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World Peace Is None Of Your Business
World Peace Is None Of Your Business
Price: 12.99

5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Let's Not Get Carried Away Over this Deluxe Edition!, 24 July 2014
I, more than most, understand and 'get' Morrissey's solo career. Yes, I loved The Smiths passionately, but I love mostly everything he has touched. I was in San Jose for the opening of his short-lived U.S. tour when he first revealed a few new tracks. "World Peace Is None of Your Business", if I am being honest, I had the same "What the - - - is this?" reaction the same way I did upon first hearing "The Teachers Are Afraid of the Pupils". I wasn't sure what to expect.

Like the good little Morrissey soldier that I am, I ordered the grandest super deluxe version with the un-edited UK Autobiography SIGNED and all the other goodies... even my old name printed on the accompanying poster. As you likely know, between the time we ordered and the time the box appeared on my porch, we were treated to 4 tracks. I loved "Istanbul" immediately. I really dug the new flamenco guitar sound on "Earth Is the Loneliest Planet" and I felt transported to Spain upon hearing "The Bullfighter Dies". Still, I found the title track a bit silly and tedious.

So, I listen to the entire album back to front several times. I've been a devoted fan for about 30 years now. And let's face it, all the over-used comments on his fan sites appear as they always do "Even his worst songs are better than any band's best songs" or "The B-sides are BETTER than some of album tracks!!" as though this weren't true since "Sister I'm a Poet" or "Jack The Ripper". After the first few listens, there are a couple of real career high standouts. The first, "Staircase At The University". Morrissey storytelling at its best and melodies than recall "Viva Hate". The other, and I've seen mixed reviews, "Kick The Bride Down the Aisle". If you're a real fan, you know that this song is the most SIGNATURE MORRISSEY track on the album!

However, the bad nearly equals the good here. Fans lavish praise upon this deluxe edition as though Morrissey needs a 'champion' to defend him. I'm a massive fan of the Beat writers, yet NEAL CASSADY DROPS DEAD showcases some of Morrissey's worst lyrics to date. On the bonus disc, only "One Of Our Own" is worthy of the Morrissey brand. "Forgive Someone" is bad and the over-dub of water crashing in "Drag The River" is cheesy and the only emotion I can possibly feel is pure embarrassment for my childhood idol.

Still love Morrissey and I love the imperfect history I have with him, but honestly, those reviewing this with the same star rating as "Your Arsenal", "Viva Hate" or "Vauxhall and I"???? You need to have your heads examined.


Your Arsenal (Definitive Master) [1cd+Dvd] (2014 - Remaster)
Your Arsenal (Definitive Master) [1cd+Dvd] (2014 - Remaster)
Price: 9.44

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars At last! He finally got a re-issue right!, 27 Feb 2014
If you're a fan of Morrissey, you know he usually botches his re-issues quite badly. You have deleted tracks, parts of songs edited out, wrong-era photographs for the artwork, illogical tracklistings, and flimsy packaging. When I first heard that "Your Arsenal" was to be remastered and re-issued, I braced for the worst. You see, it's not only my favorite Morrissey album, but it's his finest solo effort in general. All around strong, showcasing the finest artistic quality of any of his work. What if he would have deleted "Seasick.." or "You're the one for me, Fatty"? I was worried.

Like the sheep that I am, I placed my pre-order for the CD and for the vinyl editions in early December. There was no way I was passing up getting even most of these songs remastered!

Days after I place the pre-order, it's revealed on his website that this re-issue would come with a bonus DVD of the live show from Halloween 1991. Particularly special for me as it was my very first ever Morrissey live show! Spectacular memories of a great halloween just a few minutes from my house. I was just 21 and I'd never seen anything like it. Example: Girls loved Dave Gahan on the Violator tour the year prior, but no one ever tried to storm the stage and hug him. The Morrissey experience was one of a kind, and the DVD was a welcomed bonus. However, I must warn you that it's just a coverted video sourced from a VHS recording so the picture quality isn't the best, but the sound is great, his band is very tight, and you're immersed in the experience I got to witness live.

