This is a truly sensational compilation and in my view by far the strongest of the Trip series. I've always had a soft spot for St Etienne's mix of beats, melody and kitsch. Their influences are certainly evident here.
CD1 is the more upbeat and cheesy set, the highlights being a gem from post-Ross Supremes (track 9), a bombastic 70s stomper (22) and a couple of northern soul interludes. But the more consistent delight is CD2 with at least seven or eight obscure golden nuggets. The collective strength stems from some awesome female vocal performances by, variously, Sandy Denny, Beverley Martin, Mandy More (not to be confused with Mandy Moore!), Dusty Springfield and, in the set's climax, an incredible track by Julie Covington. Elsewhere there are sumptuous arrangements aplenty (tracks 1, 7, 14, 20), some delightful eccentricities, a great Scott Walker song and an orgasmic Richard Thompson blues guitar solo on track 9. It's all woven together with some inspired segues.
This has become one of my favourite compilations of all time and I just never get tired of it. Wonderful.