Released in 2001, 'Songs For The Front Row' is a snapshot of Ocean Colour Scene's commercial peak. It completely skips their relatively well received 1992 debut and heavily contains highlights from their four strongest and most successful albums to date. The compilation is in chronological order, tracks 1-5 are from 'Moseley Shoals' (1996), 6-10 first appeared on 'Marchin' Already' (1997), 11-13 consist of material from 'One From The Modern' (1999) and 14-15 are taken from 'Mechanical Wonder' (2001). The remaining tracks are 'Huckleberry Grove', a B side and fan favourite, 'Robin Hood', a live track from a 1997 performance at the Royal Albert Hall and 'Crazy Lowdown Ways', a minor hit that was never released on a studio album.
All the obvious tracks can be found here, including classics like 'The Riverboat Song' (which instantly reminds me of the old Chris Evans radio show), 'The Day We Caught The Train' (the song which first got me into the band) and 'Hundred Mile High City' (forever remembered in the hit film 'Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels'). To the casual fan, it pretty much has everything you really need, and covers all of the essentials. There are now more extensive collections out there ('Anthology' for example), but I believe 'Songs For The Front Row' remains the perfect introduction, complete with a good booklet with full lyrics, black and white/colour photographs, and memories regarding every song from singer/songwriter Simon Fowler.
As for the band, Ocean Colour Scene were one of the most consistently brilliant bands to emerge from the '90s Britpop scene. They made (and continue to make) some excellent music, and the creme of the crop was gathered here on one disc. If you haven't heard much from them - buy this album!