The CD, thankfully, is presented in tact with its original song sequence. There are rumblings from fans that he tinkered too much when he decided to present the slightly longer and more powerful U.S. mix of "Tomorrow" as the album's closer, but the reality is, it's a better version and this doesn't really alter the experience of listening to one of the best albums of the 1990s. The remastering is the very best of any of the Morrissey re-issues. Your Arsenal, like Vauxhall and I, were in desperate need of proper remastering. There was no possibilty to simply 'turn it louder' for songs like "Seasick...". The remastering is really THAT GOOD to the discerning ear. No loudness wars, or clipping, or pitchiness - - just spectacular, re-invigorated sound. The listener is left with a restored impression of such tracks as "We'll Let You Know", "The National Front Disco" and my personal favorite "Seasick, Yet Still Docked". The curious thing is that even with all of the Morrissey re-issues, "The Best, "The Very Best", "Greatest Hits", we've never had any of the three UK singles "We Hate It When...", "...Fatty", or "Certain People I Know" remastered before. We have them now.

The vinyl is presented on thick 180gram virgin vinyl in a gatefold sleeve with different artwork on the back and inner cover on the sleeve. The record itself is in a plastic lined black paper jacket and there are no other inserts.

The CD/DVD set is in a sturdier-than-his-usual, mini LP gatefold style digipak. One note on the artwork: It's the original album front cover art exactly with a slight altering of the Font. There is NO Parlophone logo on the U.S. version as it's released here on SIRE RECORDS and there is no word "stereo" either as some of the pictures show. I can deal with the font change if the tracklisting and appropriate front artwork are presented in tact.

I would have loved a few of the "Your Arsenal"-era bonus tracks remastered. Fan favorite b-side "Jack The Ripper" (studio version) is absent and so we don't get it remastered. I always thought, too, that when we finally saw a Morrissey re-issue of Your Arsenal, we'd finally get a full/not cut off version of "There Speaks A True Friend", but we don't. There are a few b-sides from these Your Arsenal sessions that have been remastered, so you can find "Pashernate Love" remastered on the Kill Uncle re-issue and Fantastic Bird from the Southpaw Grammar re-issue, and a not-as-good long version of "Let The Right One Slip In" exists on the Bona Drag re-issue in case you'd like to burn your own deluxe edition. However, even with those extra songs missing, I'm pleased with the overall presentation of the product. With "Your Arsenal" being his best solo record, with the bonus DVD - and brilliant, brilliant remastering job, this re-issue is absolutely essential.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 16, 2014 10:09 PM GMT


By All Means Necessary - Expanded Edition
By All Means Necessary - Expanded Edition
Offered by Silkysoul
Price: 4.98

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Poorly Thoughtout Re-issue, 5 Sep 2013
I never like being the bearer of bad news nor do I like reacting negatively to a remastered re-issue of such a legendary Old School Rap record. However, I was there. I had this album - as well as the 12" Single of "My Philosophy" - back when they were originally released in the 80s. Neither the album version nor the 12" version of "My Philosophy" had bleeped out the lyric that followed "How Many MCs must get dissed.."

When the initial CD issue first came out, they first bleeped out this lyric. I found it staggering when the song that follows it called "Ya Slippin" is littered with cuss words, equally bad, NOT bleeped out! So why censor just one song? The 12" version and this re-issue was their chance to restore the song to its original, uncensored version. However, all versions of "My Philosophy" are bleeped. To add insult to injury, the sequence of songs printed on the back cover and on the CD itself are incorrect. The bonus songs play out of sequence.

So, in summary: fantastic and legendary 5 star old school rap album. Such great songs! "My Philiosophy", "Jimmy", "Ya Slippin" and "I'm Still #1", wow... And, the remaster sounds very good. The re-issue, however, is shoddy at best and really poorly thoughtout.


