|1. Precious Things|
|3. Silent All These Years|
|4. Cornflake Girl|
|9. Way Down|
|10. Professional Widow|
|11. Mr. Zebra|
|13. Me and A Gun|
|15. Playboy Mommy|
|16. Baker Baker|
|17. Tear in Your Hand|
|18. Sweet Dreams|
|19. Jackie's Strength|
|20. Snow Cherries from France|
Should this best of be regarded as a contractual obligation? Well, certainly it is unlikely to win Amos any new fans. Most likely, the people who will buy it will be those who already own her studio output. The new tracks are worthwhile - one good ('Angels'), one fantastic ('Snow Cherries from France'), and the 'rare' bee sides, though less fun than the jaunty originals, provide extra punch. The choice of tracks for inclusion has provided topic for debate, but as Amos has herself said, someone's favourite song would always have been left off. Still, it is difficult to understand how the pretty but unassuming 'Baker Baker' is worthy of a place here, over the actual hits 'Caught a Lite Sneeze' and 'Hey Jupiter' or even the lovely '1000 Oceans'.
Still, what is here is uniformly very, very good. And for the most part the remastering/remixing is well done. The slightly sludgey sound of the earlier material is made fresh and crisp, and the rejigging of 'Winter', 'Tear in Your Hand', 'God' and 'Cornflake Girl' breathe new life into these songs. However, the more recent material fares less well, with the heady atmospherics of 'Spark' strangely muted. And, frankly, the single remix of 'Crucify' is far better than any that has been commited to a long player. The most contentious inclusion - Armand Van Helden's remix of 'Professional Widow' - isn't as jarring as some have made out. It's framed nicely between two of the short songs from 'Pele', and as Amos's biggest hit and a joyously irreverant gesture to those who take her music too seriously, is welcome.
We look forward to May 2004's live DVD release with enthusiasm.
Shame that Pretty Good Year was left off also but the accompanying DVD has a version on. The new recordings are all very good and will no doubt tempt the fans who own the original 1st 5 albums to buy this also.
This would make a sensible buy for anyone intrigued by Tori but so far still hesitant about buying any of her back catalogue.
My advice is buy this for a good compilation of the early tracks but also to buy Little Earthquakes and Under The Pink aswell as they deserve to be heard in full.
10 years on and we are still awaiting a Kate Bush follow up to the Red Shoes. In this time Tori has released 6 albums and now a compilation. We also had a live album on Venus aswell.
You cannot fault her on that at least.
However, understandably a lot of Tori fans will be upset by the choice of songs! Read more
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