Greatest Hits is the first greatest hits album of American rock band Blink-182. It was released on October 31, 2005 by Geffen Records. The compilation was released alongside a DVD of the same name, collecting the band's music videos. Greatest Hits was created by Geffen shortly after the band's February 2005 breakup, termed an "indefinite hiatus" by the label. Tensions had risen in the group and guitarist Tom DeLonge desired to take time off. Bassist Mark Hoppus and Travis Barker argued with DeLonge regarding the band's future and their possible next album, and heated exchanges led to DeLonge's exit. In the interim, Hoppus and Barker continued playing together in +44, and DeLonge formed his new rock outfit Angels & Airwaves.
Greatest Hits peaked at number six on the Billboard 200 album chart. Critics were generally very positive regarding Greatest Hits, viewing it a suitable, reflective compilation of the band's hits. Andy Greenwald of Blender called it a "flawless compilation," covering the group's transition from "nudists to near-geniuses."Greatest Hits has been certified platinum in Canada and triple platinum in Australia.
By 2004, Blink-182, consisting of guitarist Tom DeLonge, bassist Mark Hoppus and drummer Travis Barker, had emerged as the biggest pop punk act of the era, releasing the seven-times-multiplatinum Enema of the State (1999) and number one album Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001). The band took a brief break in 2002 when DeLonge suffered a herniated disc in his back, during which time he collected several darker musical ideas he felt unsuitable for Blink-182, compiling them into a record, Box Car Racer. The album, recorded with the help of Hazen Street guitarist and longtime friend David Kennedy, was intended as a one-time experimental project but evolved into a full-fledged band with Barker behind the kit. The side project would cause great division between DeLonge and Hoppus, who was not included and felt betrayed. The moody subject matter and music on Box Car Racer edged its way into the Blink sound as well, and the band explored experimentalist elements on their next effort, an eponymous fifth studio album (2003).Geffen Records, after the success of Box Car Racer, offered DeLonge a solo recording deal, which he declined, feeling that it would cast a negative shadow over the band. Nevertheless, the possible deal loomed over the band in addition to growing internal tension.
The trio embarked on a European tour the following fall, during which DeLonge felt increasingly conflicted both about his creative freedom within the group and the toll touring was taking on his family life. Things slowly began to change during the bands' various tours, and they ceased to function properly as unit. "It became [that] we weren't a band, it wasn't the three of us working together for a goal," said Hoppus, "it was like me and Travis having to pull his along, and be like, 'Come on, let's go, let's do this that we all created and that we love.'" DeLonge eventually expressed his desire to take a half-year respite from touring in order to spend more time with family. Hoppus and Barker were dismayed by his decision, which they felt was an overly long break. DeLonge did not blame his bandmates for being disappointed with his requests, but was dismayed that they could not seemingly understand. In addition, DeLonge protested the idea of Barker's reality television series, Meet the Barkers, which was being produced for a 2005 premiere. DeLonge disliked television cameras everywhere, feeling his personal privacy was invaded. Following the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake, DeLonge agreed to perform at Music for Relief's Concert for South Asia, a benefit show to aid victims. Further arguments ensued during rehearsals, rooted in the band member's increasing paranoia and bitterness toward one another. DeLonge asserted he would only record the next album at his home in San Diego, suggesting he mail Pro Tools files back and forth to Hoppus and Barker in Los Angeles. The duo were flexible regarding DeLonge's time off, but became angry when he began deciding "when we can and can't tour, when and how we can record." Hoppus felt especially furious on the idea of sending files back and forth, remarking that "That's not a band. We were a band for thirteen years before, and this is just not right." DeLonge remarked that his method would be "the only way [I'll] do the band now."