Bloodsports
Bloodsports
Price: 4.99

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Band with Nine Lives, 26 Mar 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Bloodsports (MP3 Download)
When I first learned of a new Suede record on their website forum, I took a deep breath and I braced for the worst. Suede gave me two of the ten best albums of my lifetime in their debut and "Dog Man Star", but their most recent studio album ("A New Morning") was incredibly difficult to even sit all the way through - and let's face it... Bands getting back together and recording new material usually doesn't work.

When the band's musical genius, Bernard Butler, left the band in a huff in 1994, fans and critics just assumed they were done for. In 1996, however, they released "Coming Up", a more accessible record featuring a very young Richard Oakes and drummer Simon Gilbert's cousin Neil Codling as a new member. This record wasn't on the level of their first two Butler-penned albums, but there wasn't a significant drop-off in artistic quality and the fanbase rejoiced that they had some of the bands best tracks ever in "Beautiful Ones" and "Saturday Night".

However, in the years that followed, Brett Anderson began to have personal issues and the quality of his writing, especially his lyrics, went downhill. There were a few standout gems in tracks like "She's In Fashion" and "Can't Get Enough", but his vocal was overly - and perhaps deliberately - nasal, and his lyrics were often recycled from his other songs (litter on the breeze, etc). By the time "A New Morning" was released, we could all see that the band had hit a wall. The album featured a single standout track in "Obsessions" but songs like "Positivity" and "Streetlife" were a far cry from the artistic quality found on "Dog Man Star" and were borderline embarrassing. I'm all for evolution and changing of styles, but this wasn't growth; it was a record by a band unraveling.

Fast forward to 2011 and the band issued my favorite hits collection of all time in "The Best of Suede". Far better than their previous compilation "Singles", the two CD set showcased the band in their prime and illustrated why they were such a critical band in the 90's and to British Indie - a key reason that they were the primary influence of future bands like Bloc Party. They followed this Best of set with re-issues of their studio albums in Deluxe packages, bundling in each era's b-sides and demos.

Twenty years after the release of the band's splendid debut and a decade since their last proper studio album, Suede give us "Bloodsports". The album's lead tasters "It Starts and Ends with You" and "Barriers" are fantastic stompers that could easily give songs like "Trash" a run for their money. The lyrics on "Barriers" prove that Brett Anderson has been reinvigorated and can still tell a story. If I'm being honest, I still cringed at a few lyrics like Sabotage's "her touch is like a Raven's shadow", but the backing music is so fantastic and fresh that you can look past these moments of weakness and praise the band for even being able to follow "A New Morning" with something this great.

The highlight of this record, really, is the guitar playing. The inventiveness and the artistry really shines through on each and every song. It's so good that I was surprised to learn that Neil Codling had actually written a good portion of the album's music. Songs like the aforementioned "Sabotage", "Snowblind", "Hit Me", "For the Strangers" and "What Are You Not Telling Me" are all standouts and can hold up to the lead single "It Starts and Ends with You".

I haven't had a Suede album since "Coming Up" that I could listen to all the way through without the desire to skip over tracks. (You didn't skip over "Elephant Man" ever? Come on...) More than that, it's the first album by ANY artist that I haven't skipped over tracks since BLOC PARTY's "Silent Alarm".

One side note: Track 8, "What Are You Not Telling Me", is mastered very, very loudly. It sounds harsh and out of tune and sometimes distorted. It's a shame because it's a great song.

I won't bother using the phrase "a return to form", but the album is just so fantastic. It appears that we have thought the band were dead on multiple occasions now and they just keep charging back stronger. If you have the opportunity, grab "Dawn Chorus" - the best of the 4 non-LP tracks. Many will insist that "No Holding Back" is the best track because it's rare and they shelled out over a hundred pounds for a box set that offers this track exclusively, but it isn't nearly as memorable as "Dawn Chorus". Also, there have been grumblings by fans about the packaging and quality of the Super Deluxe Edition and the high price for that box set, but don't let that deter you from buying the best album of 2013.


