The Whole Story (1986) is a pretty standard and obvious collation of KB's singles releases between 1978 and 1986. It introduces the as yet uninitiated to 12 of her most popular songs, although perhaps the vastly overproduced 'new vocal' for Wuthering Heights was not the brightest of ideas.
The compulsory 'new' single (released for the compilation only), Experiment IV, is actually a fairly good track (a direct descendent from the Hounds Of Love album), but nothing to get overly excited about. The inclusion of The Dreaming (which only just made the Top 50) was perhaps another oversight, and could have been replaced with a classic 'non-single' song from Kate's expansive body of work, such as the excellent Them Heavy People, Suspended in Gaffa or Infant Kiss etc. Moreover, twelve tracks covering five albums is a tad tight-fisted considering the vast resevoir of work at the compiler's disposal.
However, with the likes of Babooshka, Breathing, Running Up That Hill, Army Dreamers and Wow all present and correct, The Whole Story is certainly enough to keep most punters thoroughly happy and will undoubtedly push many of them to investigate KB's unique talent a little deeper. Even by listening to this somewhat limited singles collection, you can still begin to explore a vast array of moods and textures, each of which is a small work of art in itself.
Die-hard fans willingly forked out over £90.00 for the This Woman's Work box-set compilation a few years later, so in comparison, The Whole Story is still quite good value for the non-completist. And no, I bought all the albums instead... it was actually cheaper !