals, and overall energy (see Mago de Oz or Rhapsody of Fire for the same type of Italian-Symphonic-on-steroids artsy power metal).

There’s no point in rehashing every track since most of them are culled directly from their various studio releases. That said, there are still some treats here. The live cover of Pink Floyd’s “High Hopes” is a faithful representation that breathes some modern life in to that timeless classic, even if Turunen doesn’t sing on it (I suppose it wouldn’t have made much sense for her anyway). Same goes for the Gary Moore song “Over the Hills and Far Away”, but Turunen does sing here and does a masterful job. “Sleeping Sun”, one of the band’s first singles is also a different version here, but since I’ve never heard the original (that I can recall), I don’t know what the differences are.

“Deep Silent Complete” from ‘Wishmaster’ is the track that was switched in the limited release in favor of the Phantom of the Opera theme, and while both are strong offerings the Phantom tune would have been a better choice for all versions of the collection.

In all this is a very good collection that seemed a bit premature and a bit unexpected since the band had just released a different boxed-set, but considering the milestone in the band’s progression this package ended up marking I think it turned out to be a solid offering.

Three stars for the nearly eighty minutes of great music, and here’s hoping the band finds new directions and greater musical challenges to take their music in their new form. A solid collection, but as with most compilations it’s not as good as owning the originals.


Review by jampa17
4 stars Excellent introduction to Nightwish universe

This band is one of those that have millions of fans and thousands of detractors. Fine by me, really. Musically, this band is at the top of the game. Their keyboard player and main composer, Tuomas Holopainen has great concepts of songwriting and the vocal voice of Tarja Turunen took the music to a complete new place.

This is a compilation, so, there are no epics, no rare tracks, no B sides, just a series of their most "catchy" material, so the detractors of the band won't be converted with this production, but is a great place to start the discovering, especially because is very easy to digest. The dynamics within the band are wonderful and the music if top of quality. Now, yes, some of the songs became too cliché, too "save the world while taken by the hands" but at the end, the goal of music is to enjoy it and you can be sure you will end up shaking your head along during the whole album.

As a bonus track, we get a Pink Floyd cover: High Hopes. While the song is cool, the band could achieve a better arrangement, more dynamic like their own songs. Another problem is that Tarja is not involved in the version, which is sad, because she could take the cover to a complete new level, but well. This and excellent starting point for those who don't know this great band. Now, don't expect epics or big songs, those are in the studio albums and are great. Here you have the concept, the sound and you can base your point to try it after. 4 stars is fair, especially for the Pink Floyd cover.

Latest members reviews

3 stars A DECENT COLLECTION OF SONGS, BUT DEFINITIVELY NOT NIGHTWISH's BEST WORK.  I often have a hard time with compilations that try and sum up a legacy of work or, HIGHEST HOPES, on just one cd. For me, there always seems to be a song or two that are missing and it leaves me screaming ' why was that t ... (read more)

Report this review (#967681) | Posted by progbethyname | Friday, May 31, 2013 | Review Permanlink

5 stars A magical collection of the most spectacular Nightwish songs. The Finnish band formed in June 1996 and have since released five studio albums: Angels Fall First, Ocean Born, Wishmaster, Century Child and Once. All five have seen chart success, with number one hits stringing from the latter fou ... (read more)

Report this review (#61720) | Posted by | Monday, December 26, 2005 | Review Permanlink

4 stars An unbeliavble collection, especialy with the addition of Pink Floyd's High Hopes, Nightwish perform this very well, and could make a cover of this like they did with Gary Moore's: Over The Hills and Far Away. Also it has not being added but High Hopes is LIVE! on this collection. This is a ... (read more)

Report this review (#59799) | Posted by LD4000 | Friday, December 9, 2005 | Review Permanlink

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