Four
Four
Offered by mrtopseller
Price: 6.00

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Dust off the Axe, Russell.", 20 Aug 2012
This review is from: Four (Audio CD)
On May 31st of this year, Bloc Party frontman Kele Okereke took to the internet. He began by apologizing for two not-very-funny jokes that had come in the months since Christmas 2010. One had suggested that he was booted from the band, and another suggested that an aging ex-Pearl Jam drummer had replaced mainstay Matt Tong. Neither of these hoax attempts were true - nor were they necessary. After the tour supporting their last album, 2008's Intimacy, Bloc Party found themselves at a creative standstill. Okereke thought the timing was right to "make a record that excites people in the clubs like M.I.A.'s XR2," as he put it. With a solo album and a dubstep EP behind him, Okereke explained that Bloc Party were indeed back together and had, in fact, just wrapped up recording their best record to date at Stratosphere Sound Studios in Manhattan.

Bloc Party has a strong following comprised of two types of fans: there are fans that embrace their constant evolution and fans that want them to record Silent Alarm over and over and over again. After listening to Four - an album Okereke says got its title not because it was the band`s fourth album, but rather because it was a raw sound of four guys playing in room together - this record will both satisfy fans from both camps, and alienate some fans from both camps. Interested in always evolving, Bloc Party ditched both of their former producers, Jackknife Lee and Paul Epworth, and recruited producer Alex Newport of Mars Volta fame. Newport suggested that Bloc Party make a record the old-fashioned way: no ProTools, no layering, no over-synthesized effects. The outcome is a record that, at times, rocks harder than anything that the band has ever done.

The lead single, "Octopus," finds the band renewed and revitalized. It's energetic, aggressive, and incredibly inventive. The guitar recalls one of guitarist Russell Lissack's heroes, Graham Coxon of Blur (see "On Your Own" from Blur's 1997 eponymous album). With that said, "Octopus" is really no indication of what was to come. Apart from this single and a similarly styled track called "Team A," you can hardly hear the influences that had littered their first three albums (Suede, The Cure, Blur, and The Smiths). Also, you get the sense that Kele has the danceclub electronics completely out of his system and that he's given Russell the key to the closet where he had his guitar locked up for more than four years. In fact, their last single before the hiatus, "One More Chance," now sounds like a different band.

The album showcases Russell's guitar - and an influence that may remind one of Deftones' White Pony (see "Kettling" and "3x3") . Matt Tong's explosive drumming returns to the fore. Interestingly, Kele has dumbed down his lyrics quite a bit for this record in a purposeful way, similar to what one of his idols Brett Anderson did when writing Suede's 1996 album Coming Up. Along with less meaningful, less heartbreaking and personal lyrical content, many songs show a more subdued vocal. That works here because the purpose of this record is to showcase all four members (all masters of their craft) not just Kele. This record is about a rock guitar that, in parts, may shock Bloc Party's fan base.

But make no mistake: this does not sound anything like Silent Alarm. If you were hoping to bounce along to a "Helicopter" sound-alike, you're not going to get that. Instead, you get songs like "Kettling," their hardest rocking track to date. It rocks so hard, it almost cannot even be classified as alternative rock - though it does seem to have a bass structure very similar to "Bulls on Parade" from Rage Against the Machine. This is one the record's standout tracks that finds Okereke aggressively belting out, "We smash the window! Popo don't ---- around!", telling the story of the recent riots in London - through the eyes of the rioter. Other glimpses of rock guitar can be found on the tracks "Coliseum" and "We Are Not Good People." While you do get glimpses of A Weekend In the City-era Bloc Party on tracks like "Day Four", the splendid and melodic "The Healing, and "Truth," and unfortunately get some less immediate songs like on the record's most personal track "Real Talk," this album, while often showcasing varying styles, is cohesive and reiterates Bloc Party's legacy of constant evolution. But instead of defining evolution as pretentious, oft-unlistenable electronic noise (ahem, King of Limbs), they define it as showing the world they can often rock as hard as anyone - and at times even harder than Silent Alarm. It's a very strong return effort. Is it Bloc Party's best record? I'm not quite ready to give it such a crown just yet, especially with Silent Alarm in their back catalogue, but I will confirm this: I've scanned Four`s deluxe edition from front-to-back seventeen times now, and curiously, Kele never says the word "cruel" once.

