So what do you do when you're nearing the end of a promotional cycle and there are monster gigs coming up with the likes of The Who and Aerosmith? There's no time to knock out a new album and you've already released a plethora of singles. Why, it must be 'Special Edition' time.
I hate special editions. Especially the ones that come out a couple of months after the initial release, that bung in a couple of tracks to try and milk the fans for all they've got. Even worse if they chuck in a DVD. But, hold hard. This one at least tries to provide yer actual value for money. Sure, they're still asking you to fork out for an album you've already got, even if it is one of the finest blues-rocking debuts in recent memory. But at least this comes with fifteen (count 'em), yes, fifteen tracks on the bonus CD.
Collecting together the B-sides from the single releases, acoustic tracks, three live tracks recorded in Tokyo and their cover of 'Sweet Emotion' by Aerosmith, there's five songs here that have never been released before. Not everything is essential but the slow blues of 'Doctor', the Thunder soundalike of 'Rock Bottom Blues' and the acoustic version of 'Into The Gutter' are fabulous. And the live material just makes you yearn for a full blown in concert album, especailly when you've seen them turn it on as many times as I have. But where's the smokin' hot live version of 'Preachin'?
It's still a pricy purchase for the real die hards who've bought everything with The Answers name on it, but first timers will find out just how fabulous the blues rocking Irish boys are, and the rest of you can treeat it as a catch all compilation. So, (nearly) everyone wins.