I'm slightly in love with the whole concept of the Late Night Tales, Another Late Night, et al compilation series. Take some great artists in their own right and being on friendly terms with them, you ask them to do you a tape of their favourite music and or influences. If they really like you, they offer to do you the tape in the first place!
In the eighties especially, my school friends and I would regularly make each other compilations. It involved sitting lovingly in front of hi fi, with your headphones on (so as not to disturb your parents whilst they watched Dempsey and Makepeace) and painstakingly putting together 90 minutes of music together. It was essential that you nailed the running order and God forbid that you cut off a song at the end of a side, because the tape had spooled out. To receive such a tape meant something. You meant something to the person who'd made it for you. You knew upon receiving it, the amount of time, love and effort that had gone into this thing, made especially for you. I discovered some wonderful music from these compilations and in return tried to pay it forward.
I thought those days were gone. Now, it's possible to put a compilation together in a matter of minutes with a huge running order at that. Late Night Tales and its compatriots relive some of the magic though. There's love and thought in these albums and many of them have given me a nostalgic squeeze. Friendly Fires' effort is no exception. A beautiful selection of tracks, many of which I'd never heard before and some real diversity on display. If nothing else, buy it for their cover of 'Why Don't You Answer?' It's probably because the person that you're trying to contact is too submerged in this!