When a group puts out a “Best Of” album, there is typically a remastering done, primarily because they are dealing with tracks from a range of albums.  each album was recorded differently, so it is up to the engineer to try and make the compilation sound consistent between tracks.  As long as there is that effort being spent, it’s probably just as likely the engineer will use the latest tools available for mastering, which includes compressors and limiters.

In this example, we have three tracks from Aerosmith’s Permanent Vacation that were included on their Big Ones compilation: Rag Doll, Dude Looks Like A Lady, and Angel.  Comparing these three tracks, we can see that the volume was boosted significantly for the greatest hits album, especially in the first track.

While a compilation album may be a good place to sample a new artist’s work, if you want the real deal, go for the originals.

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