Recorded around the same time, I saw them, not in Chicago, but supporting the Jesus and Mary Chain at the Hammersmith Palais. Over the years they have produced as many albums as the Fall, and I never got round to listening to them.
For me the early period remains a hallmark and Daydream Nation a watershed. After that album, lauded for its breakthrough, I became lost. The angular chaotic guitar patterns were honed and toned into six pack structures. Mega stadium air punching beckoned.
However, in retrospect, they never succumbed, even though they garnered the laurels of success. Still trying to stay true to themselves, forever fighting the demons of corporate molding, whose will entailed erasing all the rough edges and filling in the cracks meant the band forever steered near to the beast but to their credit remained distinct. Just like The Fall, they never caved in.
This collection rounds them up at the epicentre, a time when they had moved from free form drones and harmonics to a more brutal structure without being toned down. It has all the faves from Bad Moon Rising and a sprinkling from Evol, two albums played to maximum distortion whilst forever remaining clear as crystals in sound harmonics.
So sing along to Expressway to your skull, Halloween, Death Valley, Love her all the Time and listen to the band rise above the crowd and play those Branca type chiming appregios in keys of pure sound drone. Haunting, brutal, angry and aspiring, qualities all building in tones throught the tunes.
Sounds as good as the album.