4 out of 5
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Aug 21, 2012 6:04 PM BST


It (2012 Re-Issue)
It (2012 Re-Issue)
Price: 11.56

4.0 out of 5 stars Can't really give this 5 stars..., 18 Mar 2012
This review is from: It (2012 Re-Issue) (Audio CD)
I love Jarvis and Pulp, but giving "It" 5 Stars would lead one to believe they're buying something of the caliber of "Different Class", and Different Class it is certainly not. I love a number of songs like "Wishful Thinking" and "My Lighthouse", both of which are lyrically and vocally classic Jarvis, and the remastering sounds refreshed and great (not just louder), but from an artistic quality perspective, it's about 3.5 or 4 stars at best.


The Complete Smiths: Collector's Edition [VINYL]
The Complete Smiths: Collector's Edition [VINYL]

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What's this Box REALLY Like Inside and Out..., 21 Oct 2011
When I first learned of what this box was going to include, there was no way I wasn't going to get it. I knew that I wasn't going to pay Rhino's price, that was for certain.. And I certainly wasn't going to let Rhino charge me $110.00 to ship this to the U.S. - - but then I found it on Amazon(UK) for 188.00 pounds.. (221 minus VAT tax... Americans should never pay VAT). Only 3.08 to ship ($5.25 U.S. to ship).

So it's delivered on the Saturday after its release and it's massive and heavy. Weighing in over 17 pounds and about 20 inches across by 14 inches. The outer box is sturdy and is completely covered with the cover art. You open the lid like a chest and find the CDs as mini-LPs. All details captured, down to the embossed SMITHS on Strangeways, or the hype sticker on albums like "Hatful of Hollow". As far as the CDs go, they don't look quite as authentic as the Japan mini-lp issues from a few years ago, but still look nice. If I had one gripe, I wish the text could have been bigger. However, the sound quality is absolutely wonderful. Not 'just made louder', different and MUCH better than the 2008-2009 remasters...

The LPs pay the same attention to detail, but I haven't put them on the turntable yet.

The 7" collection replicates the artwork nicely, even including the reverse negative HAND IN GLOVE and a few rarities. You get a poster of the cover art, but who cares? You get a series of 12: thick stock high-gloss cards of the album art, and you get the COMPLETE PICTURE DVD, which works on all players (whether DVD, Blu-Ray or PS3), regardless of country or region code. Which was nice for me being in the U.S.

Here's a major gripe of mine... The download card. It says in every advertisememt "COMES WITH HIGH QUALITY MP3s of everything in the box"

They're partly correct, but you've also been duped. The albums, which is redundant as downloads, are indeed 320KBPS... Above the industry standard - which is why they're called HIGH-Quality... HOWEVER... the Singles... the MP3s of the Vinyl... MOST SONGS are 192KBPS! This is unacceptably LOW and it's false advertising really... For this, I cannot give the box 5 stars.

Overall, the sound improvement and the collectible nature of this box makes it well worth it. The sound really is amazing and different that the 2008-2009 masters from SOUND OF THE SMITHS or the Singles box sets of 2009, or the MP3 Codes that came with the vinyl LPs in 2009.

So let's address the misconceptions I've heard:

1. I have everything on the original Rough Trade label, why would I need this?

I didn't say sell the old stuff, but the sound quality is amazing... Why wouldn't you want the much better sound - with Johnny Marr's involvement or approval? Have BOTH.

2. But... But... Morrissey said don't buy it!

Morrissey does NOT care about you... If he wasn't whining about this, he'd be whining about how they're scaring squirrels for entertainment somewhere in eastern europe.

