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4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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VINE VOICEon 12 March 2004
This collection has exactly the effect any Best Of should. You start off by skipping to the songs you know and love by one of the most underrated bands of the last 20 years. Underrated despite a long list of hits. Whether it's Destiny Calling, She's A Star, Laid or the monsterous crowd anthem and all-time-great Sit Down, there will be something you know the title of. But then you start listening to the rest of it, and you realise how good James are.
From start to finish there are brilliant tracks. For me, the stand-outs (as well as those above) are the magical tantra-like Walzting Along and the sudden move down-tempo to the sad Out To Get You. Throughout though, are excellent tracks that you will almost certainly enjoy.
James are a band that produced plenty of classics in their 20 or so years together, and plenty more that should have been classics. The only problem is that since this compilation was released they have released two more albums, so there are some great songs that were too late to make it on.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 20 October 2013
Although James went onto have several other minor hits after the release of 'The Best of James' in 1998, this 18 track CD featured the very best of their output at the time, and two new songs. Therefore, if you need a singles CD which captures the band at their musical peek and popularity - this is it.

Their all time most popular hits came before 1998, so 'Sit Down' (which I really liked, it is a good song, but seems to have overshadowed the rest as far as radio stations are concerned), 'Come Home', 'She's A Star', 'Lose Control', and my favourite 'Born Of Frustration' are all here, making it an album that will satisfy the casual listener, of which I'm one.

The detailed liner notes in the booklet make for interesting reading and give the reader a good overview of their career, in which they had notched up an impressive list of hit singles and albums.

As for James themselves, they are brilliant. Although a Britpop band essentially, they are also responsible for some genuinely soulful, chilling tunes - which can all be found on here.
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on 16 February 2002
This album has resided in my cd collection ever since it's release and takes the top position as my all-time favourite cd. Occasionally I am distracted by some other classy albums but this is one I always come back to and always will.
It seems ridiculous to assume that this won't be James' greatest album, but it's a sad fact that many bands just do not have the back-catalogue of high quality material to fill 70 mins of a 'best of...' cd.
I can honestly say that this is one of the few albums where I will listen all the way through without skipping a single track. In fact, lately I have come to realise that the most well-known and successful tracks on the album are not necessarily the best by any means.
For the first few years of owning this album I never really listened to it in it's entirety and always assumed 'Sit Down' and 'She's a Star' to be the best tracks.
Then within the last three or four years I slowly came to realise the quality of the less well-known tracks - 'Sometimes', 'Tomorrow' and 'Ring the Bells' to name but a few. My favourite track is 'Sometimes' - I have never heard such a powerful and moving ballad as this one.
I remember when it was played in my school's sixth-form common room and I sat with my mates, proud in the knowledge that they and most of the other guys in the room at the time had never heard the song before, and I was one of the few to immediately recognise and appreciate it.
This album sits higher in my estimation than Millionaires and Pleased to meet you (though I haven't yet listened to that one in it's entirety either!) It's a testiment to a band who have never been mainstream or very well-known but have not let this stop them creating some of the most original and melodic tunes of any group in the last 20 or 30 years.
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on 21 April 2004
Wow what an album, there are many many hits here of which most of you willhave heard most of the songs. Thats a good sign for an album, how manyalbums have we heard that states "best of" only to be disappointed witheither the choice of songs or that laughably that they release the albumat all. Well this really is a best of. This album is a really goodchoice for a pre night out belter. There are some fine belters here likeSit Down, She's A Star and Born Of Frustration, but the best of all is theFlood Mix of Come Home. There are also a few mellow songs the best beingOut To Get You. If you are a massive James fan you will already havethese songs, however if you are a casual fan buy this then buy the rest oftheir back catalogue, well what are you waiting for, you too can besinging How Was It For You.
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on 23 June 2015
I've always been aware of James, but overlooked them in favour of other bands from that era such as The Stone Roses, The Verve, The Charlatans & Ash. I recently saw their IOW Festival coverage and enjoyed it so much I decided to buy this, and at £2.99 including the Autorip option it's a real bargain.
The obvious and slightly clichéd hits are here such as Sit Down, but so are many others that have been floating somewhere in the back of my head such as Laid, Sometimes and Destiny Calling.
The added bonus of re-discovering a group is that their back catalogue can be picked up for under £1, and I'm now looking forward to receiving some of the studio albums these were originally released on.
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on 15 December 1999
Quite simply one of the best collections of good old fashioned "pop" music ever assembled. Every song is the epitome of proper musicians playing proper musical instruments, driving home monumental verse-chorus-verse-chorus stuff.
Despite a fairly traditional songwriting style, the musical diversity is breathtaking, from a true anthem for the 90s generation in the ultimate singalong 'Sit Down', through the hypnotic folk-rock of 'Out to Get You' to what is quite simply the greatest song intro ever recorded on 'Ring the Bells'. A complete anthology of their best (commercial) offerings of the past ten years, the only sad omission is the rounded majesty of 'Heavens' from their mighty album 'Seven'. Listen out for the upstroke minor chord on 'Waltzing Along' - the touch of a genius
This is one that I'll be listening to in 30 years time.
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on 20 May 2014
I bought the CD of this ages ago and decided to get the MP3 album as I'm lazy and couldn't be bothered to rip it. Of all the bands I've ever listened to James still has a place in my heart. All the classics are on here and they still sound great today.

Just get this album, no excuses.
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on 25 September 2014
The old cliche of recognising more songs than I realised I knew from James. I'm no expert on the whole album, not sure I've yet made it all the way to the end, but the first 10 tracks or so are real winners.
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on 31 March 2007
This collection is proof that James were the most under appreciated band in UK history. Not a bad track, every one a gem, fabulous lyrics, tunes, hooks and associated memories. This album shames the humdrum indie amateur dramatics of today. Even better, they are back on tour! Anyone else at Frankfurt in 92?
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on 23 May 2013
I confess, before buying this compilation I could probably name two tracks by James. as long as they were both connected to sitting down. I bought this because there was a niggle in the back of my brain that said "there's more to this band than you remember". So I bought it. Then I played it. Then I played it again. My brain was right, as tune after tune came out I thought "I remeber this one" or "I forgot threy did this one". I am not going to regale you with a track by track analysis. Buy it, play it and make up your own mind. You'll be glad you did.
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