He considered his bandmates priorities "mad, mad different," coming to the conclusion that the trio had simply grew apart as they aged, had families, and reached fame. The breakdown in communication led to heated exchanges, resulting in his exit from the group. Manager Rick DeVoe phoned Hoppus and Barker the next day to tell them that DeLonge had quit the band, stating: "As of today, Tom DeLonge is no longer a member of blink-182." DeLonge subsequently changed his telephone number to avoid discussing the matter with Hoppus and Barker. Rumors had already begun to swirl when the band unexpectedly pulled out of the benefit show, and intensified when Dave Navarro of Jane's Addicton posted on his blog that the band had indeed broken up. "The big shock came when Blink-182 pulled out. Evidently they broke up yesterday. I know how it can get when it's just not working anymore." Geffen announced on February 22, 2005 that Blink-182 would be going on an "indefinite hiatus", and label president Jordan Schur reportedly told Barker that "any press you do, make sure you say everything is cool." As such, Barker's interview on influential radio station KROQ the next day was tight-lipped: "I wanted to clear up the rumors of us fighting with each other. It's just not true. Right now, everyone's life is calling for something else."
Greatest Hits opens with "Carousel", which was the very first song Hoppus and DeLonge wrote together upon their meeting in August 1992. It contains skate punk influences and has been described as "a satisfyingly fast-assed punk song in the vein of NOFX with some very adept dynamic breakdowns." The band's first ever single, "M+M's", follows, which is based around power chords and Hoppus' lead vocal of a vacation elsewhere. "Dammit", which was the band's first major-label single and consequently their first rock radio hit, is themed around maturity and the refrain, "Well I guess this is growing up." The distinctive riff of "Dammit" was created when Hoppus was forced to skip over the missing two strings on an acoustic guitar. "Josie" features references to Unwritten Law and Dance Hall Crashers ("My girlfriend likes UL and DHC").
"What's My Age Again?", an "airplay phenomenon" in its original release, achieved mass success on radio and television, becoming an MTV staple. The track was originally titled "Peter Pan Complex", referencing the subject matter: one who refuses to grow up. The power pop-inspired "All the Small Things" was composed by DeLonge as both an ode to his girlfriend and one of his favorite bands, The Ramones. The single, released in early 2000, became an even bigger success — it crossed over from alt-rock radio to contemporary hit radio, peaking at number six on Billboard Hot 100 and number one on the Modern Rock Tracks chart. "Adam's Song," the piano-laced seventh track of the compilation, was written primarily based on the loneliness that Hoppus experienced during the unending days of touring in 1997-98."Man Overboard" is based on former drummer Scott Raynor and his firing from the band for alcohol abuse.
"The Rock Show" is an upbeat, "effervescent celebration of love, life and music." It was written as a "fast punk-rock love song" in the vein of the Ramones and Screeching Weasel. The song details two teenagers meeting a rock concert, and, despite failing grades and disapproving parents, the two remain in love. "First Date" was inspired by DeLonge and wife Jennifer Jenkins' first date at SeaWorld San Diego. "I was about 21 at the time and it was an excuse for me to take her somewhere because I wanted to hang out with her," said DeLonge. The track was written as a summary of neurotic teen angst and awkwardness.Stay Together for the Kids" follows and is written from the point of view of a helpless child of divorce. Inspired by DeLonge's parents' divorce, it finds the band delving into darker material. "Feeling This" illustrates a scenario of lust, ambivalence and regret, with the protagonist of the song reflecting over his romance's dimming flame in the chorus: "Fate fell short this time / smile fades in the summer." "I Miss You" is an all-acoustic affair, featuring a melancholy 
"Down" continues the theme of longing, set to a rain-drenched soundscape. "Always" features an uptempo backbeat combined with a New Romantic-era keyboard, and pulls from new wave influences; the band often jokingly called the track the "'80s song." "Not Now", a B-side from the band's 2003 album and first included on this compilation, features a church organ in its verses and guitar riffs reminiscent of the Descendents; its subject matter continues the theme of complicated miscommunication and fading love. "Another Girl, Another Planet", first included on this compilation, is a cover of the song by The Only Ones and was used as the title theme for Barker's MTV reality series, Meet the Barkers.
Andy Greenwald of Blender called it a "flawless compilation," covering the group's transition from "nudists to near-geniuses." Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic found the collection ran a little long, but overall deemed it an "intermittently entertaining collection."