3. But Paint a Vulgar Picture! Best of! Most of!

What does a song about a record company milking a dead star's catalogue have to do with a founding member of the band deciding to make a box set???????

4. They just made it louder! Brickwalled! Louder! Brickwalled!

Not true. I was not so pleased with the mastering in the late 2000s, but this is splendid! STRETCH OUT AND WAIT, UNLOVEABLE, and WILLIAM... have never sounded so amazing.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Oct 23, 2011 10:49 PM BST


Very Best Of
Very Best Of
Price: 9.20

12 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yawn, 25 April 2011
This review is from: Very Best Of (Audio CD)
The Yawn is for all of those unoriginal Morrissey fans who misintepret the lyrics to "Paint a Vulgar Picture" more than 20 years ago. Lyrics talk of a DEAD STAR whose name and legacy are being milked by record company executives to cash in on this dead star. It's not about a living star reissuing his own work.

Here's the truth:

The Smiths:
"Best ...1"
"Best ...2"
No involvement of Morrissey or Marr. They were NOT consulted and didn't select tracks or receive royalties.

"SINGLES"
Not a bad compilation, but no involvement of Morrissey or Marr. NOT Consulted again. They received no royalties.

"The Very Best Of The Smiths"
Morrissey and Marr not involved, received no royalties
Morrissey: "Suedehead, The Best of Morrissey" - 1997
NOT Consulted. Morrissey not involved in anyway, not paid royalties.
In fact, Morrissey lashed out about the cover art: "The artwork was shockingly bad and Charles Hawtrey is in no way relevant to The Smiths"

"THE SOUND OF THE SMITHS"
2 cd SET including the singles, b-sides, etc.
The First Smiths' issue with Morrissey and Marr involved.
Marr oversaw the remastering.

Here's my point. Number of Approved Smiths' compilations????
ONE! Just 1. And this one gets a bad wrap by the so-called fans citing Paint a Vulgar Picture when it's the best of the lot??
Just 1 Approved Smiths compilation

For the SOLO stuff Morrissey was never approached or paid for any previous Parlophone/EMI release. This is actually the first in which they asked for his involvement and offered royalties. The "Greatest Hits" had his involvement, but that was POLYDOR Records.

He was consulted for the 2001 "BEST OF", but that wasn't EMI. In the U.S., 90% of his releases were on Warners and they issued that one... There's no such thing as Parlophone Records
in the U.S. That recent 3 CD set they put out, the blue one, no involvement of Morrissey.

So Morrissey has three compilations in Total that had his involvement:

1 for Warners U.S.
1 for Polydor Era
Now this one for the EMI/Parlophone Era.

I do, however, question the tracklist and the inclusion of the awful edit of "Ouija Board" though... which is why I will give this 3 stars vs. 5. The DVD is a welcome bonus though! If it were me compiling a VERY BEST OF MORRISSEY, and keeping it to ONLY the Parlophone/EMI years, this is what it would look like:

1. SUEDEHEAD / 2. SISTER I'M A POET / 3. EVERYDAY IS LIKE SUNDAY / 4. LAST OF THE FAMOUS... / 5. INTERESTING DRUG / 6. NOVEMBER SPAWNED A MONSTER / 7. OUR FRANK / 8. SING YOUR LIFE / 9. THAT'S ENTERTAINMENT / 10. WE HATE IT WHEN OUR FRIENDS BECOME SUCCESSFUL / 11. YOU'RE THE ONE FOR ME, FATTY / 12. CERTAIN PEOPLE I KNOW / 13. TOMORROW / 14. GLAMOROUS GLUE / 15. JACK THE RIPPER (Studio) / 16. THE MORE YOU IGNORE ME... / 17. HOLD ONTO YOUR FRIENDS / 18. NOW MY HEART IS FULL / 19. BOXERS / 20. SUNNY / 21. (BONUS TRACK) STRIPTEASE WITH A DIFFERENCE / 22. (BONUS TRACK) I'M PLAYING EASY TO GET <--- and Guess what??? ALL SONGS fit on ONE CD! Again, DAGENHAM DAVE and Southpaw Grammar, Maladjusted, You Are The Quarry and everything after are NOT on Parlophone/EMI
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Mar 27, 2013 4:45 AM GMT


