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4.7 out of 5 stars121
4.7 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CDChange
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
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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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
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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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful
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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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
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 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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 4 August 2009
I bought this album when it first came out and listened to it all the time on long car journeys. I subsequently divorced-he (in a fit of pique) trod on it unbeknown to me and gave it back-I then dropped it on the way to the car-dog pounced, scratched it to oblivion trying to pick it up so I re-bought it. Why? Why not just consign it to the bin after all that hassle?

Because it's a great little album. Catchy tunes, easy to remember words and great to listen to when driving. Alright, he's not the best singer in the world, but I stuck with it through thick and thin and it still puts a smile on my face.

A great feel good album and worth hanging on to. Through anything.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2001
James a band always hard to classify in terms of genre show their stripes with an eighteen track cd that tears shreds of other bands like U2 or Oasis. From the first track of Come Home the listener is given an audio treat which covers everything from messing with gender roles to a relationship with God. James are by definition the best thing to come out of Manchester. They are a band that like to take people's perceptions of them and turn it on its head, which breaks any rumour about them being just another pop group. They are one of the best bands of the nineties and lets hope they cna continue as strong in to the next century
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on 31 August 2015
I bought this after hearing 'Born of Frustration' on the radio a week ago. I then remembered 'Sit Down' and decided I needed to own more music by James. Bad decisión. This is an annonymous nothing of an álbum with two good tracks. The rest of them are utterly unmemorable, and I regret totally not having bought this second hand, as that is where it will be going. This is one for solid James fans only.
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on 24 June 2011
It's easy to forget just how absolutely brilliant these guys were and just how many wonderful and instantly familiar songs they wrote. Along with the awesome and talented Manic Street Preachers, James are one of our countries most under rated groups.THE BEST OF JAMES is one of the finest albums I've ever bought ( trust me, I've bought many ) !!
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