The curse of ''Greatest Hits Volume 1'' albums -- Musicians such as Hall & Oates's and Bryan Adams' careers stalled after these releases

Van Halen and Chaka Khan have no idea what they’re stirring up by subtitling their new compilations Volume 1. Nothing stalls a career faster than releasing a hits package trumpeted as the first of many. Take Hall & Oates. ”They were optimistic,” says RCA VP Michael Omansky, who worked on Rock ‘N Soul, Part 1. ”It can be a curse, but it’s more like a self-fulfilling prophecy.” Hard to dispute, especially considering these casualties.

Bachman-Turner Overdrive’s Best of B.T.O. (So Far) (1976)
6 Top 40 Hits including ”You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” ”Let It Ride”
Beefy Canadian lumber rockers disband three years and several flop albums later.

Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1 (1978)
7 Top 40 Hits including ”Got to Get You Into My Life,” ”Getaway”
Boogie wonderland shuts down; group cracks the top 10 only once in the ’80s.

Stevie Wonder’s Original Musiquarium I (1982)
13 Top 40 Hits including ”I Wish,” ”Living for the City”
Number of top 10ers since 1985 — one — not enough to fill a goldfish bowl, never mind an aquarium.

Hall & Oates’s Rock ‘N Soul, Part 1 (1983)
12 Top 40 Hits including ”I Can’t Go For That,” ”Maneater”
Nonstop hit machine abruptly cranks to a halt; Hall currently selling new album via mail order.

Billy Joel’s Greatest Hits, Volume I & II (1985)
7 Top 40 Hits including ”Piano Man,” ”My Life”
Using two volume numbers hasn’t prevented Joel from squeaking into the top 10 just five more times since this anthology.

Bryan Adams’ So Far So Good(1993)
14 Top 40 Hits including ”Summer of ’69,” ”Please Forgive Me”
Latest set of amiable radio fodder, 18 Til I Die, doesn’t even reach 18 before dying on the charts.

Michael Jackson’s HIStory, Past, Present &amp Future, Book I (1995)
17 Top 40 Hits including ”Beat It,” ”Bad”
Despite hype matched only by the creation of the earth, HIStory becomes history in record time.