The Best Of Suede
The Best Of Suede
Offered by MediaMerchants
Price: 6.29

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quite Possibly The Most Underrated Band of All Time, 7 Nov 2010
This review is from: The Best Of Suede (Audio CD)
Suede were a band much like The Smiths in that there isn't this mix of good and bad songs - there were no bad songs. Period. I hate the term "Britpop" as much as Suede does because most of the bands with that moniker had a few hits and could be forgotten. Suede were original and legendary. Let's begin with the original genius of the band: Bernard Butler. When I first saw Suede in 1993, I was steps away from Bernard and he opened the show by banging out "The Next Life" on the piano while Brett's voice hauntingly echoed through the old Warfield Theatre in San Francisco. It's a pleasure that that song is included here. The music of Suede's finest crafted masterpieces were penned by Bernard Butler and this 2-CD compilation favors the Butler-penned songs more than the others. This is also a bonus.

Brett Anderson was a unique person. Very eccentric and artsy. With each album, his lyrics diminished in quality, but his voice was always wonderful. The first song I heard of Suede's was a track called "My Insatiable One", which I was turned onto when Morrissey covered it on his "Kill Uncle Tour". It was perfect in that it was inspired by one of my favorite old songs: "The Bewlay Brothers" on David Bowie's gem HUNKY DORY. Brett never really said this, and many may disagree, but when Bowie hits the highs in that song, it's quite similar. That masterpiece is also included here.

Richard Oakes was a competent replacement for Bernard Butler. How could anyone say that there was a huge drop-off in quality when you hear tracks like "Saturday Night" and "The Beautiful Ones" and "Trash"? All three of those excellent tracks are also included here. What was missing from Richard Oakes was the live performance. Bernard Butler was INSANE on stage. You couldn't catch a fleeting glimpse of his face at any point of the show as his long hair shook out of control. He was passionate, excited, and just simply went nuts. I later saw Jonny Greenwood copy this exact style, but Bernard did it first.

Matt's bass was rich and wonderful, as showcased here on "Europe In Our Playground", and Simon was a great drummer. Nothing bad you can say about his skills, as showcased on "She", also included here. You get the best singles, and there's nothing that you'd skip over like "Love The Way You Love", off SINGLES. I was actually pleased that track was left off.

I appreciate that the second disc includes non-singles and b-sides - because, as ANY real Suede fan knows, these tracks were often better than the singles! I love having "My Insatiable One" and "The Living Dead" and "The Next Life" all brilliantly remastered. All Bernard Butler tracks, all absolutely perfect.

I am such a big fan that I am going to get a bit nitpicky for a second here. I wish first that they'd have gone with the original version of "Europe In Our Playground" from the TRASH Single versus the version off "Sci-Fi Lullabies". It's a bit more organic and grandiose at the same time. I also would have opted for the original album version of "We Are The Pigs". The thing with "We Are the Pigs" is, it had that EPIC, EPIC ending! "..We'll watch them, we'll watch them, we'll watch them burn..." - which was completely hacked off of the single version included here. That song is really missing something without the epic ending, though it still features some of Bernard's best guitar work ever. Finally, I wish there would have been room for "Moving" and "This Time". Those missing makes me long for re-issues of all of the albums remastered, with a second disc of b-sides. I'm sure those album re-releases would spark a bunch of Amazon reviews by cheapos whining "I already have all of these songs", but the remastering reinvigorates these songs - giving them new life - and Suede deserve this treatment.

Nitpicking aside, this is one of the finest compilations ever, Unlike most of these "Hits" releases that focus on newer tracks and that add a throwaway new single, this compilation sharply focuses on Suede in their prime, nearly ignoring the substandard "New Morning" album. That album was ok because it was still Suede, but songs from that record don't really tell the story of Suede, nor do they capture them in their prime. Every track here is a gem and their less popular songs usually trump other bands' best singles. Brett and the band hand selected these tracks and they were nicely remastered. This isn't one to miss.


Bona Drag [20th Anniversary Edition]
Bona Drag [20th Anniversary Edition]
Price: 6.83

9 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars ...I've Changed My Mind Again... REVIEW CHANGED! 2 STARS!, 4 Oct 2010
I originally gave this release 5 Full stars! WHY? Well, I am a HUGE fan of BONA DRAG and I am a HUGE FAN of Re-mastering ...especially when that remastering was done by Bill Inglot in Los Angeles. His Re-mastering keeps true to the original songs and instead of simply making them louder, he brightens them up using the latest technological processes and brings the songs to life. Well, for this sonic improvement, I'll give one of the stars.
But see, I hadn't yet heard this release and I live in the U.S. so it just arrived in the post today. I gave it a full listen...

See, let's be clear. I have money enough to buy it all. Thirteen bucks U.S. for re-mastered bonus tracks?? There was NO WAY I wasn't going to buy this.... And I am true SMITHS fan, not a tedious one who'll cite the lyrics from "Paint a Vulgar Picture"!! I want to distance myself as far as possible from these people who cite the lyrics to this song when it's about a dead star having no control of his own catalogue, watching record execs cash in on his talent, not about a living star choosing to do re-issues... Anyway... I LOVE re-issues, especially considering that CDs may disappear soon. I was so excited for this one. For these bonus tracks, there's a MARKED improvement especially in songs like "Please Help The Cause Against Loneliness"... They sound so much better than ANY BOOTLEG.. even the latest "Revelations" LP - and that's coming from a HUGE fan of vinyl. .... For these high-quality b-sides, it gets its 2nd star.

So now the tough part, "BONA DRAG" was a masterpiece in its own right. What Morrissey's decided to do here is terrible! Let's keep in mind, this time, it was NOT the record company's doing! Like the dreadful re-issue of "Maladjusted", this had Morrissey's FULL involvement and he directed the re-master/re-issue. What has gone on here is the equivalent of hearing that they'll be re-issuing canvas prints of the MONA LISA painting and you get it, open it, and discover that this time she's got blonde hair! Well, DaVinci looked back on his painting and decided he didn't like Mona Lisa as a Brunette. The same has happened here. Let me explain: First, the songs sort of mix into one another. This bothers me because the original wasn't this way! It bothers me MORE though because some songs are chopped and edited! You know the melodic build-up in "Suedehead" that leads up to the opening guitar riff? GONE! Morrissey's first landmark single and you mess with it? The most disgusting part?? I'm listening and singing along. "Ouija Board" is playing, Moz sings "The Table is rumbling..." and I'm waiting for "The table is rumbling/the glass is moving/no I was NOT pushing that time/it spells S-T-E-V-E-N." - which was my favorite lyric because my name too is Steven. But, as you know, Morrissey's ashamed of his birthname so he's edited it out! It's GONE! What you get instead is a POOR, chopped remix! This was NOT the single version! I have the original single on 7" and on CD single and it's the regular version from BONA DRAG, not this 2010 edited remix! That is just horrible! You're changing your artistic work because you're high-maintenance? Come on! I was upset when I saw "Maladjusted" deleted his single "Roy's Keen" and album track "Papa Jack", and was more disappointed to learn that the re-issued CD still had more than 10 minutes remaining on it and he could have fit both, but he chose to delete them because he was embarrassed of them, but this re-issue is MUCH, MUCH WORSE! So, so, so sad!

I'm a fan of physical copies of CDs or records and not a fan of downloads...at all. But honestly, I say you go to a site like 7Digital that offers higher-quality MP3s than iTunes does, and for the same price, and download all Bonus Tracks and "Piccadilly Palare - extended version" and call it a day. Sigh. I was defending this release to the death, but now it just isn't possible!
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